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Dallas is home to the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 Companies in the nation. The city’s economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, and transportation and logistics. It also has one of the busies and most complex transportation systems, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways, and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. The Central Expressway and I-635 interchange, commonly known as the High Five Interchange, is currently one of the few 5-level interchanges in Dallas and is one of the largest freeway interchanges in the United States. As a driver, make sure you understand all the options for cheap car insurance Dallas has available, so you will have all the protection you need on the road.
Cheap Car Insurance In Dallas
Texas law requires drivers to pay for accidents they cause. Fault is ultimately determined by the state, using evidence and testimony gathered at the scene of the accident. The at-fault party is then required to pay all damages resulting from the accident.
It’s important to have the right car insurance in Dallas to protect not only yourself, but your vehicle too. When looking through the options for cheap car insurance Dallas offers, the more information you have, the better. Remember that carrying the minimum coverage required by law may not be enough to cover you personally. Make sure your policy will cover all of your assets, even if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Dallas Car Insurance Requirements
- Bodily Injury coverage requirements are a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability minimum requirements are $25,000.
- Uninsured Motorist coverage is not required, but insurance company’s are required to offer it, and explain the coverage to consumers.
Public Transportation In Dallas
Here are some of the public transportation options available:
- DART Public Bus Service
- DART System Maps
- M-Line Trolly (Downtown)
- CVB Charter/Tour Bus List
- DART Dallas Mass Transit Rail
Dallas forms part of the greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington metropolitan area which includes 12 counties and almost 7 million residents. The metro area had the highest increase in employment in the nation last year.
Naturally this means the number of commuters on the road has increased a great deal. Texas A&M’s Urban Mobility Report found that in 2011 there were over 3,000,000 commuters on the road during peak commute times each day, so we can assume that number has only gone up since the study was released. Dallas workers spend an average of 45 hours stuck in traffic each year.
Recent government initiatives such as the “Complete Streets Initiative” which launched in 2011 are intended to decrease traffic and make Dallas’ roads friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists.
The City is also working hard to improve its public transportation infrastructure (DART) with new trains and buses to help lighten the load on the freeways.
These factors will go a long way toward keeping Dallas’ auto insurance rates as low as they are. The more options commuters have, the less their vehicles are on the road. If you have the option to bike to work, carpool, or take public transportation, we highly recommend it, as most insurance companies take your annual commute miles into consideration when formulating your rates. The less miles you put on your car each year, the cheaper your insurance will be!
Before heading out, be sure to check DalTrans’ live traffic map, which shows current congestion hot-spots, accidents, and road construction zones.
Dallas Crime Statistics
The property crime rate in Dallas has been on a steady decline for almost a decade. In 2012, it dropped by over 10%! This success is credited to new task forces which investigate fencing rings and increased sentencing for offenders.
Auto thefts in 2012 dropped almost 12% with only 7,062 motor vehicle thefts reported that year (as oppose to over 17,000 in 2003!). The city saw a total of 54,300 property crimes according to FBI data.
Even though the streets are getting safer, proper precautions should be taken to secure your vehicle. Make sure your car doors are locked in the evenings and no valuables are left in the vehicle (or at least stow them somewhere hidden).
Installing an anti-theft device, alarm, or even a tracking device such as LoJack will usually entitle you to a discount from your insurance company.
Because rates can very a great deal between neighborhoods and zip codes, getting comparison quotes before you move can help save you money. Furthermore, if you are planning on buying a vehicle, you may want to avoid commonly stolen ones like these (most commonly stolen cars in Dallas for 2013):
- Ford Pickup
- Chevy Pickup
- Dodge Pickup (Texans like their trucks!)
- Honda Civic
- Chevy Tahoe
This list changes each year, but you can always do a quick web search for the current models, and if you absolutely must buy one of them, just be sure to purchase Comprehensive coverage.
Texas saw over 90,000 DUI arrests in 2013 (the highest rate in the nation by a wide margin) with hundreds of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has targeted the state in recent years, trying to pass stricter DUI legislation in an effort to curb what they view as an epidemic.
Unless you are Alice Walton (billionaire Wal-Mart heiress recently arrested for a DWI, but not charged) you will probably face the following penalties if convicted of drunk driving:
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Annual fees of up to $2,000 in order to keep your license active
- License suspension of up to 2 years.
- Required enrollment in a DWI intervention and treatment program
On top of that, you can expect to pay considerably more for your auto insurance.
How can I save money on my insurance in Dallas?
Other than taking the normal precautions like driving safely, here are some other tips to help you lower your annual auto insurance costs:
- If you have “full coverage” (Comprehensive and Collision coverage) you might want to consider raising your deductible to the highest you can afford. Insurance companies see this as sharing the risk, and will lower your rates accordingly.
- Carpooling, biking, or taking public transportation during peak commute times will keep you off the road during riskier traffic hours and will decrease the chances of you getting into an auto accident.
- If you are a member of the armed forces, an auto club like AAA, or other professional organizations you may be eligible for additional discounts, so it pays to check with your agent.
- If you are a full-time student with a GPA of 3.0 or better, most insurance companies will give you a Good Student Discount which can be as high as 15%.
- Bundling your home/renters insurance with your auto or motorcycle policies will give you the Multi-Policy Discount.
- Keeping your insurance current will afford you a Persistency Discount in most cases.
Finally, the best way to ensure you are always paying the lowest rates is to re-shop your insurance policy at least twice a year. Companies are constantly adjusting their rates in an effort to win new business. Comparison shopping, especially online, is easier than ever!