Car Insurance in California vs. Texas: Costs, Laws and Resources

Due to differences in laws and providers, car insurance costs and requirements in California and Texas vary. In California, Progressive offers the most affordable policies at around $481 per year, while Farmers has the cheapest rates in Texas at approximately $420 per year.

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
Last Updated: 11/23/2022
Written By     |  

If you’re considering moving from California to Texas or vice versa, you may find different car insurance requirements in each state. The two states both require the same coverages, but they have different limits. In California, you’re required to have $30,000 in bodily injury liability, while Texas requires that you have $60,000.

MoneyGeek analyzed the differences between car insurance laws in California vs. Texas. We broke down costs and identified the cheapest providers to help you find the best deals.

Car Insurance Laws in California vs. Texas

California and Texas require the same car insurance coverages, but they differ in limits. California car insurance laws require $30,000 in bodily injury liability and $5,000 in property damage liability, whereas Texas car insurance laws require $60,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Despite more insurance requirements, the average annual cost of a minimum car insurance policy in Texas is equal to California at $665 per year. This is because car insurance costs are affected by factors beyond coverage, such as population density and accident frequency.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS

California Requirements

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident

Texas Requirements

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident
Loading...

How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in California and Texas?

California and Texas are both tort states. This means, in the event of an accident, the at-fault driver pays for medical costs, loss of wages and vehicle damages of the other driver. On average, car insurance in tort states is more affordable than no-fault states, where a driver’s insurance pays for their own injuries and damages.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California vs. Texas

MoneyGeek’s analysis reveals you can find the most affordable state minimum policies in California and Texas from these companies:

  • Cheapest in California: Progressive ($481 per year)
  • Cheapest in Texas: Farmers ($420 per year)

Provider rates can vary significantly by state: although Farmers offers the cheapest car insurance in Texas, they are the most expensive provider in California.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

Scroll for more

swipe icon
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Texas

Scroll for more

swipe icon
tip icon
THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

Progressive and Farmers offered the cheapest annual rates in California and Texas at $481 and $420, respectively. However, these rates are for minimum coverage only. Actual insurance costs change based on the driver’s location, age, record, preferred coverage and other factors.

MoneyGeek’s guides can be used to find the cheapest rates in each state:

Insurance Rates

Compare Insurance Rates

Ensure you are getting the best rate for your insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

widget-location-pin

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Texas

State minimum car insurance policies cost an average of $665 per year in both California and Texas are $665. Meanwhile, full coverage car insurance in California costs around $1,429 per year, and the same policy is approximately $1,316 in Texas.

Even though both states have similar costs for state minimum policies, providers in Texas offer more affordable full coverage insurance. This is evidence of how premium prices can change based on various factors.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Texas

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Driver
    California Annual Premium
    Texas Annual Premium
  • Minimum Coverage
    $665
    $665
  • Full Coverage
    $1,429
    $1,316
  • Adding a Young Driver
    $4,187
    $3,548
  • Drivers With a Violation
    $2,057
    $1,451
  • Drivers With Poor Credit
    $2,344

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in California vs. Texas?

Car insurance costs in California and Texas are affected by various reasons, so it’s impossible to pin a difference in cost on one factor alone. For example, California has more dense highways, uninsured drivers and reported stolen vehicles, all of which cause car insurance rates in the state to be more expensive than those in Texas.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California vs. Texas

While the price of car insurance varies between states, they can also change between cities within a state.

In California, Santa Maria has the most affordable policies at around $509 per year and Glendale offers the most expensive policies at roughly $1,066 per year. On the other hand, car insurance in Texas is cheapest in Abilene at approximately $480 per year and Houston’s policies are most expensive at about $806 per year.

Because car insurance requirements and laws are the same within a state, they affect the cost of your premium. However, living in a more densely populated part of the state may increase the cost of your car insurance.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California

Scroll for more

swipe icon
Car Insurance Costs by City in Texas

Moving Between California and Texas? What to Know

After moving from California to Texas or vice versa, you’ll need to update your driver’s license and registration. If you’re happy with your current carrier, you can stay with them as long as they cover your new state. However, your premium prices may change according to your location’s risks and coverage requirements.

Conversely, if you’re shopping around for a new provider, MoneyGeek’s resources can help you find the highest-rated policies that meet your driving profile.

  • This is an icon

    Use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculators for California and Texas

    Get an estimate for the cost of your car insurance by using MoneyGeek’s California car insurance calculator and Texas car insurance calculator.

  • This is an icon

    Learn about car insurance for high-risk drivers in California and Texas

    High-risk drivers may have to pay higher rates for car insurance or be rejected by some providers. In both California and Texas, such drivers are required to file an SR-22 if they’ve committed severe driving violations.

  • This is an icon

    Figure out your options for temporary car insurance in California and Texas

    Most car insurance companies have policies with a minimum coverage period of six months. However, you can get temporary car insurance in California and temporary car insurance Texas if you’re only staying in the state temporarily.

  • This is an icon

    If you’re a low-income driver, see if California or Texas offer car insurance programs

    Low-income drivers in California can receive state assistance for their car insurance assistance. Meanwhile, low-income drivers in Texas can use MoneyGeek’s resources to save on their premiums.

FAQs About California and Texas Car Insurance

Car insurance requirements and costs often change from one state to another. MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions to help you know more about car insurance in California vs. Texas.

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company and across California and Texas, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both locations. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria like coverage level, age, driving offenses and credit score. Learn more about how costs are calculated in our MoneyGeek car insurance methodology.

Minimum car insurance requirements by state were sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the respective state.

About the Author


expert-profile

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.