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Car Insurance in McAllen, TX [Cheap Rates + Best Coverage]

Density2,942 people per square mile
Average Cost of Car Insurance in McAllen$6,803.56
Cheapest Insurance CompanyUSAA
Road ConditionsFair

“Buenos dias, senoras y senores.”

Welcome to the ultimate car insurance guide for the Square Dance Capital of the World—McAllen, Texas. If you’re here, you’re either looking for car insurance for yourself or for a family member.

But you may have found in your research that car insurance is confusing.

There are terms that it seems that you’ll need to know:

  • Personal injury protection
  • Car insurance riders
  • Premiums
  • Hard-braking incident

In your research, you may have found yourself scrunching your forehead.

The information may have given you a headache.

You may have wanted to pound your head against a wall.

We feel your pain.

And better yet—we’ve got you covered.

In this ultimate car insurance guide for McAllen, Texas, we cover everything from coverages to the best companies, from the major highways in McAllen to vehicle theft and fatalities.

It’s your one-stop shop for car insurance, that full-service garage where you get all you need.


Strap on your dancing shoes.

“Ahora, vamos a bailar.”

Ready to compare rates? Try our FREE online tool now.

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in McAllen

So, we all know car insurance helps.

If you’re in an accident, hit an animal, have a window broken when someone tries to steal the radio, car insurance covers these events.

It protects you from a financial disaster.

Everyone needs a car, after all, to get around. But have you ever opened your car insurance letter, seen the bill and go—how did they get that?

You may have gotten angry. My rates went up for what? This is almost 5 percent of my total annual earnings.

We understand.

It goes over all the factors that insurance companies use to determine your insurance rates.

From your gender to your age, from your driving record to your credit history, here is the Cost of Car Insurance in McAllen.

– Male vs. Female vs. Age

Age is a factor insurance companies use to determine your car insurance rate, as insurance companies believe that the older you get, the less likely you are to take risks.

Speeding, driving under the influence, getting into accidents, generally behaving like a risky 18-year-old boy with an invincible attitude.

The median age in McAllen is 32.9, right towards the tail end of the second big drop.

There are two big drops—the first that occurs between 17 and 25, and the second between 25 and 35.

Generally, 60-year-olds or older have the best rates overall.

35601725Cheapest RateCheapest Age

The difference between 17-year-olds and 25-year-olds is $5,166.36

That’s huge. That difference is more than the premiums for the other age groups.

Like age, insurance companies look at your gender when setting rates. Insurance companies believe males are inherently riskier drivers, and they may not be wrong about that.

Male average premium: $4,673.94

Female average premium: $4,410.35

Males have a higher average premium than females, which is expected. However, an increasing number of states are doing away with gender as a factor for determining car insurance rates.

Like age and gender, insurance companies look at marital status to determine your rates.

DemographicRate (Cheapest)
Married 60-year old female$2,787.76
Married 60-year old male$2,961.98
Married 35-year old female$3,024.01
Married 35-year old male$3,119.37
Single 25-year old female$3,682.29
Single 25-year old male$3,900.53
Single 17-year old female$8,147.36
Single 17-year old male$9,768.19

Overall, being married drops your rates. Insurance companies believe a married person is more responsible, more stable, and less likely to take risks.

– Cheapest Zip Codes in McAllen

It may surprise you to learn that zip codes influence car insurance rates. There are instances where a person will move ten minutes away, and their rates will double.

So what are the differences in rates per zip code in McAllen?

Zip CodeAverage Rates

There is about a $100 difference between the cheapest zip code (78501) and the most expensive (78504).

When car insurance companies look at where you live, they analyze:

  • How many claims come from your zip code
  • Are there riskier drivers
  • More accidents
  • More speeding tickets?

Those kinds of things.

Where you live can be the difference between hundreds of dollars in other cities.

– What’s the Best Car Insurance Company in McAllen?

We’ve covered age, sex, marital status, and zip code. There are five others we need to talk about.

Leading off with one everyone wants to know: What are the cheapest car insurance companies?

– Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

Your rates based on your age, gender, and marital status will depend on the company as well. In McAllen, there are seven major companies, each with their own rates based on context:

GroupMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old maleSingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old maleAverage
American Family$3,917.92$4,331.41$3,447.53$3,935.56$9,234.58$12,105.62$5,437.59$6,166.41$6,072.08
State Farm$2,162.64$2,162.64$1,920.35$1,920.35$5,120.01$6,503.36$2,347.64$2,408.08$3,068.13

The averages section is most revealing for looking for the cheapest company:

  • Allstate and American Family are the most expensive with averages around $6,100.
  • State Farm and USAA are the least expensive with averages of $3,060 and $2,900 respectively.
  • Nationwide, GEICO, and Progressive are in the middle.

Averages rates per company may differ for numerous reasons, including:

  • The cost of business, which varies between each company
  • The statistical analysis they use to determine rates
  • How much they believe it will cost for future claims
  • The type of clients a company has, which could influence risk factors and how much the average rate is

Sometimes the cheapest plan is more a reflection of those factors, rather than a plan that has less value.

– Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

How far you drive and how often helps determine your insurance rates.

Generally, the farther you drive each year will get you a higher rate, as there are more opportunities for accidents, speeding tickets, or more serious driving violations.

Men get hit by this the hardest because they drive the most.

Group10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.Average
American Family$6,072.08$6,072.08$6,072.08
State Farm$3,068.13$3,068.13$3,068.13

Three companies change their rates based on how far you drive each year:

  • Allstate ($296.12 difference)
  • GEICO ($147.71)
  • USAA ($75.29)

Commute rates are a little tricky, especially with self-employed workers who need to decide on a designation for their vehicle.

– Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

How does high coverage compare to low coverage?

American Family$6,733.78$5,647.36$5,835.10$6,072.08
State Farm$3,291.30$2,867.92$3,045.18$3,068.13

Sometimes the difference is small: around $300 for Allstate for instance. However, with American Family, the difference is over $1,000.

So, what is the difference between high coverage and low coverage?

The state of Texas has minimum car insurance requirements:

  • $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person
  • $60,000 of coverage for injuries of more than one person
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage.

This is called 30/60/25 coverage.

However, there are other types of coverage that can keep you from a financial catastrophe.

Some of them are:

  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance
  • Personal Injury Protection
  • Classic Car insurance

Just to name a few.

– Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

Your credit history can be good, bad, average, etc. How does it affect your car insurance rates?

American Family$5,228.17$4,525.39$8,462.68$6,072.08
State Farm$2,703.43$2,152.44$4,348.53$3,068.13

If your credit history is bad, your rates go up—significantly. With American Family, that jump is over $4,000. A routine jump from good credit history to bad is $2,000.

Insurance companies look at credit history as a way to determine if you’ll pay them the rates.

A good quote from Credit Karma:

Credit scores are calculated to predict your ability to repay loans, while insurance scores are calculated to predict the likelihood of your making a claim.

Insurance companies look at both.

If you’re struggling with overall debt and want to raise your credit score, here are some strategies.

– Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

Like your credit history, your driving record is used as a factor for determining your car insurance rates.

Insurance companies believe that if you’ve gotten into one accident or have one speeding ticket, you’re likely to get more.

GroupClean recordWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUIWith 1 speeding violationAverage
American Family$5,566.14$7,001.18$6,154.84$5,566.14$6,240.72
State Farm$2,728.71$3,125.48$3,689.64$2,728.71$3,181.28

Allstate, American Family, and State Farm don’t change their rates if you get a speeding ticket.

All others jump up between $300 and $900.

For four companies—Allstate, Nationwide, State Farm, and USAA—DUIs have a bigger penalty than getting in an accident.

The lowest and highest jumps generally between a clean record and a DUI?

$300 (GEICO) and $2,800 (Allstate).

However, for three companies—American Family, GEICO, and Progressive—an accident has the bigger penalty.

The lowest and highest jumps for an accident?

No change for Nationwide and $2,500 (Allstate).

A simple infraction like a speeding ticket can increase by hundreds of dollars. An accident? Expect to pay thousands more in some cases.

Now, those are the major factors in determining your auto insurance rate.

But there are others, more specific to where you’re living.

– Car Insurance Factors in McAllen

You’re a sucker for history. You know all the ins-and-outs of McAllen, the railroad convoy that led to its formation, the industry created with the McAllen Foreign-Trade Zone.

But do you know the statistics—the big ones?

  • Median household income.
  • Education.
  • Wages by gender and race and ethnicity?

These all influence car insurance rates or more importantly—what you, as an individual, are going to pay, based on your income.

Here’s a look at McAllen itself, its residents, and the larger social issues.


– Growth and Prosperity

From 2005 to 2015, the McAllen general metro (McAllen, Edinburg, and Mission) was the 8th fastest-growing metro in the United States?

Overall, prosperity—looked at as productivity, the standard of living, and annual wages—rose during that period.

  • Productivity:+2.9 percent (64th out of 100)
  • Standard of Living: +2.6 percent (47th)
  • Annual Wage: +8.4 percent (39th)

As the McAllen Chamber of Commerce writes:

Growing work opportunities, rising wages, and a flourishing workforce has made McAllen the South Texas city to be in.

Overall, the growth—measured by job growth, gross metropolitan product, and jobs at young firms—generally rose as well.

  • Jobs: +24.5 percent (4th)
  • Gross metropolitan product: +28.1 percent (12th)
  • Jobs at young firms: -4.9 percent (15th)

McAllen has a booming construction industry, partly due to the maquiladora program, which allows certain factories to be tariff-free and cross trade between their locations and Mexican counterparts.

– Median Household Income

Median household income is a benchmark for wealth, with more affluent cities coming in at $60,000 to $70,000 or higher.

The average for McAllen? $45,057.

Most are clustered between $50,000 and $100,000; however, 10.9 percent are beneath $10,000.

Overall, the median household income for 44,000 households decreased from $45,568 to $45,057 from 2016 to 2017.

Now, with this number ($45,057), how much are residents of McAllen paying for car insurance?

Based on the average premium ($6,803.56): 15.1 percent.

That’s a fairly high amount, which can be influenced by driving records, credit histories, and other topics we have talked about it.

Factors included in the next few sections—homeownership, education, poverty levels—can also influence it.

To determine your premium as a percentage of income, plug your information in this calculator:


– Homeownership in McAllen

Homeownership signifies more than just wealth and equity.

When it comes to your car insurance, owning a house can actually lower your rates, as insurance companies look at owning a home as a sign of stability, financially in particular.

Owning a home, making monthly mortgage payments, having a stable job all signal to an insurance company that you will make your payments.

It also generally means you have disposable income or enough cash flow to make consistent payments, especially if the property value is above a certain level.

The median property value in McAllen is $120,500. This is up from $117,500 in 2016.

Most of those properties are valued between $100,000 and $150,000, with about an even spread lower and higher than those numbers.

In 2017, 59.6 percent of homes in McAllen were owner-occupied; meaning, renters occupied the other 40.4 percent.

  • This is lower than Hidalgo County as a whole, with 67.5 percent.
  • And lower than the United States as a whole with 63.8 percent.

While homeownership nets the larger discount from insurance companies, renting isn’t bad either. It assumes you have a stable financial situation and a level of responsibility.

– Education in McAllen

Education has a big impact on rates, with one publication stating about a Consumer Federation of America study:

… white-collar professionals with a college degree pay up to 45 percent less for insurance than blue-collar workers with no more than a high-school diploma.

McAllen has a few post-secondary schools, the largest being the South Texas College, which has its main campus in McAllen.

Others include the South Texas Vocational Technical Institute and Brightwood College.

In 2016, 6,081 total degrees were awarded, with the three leading schools being:

  • South Texas College (5,819)
  • Brightwood College (380)
  • South Texas Vocational Technical Institute (344)

The most common were:

  • General Business Administration and Management (134 degrees awarded)
  • Healthcare Administration and Management (79 degrees awarded)

Bachelor’s degrees only netted 239 degrees in 2016, while 1-2 year post-secondary degrees were much higher.

The leaders were:

  • Medical assistant (300 degrees awarded)
  • Dental Assisting (184 degrees awarded)
  • General Cosmetology (145 degrees awarded)

The preference of 1-2 year post-secondary degrees over bachelor’s degrees may be due to the low wages in McAllen overall, as well as the poverty rate, which we’ll get to in a moment.

– Wage by Race & Ethnicity in Common Jobs

Being a certain race, in a certain job, can be correlated in some cities with how much you make. In some cases, that difference between races is small; in other cases, it is large.

The highest averages according to race are:

  • Asians ($64,947)
  • White ($52,072)
  • American Indian ($45,538)

How much you make influences the percentage of income you’ll pay on your premium, and that varies between races.

EthnicityMiscellaneous ManagersPremium as % of IncomeDriver/Sales Workers & Truck DriversPremium as % of Income
Two or More Races$89,7147.58%$40,90716.63%
American Indian$74,9009.08%$41,19516.52%
Other Native American$60,67711.21%$35,78719.01%
Native Hawaiian$46,95914.49%$38,58717.63%

Within miscellaneous managers, there is a steep drop-off from the highest average earning race (Asians) to the lowest (Native Hawaiians).

As such, the amount they pay for premiums as a percentage of their incomes fluctuates a great deal (6.3 percent to 14.5 percent).

Within driver/sales workers and truck drivers, there is a smaller range per average earnings for all races, though the income is much less.

The spread for premiums as a percentage of income vary from 14.6 percent (other) to 20.7 percent (Asians).

20.7 percent is certainly a steep price to pay as a percentage of your income, even for car insurance.

Fortunately, factors here are balanced, as someone earning less money will likely go with a lower-costing insurance plan.

– Wage by Gender in Common Jobs

In McAllen, the average male and female salaries are:

  • Male: $64,593
  • Female: $45,959

This is disappointing, although the gender pay gap is well-documented.

Women make 79 cents to the dollar that men make and have lesser salaries even in female-dominated occupations like teaching.

Females earn lower for all five categories, with miscellaneous managers being the largest gap.

OccupationMale SalaryPremium as % of IncomeFemale SalaryPremium as % of Income
Miscellaneous Managers$113,9245.97%$79,7348.53%
Elementary & Middle School Teachers$51,74613.15%$46,59114.60%

That gap is high within managerial positions ($34,000), but less so within the teaching profession ($5,000).

The percentages of income paid for car insurance premiums vary significantly:

  • 2.56 percent for miscellaneous managers
  • 1.45 percent for elementary and middle school teachers

Fortunately, there are many people working to close this pay gap and organizations have published lists of resources to guide companies as well.

– Poverty by Age and Gender

McAllen has a poverty problem, with 25.2 percent of people falling under the poverty line.

That is well above the national average of 13.4 percent.

Poverty can be attributed to many factors, including poor education, lack of infrastructure, and lack of access (or money) for nutritious food.

There are certain disadvantages as well, such as being a certain age or gender.

Sadly, like with the wage gap, females lead males in overall poverty percentage:

  • Females lead in every age bracket after 15
  • Females have the largest demographic living in poverty (7.63 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds)

Unfortunately, the Rio Grande communities are experiencing some of the worst poverty in the country.

There are thoughts this might be due to industry:

… lower-income metro areas tend have lots of low-tech manufacturing, agriculture, retail, food service, and hospitality positions.

Whereas richer metros have a lot of high-tech, finance and information workers

The growth and prosperity report suggests it’s getting better, however, which could continue to improve with more businesses opening in the metro area.

– Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

Poverty can also be looked at within the categories of races and ethnicities. Keep in mind that 96 percent of people in McAllen identify as Hispanic or white, which may tilt the numbers.

Hispanics are the primary race/ethnicity in poverty at a 48.7 percent share.

Whites follow next at a 38.6 percent share.

Overall, whites and Hispanics are actually below their population demographic percentage, with the Other category represented disproportionally.

– Employment by Occupations

There are a lot of occupations here vying for percent share in total jobs in McAllen, which grew from 57,700 to 58,600.

The most common jobs breakdown like this:

  • Sales and related occupations (8,184 people)
  • Office and administrative support occupations (7,586)
  • Education, training, and library occupations (6,285)

There is a strong demand for education, training, and library occupations, which is unusual to see as a top-three category.

The highest paying jobs by median income?

  • Health diagnosing and treating practitioners or other technical occupations ($74,920)
  • Legal occupations ($74,421)
  • Architecture and engineering occupations ($69,333)

The highest-paying jobs are outliers, as most residents make much closer to the average of $45,057, which is fairly low compared to the United States overall.

Certainly, nearby Mission city employees think wages should be higher.

Fortunately, some progress in the metro area has been made.

Driving in McAllen

You’re driving down Nolana Avenue, on your way to eat some delicious chicken from El Pollo Loco, when you see a pothole muy grande in the middle of your lane.

You serve, but your tire hits the hole.


This and many other incidents happen daily on city roads.

If you’ve been there—and we all have at one point—you may remember the frustration.

We understand.

It’s hard to figure out:

  • The fastest route to a restaurant
  • The highway with the fewest potholes
  • Where the speed traps are in your city

That’s what we’re here for—to cover these topics and more.

– Roads in McAllen

If you are moving to McAllen or even live there, you may have some of these questions:

  • What are the major highways?
  • What are the conditions of the roads?
  • Does McAllen use speeding or red light cameras?

The answers can be tough to find, but we’ve got them all here.


– Major Highways

There are just five major highways running through McAllen, with most varying between 15 and 47 miles.

Interstate/HighwayLength (Miles)Toll (Yes/No)
Interstate 246.80No
U.S. 831,885.00No
State Highway 10746.09No
State Highway 33614.51No
State Highway 49517.74No

Of these five, US-83 deserves a special mention:

It was ranked 37th in the worst trafficked highways by the Daily Beast.

Said Mario Jorge, of the Texan Department of Transportation:

“It’s a very densely-used interchange, and you’re going to have those peak hour congestion problems. The question is at what point do we spend to fix it, but first we’ve got to find the funds.”

The speed of the highway at its worst bottleneck?

28 miles per hour.

The good news is that none of these roads are toll roads.

However, Texas has 25 toll roads stretching throughout the state, the largest amount for one state in the country. You might encounter one if you travel.

So what do you do?

There are three tags you can get when traveling through taxes, depending on the area you’re traveling through

The first is the TxTag. As they write:

TxTag works like a prepaid phone card or gift card. With a TxTag account, you prepay your tolls. You can easily check your toll expenses and account balance or make payments to your account online or by phone.

They give you a tag, which is placed on your front windshield behind the rearview mirror.

When you pass through the toll station, the electronic reader makes note of your tag and the money is deducted from the account.

It works for select toll roads in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

The second is TollTag. It is given by the North Texas Highway Authority. It works just like the TxTag—you load it through a card and pay as you go.

The third is EZ Tag, which works like the other two.

It can be used in Harris County and wherever the other two are used.

Lastly, if this is too complicated or confusing (and it can be), you can just use ZipCash,

In this case, there is no tag. The reader just takes a picture of your license plate at the toll section and sends you a bill.

It’s a little more expensive, but maybe less hassle.

Now, onto popular trips and road sites.

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– Popular Road Trips/Sites

What are the road trip sites from McAllen?

We’ve got you covered:

  • South Padre Island: Located in Camden County, South Padre Island is a barrier island, with opportunities for water sports, dolphin watching, horseback riding, and fishing. There are numerous fishing tournaments, including the Hooters tournament and the Redfish Rodeo.
  • Bentson-Rio Grande Valley State Park: If you love birds, this is your place. Considered one of the top bird-watching sites in the country, the Bentson-Rio Grande Valley State Park has 797 acres of bird watching. Bird watchers look at the park for “Valley Specialties” or tropical birds found nowhere else in the United States. It’s a great introduction to nature and bird watching.
  • Los Ebanos Ferry: Take a trip west on U.S. 83 and back in time, as you come across the last hand-operated cable ferry across the Rio Grande River. Built in the 1800s when there were few bridges crossing the Rio Grande, today it takes curious adventurers across the river to the Mexican city Gustavo Diaz Ordaz in the state of Tamaulipas.
  • Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX: It would make sense to keep all these destinations in the United States (though the ferry obviously crosses over to Mexico) but for anyone with a passport (card or book), Mexico is right on the doorstep, across a river. The closest city? Monterrey, which some say has the best quality of life in Mexico. Go to the Macroplaza, climb the Cerro de la Silla, or grab a beer at the Barrio Antiguo, there are plenty of things to do.

There are plenty more out there as well, from beaches to nature reserves and even the northern parts of Texas (Austin, San Antonio) to see.

– Road Conditions

Remember that pothole?

Road conditions can cause a great deal of damage to a car, driving repair rates and maintenance costs up. And much of the time, you won’t be compensated by the city.

Poor ShareMediocre ShareFair ShareGood ShareVehicle Operating Costs

The majority of roads in McAllen are good. However, 52 percent are in the mediocre or poor categories.

So what does a poor condition road look like?

The answer according to this source:

  •  Shoulders that are not visibly distinct
  •  Poor drainage that can result in ponding and hydroplaning
  •  Dangerous street drop-offs, like ravines or cliffs
  •  Poorly placed signs and traffic signals
  •  Pavement with inadequate skid resistance

Knowing the roads in your city helps, and you can always write a strongly worded letter to your city councilmember.

– Does Your City Use Speeding or Red Light Cameras?

Speeding or red light cameras can put a damper on a ride.

And they’re controversial as well:

Does McAllen use them?

The resounding answer: No, at least since June.

In that month, the governor of Texas Greg Abbott signed a bill that banned red light cameras (and technically speeding cameras according to the language in the bill).

There have been a lot of views that red light cameras capture bogus offenses and are simply unconstitutional.

More and more states are rolling them back.

– Vehicles in McAllen

How many vehicles per household is just one part of this section:

  • How many households are without a car?
  • Are there speed traps in McAllen, and if so, what are they?
  • What are the rates on vehicle theft?

Bear with us, we know this is a lot of information.

However, this information can keep you safe.

– How Many Car Per Household

Cars per household can signify wealth in a community. The more cars per household there are in a community, the more affluent and wealthy it is.

The largest category for McAllen is two cars with 42.3 percent of the households in McAllen. Households with one car or three cars are split nearly evenly: 22.2 and 21.5 percents respectively.

– Households Without a Car

Generally, communities—like McAllen—with a high poverty rate have more households without cars.

2015 Households without Vehicles2016 Households without Vehicles2015 Vehicles per Household2016 Vehicles per Household

Approximately 7.6 percent of households in 2016 don’t own a car, which is up from 6.9 percent in 2015.

Why is this important?


  • Cars offer opportunity, giving people the option to get to any place they want to quickly.
  • This means working a job that is 25 miles away (or not having to take public transport to get there).
  • This is especially true in a metro area like McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, which has good square mileage.

Not having a car occurs more often with households under the poverty line. This makes it more difficult to break that hold poverty has.

Fortunately, the IRS understands this problem and has offered a Premium Tax Credit for households completely under the poverty line, which can help reimburse individuals for mileage.

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has also started a grant program for entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty in the city.

– Speed Traps in Your City

Is there a worse feeling (aside from an accident) when you’re going around the bend, humming along to Gente de Zona, and you see a cop with a radar gun?

Those lights kick on, they pull up behind you.


So, what are the speed traps in McAllen, just so you can avoid them? has a database: They allow users to submit speed traps and have people vote to verify or discredit them.

The good news?

McAllen is not rated in the top 10 Texas cities for speed traps.

Buenas noticias.

However, there are quite a few speed traps listed.

Some of them are:

Yes, some of these are dated. But often, cities don’t change, and neither does the speed traps.

– Vehicle Theft in McAllen

Getting your vehicle stolen can be a stressful time, even if you’re not in the car.

So, how many vehicle thefts are there in McAllen?

And what are the safest neighborhoods?

Let’s take a look.

AreaMotor Vehicle Theft (Total)Motor Vehicle Theft Rate
United States773,1392.37

Really, really good news.

In 2017, just 46 vehicles were stolen in McAllen. The motor vehicle theft rate (.32) is significantly smaller than the rate for the U.S. at large (2.37).

McAllen Total CrimesViolentPropertyTotal
Number of Crimes2084,0074,215
Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)128.0829.54

In general, 30 people out of 1,000 will likely be the victim of a crime (1 for violent crime, 29 for property crime).

That’s not bad.

AreaMurder (Total)Murder RateRobbery (Total)Robbery RateAssault (Total)Assault Rate
United States17,2840.05319,3560.98810,8252.49

With the exception of the murder rate, which is even with the national rate, violent crime rates are significantly lower than for the U.S. as a whole.

Still, it never hurts to be safe.

These are the safest neighborhoods in McAllen according to Neighborhood Scout, which uses FBI data.

For vehicle theft, there are certain ways you can protect yourself (and your car):

– Traffic

So, we’ve gone through companies. We’ve gone through coverages. We’ve gone through highways and vehicles.

What’s next?

We have a good one here for you, as it relates to just about anyone.

  • What is the traffic like in McAllen?
  • How safe are McAllen’s streets and roads?
  • What are your fellow drivers like?

Welcome to Traffic in McAllen.

Square up and choose another dance partner. It’s time to beat the traffic jam.

– Traffic Congestion in Texas

Traffic, in Texas in general, is not bad, with no major city ranking higher than 179 (Austin) on TomTom’s global list.

TomTom is a company that strives to help cities overcome challenges to mobility, ranking over 400 cities across six continents.

Where does McAllen rank?

329 for 2018.

Here are some numbers which are particularly helpful:

  • +8/27 percent: the number of minutes added to a 30-minute morning commute and the percentage of congestion
  • +11/36 percent: the number of minutes added to a 30-minute evening commute and the percentage of congestion
  • 14 percent/17 percent: The percentage of congestion on highways and non-highways respectively
  • December 25: The best traffic day
  • March 2: The worst

This is good for news for people living in McAllen.

A tough commute can cause some frustration, some grinding of teeth and a bad headache.

But in McAllen (except for US-83, as mentioned earlier), you should be good to go.

– Transportation

There are two parts of transportation that we look at in this section:

Commute time and commuter method of transportation.

Commute time can be based on many factors, including the number of people in a city, the amount of road space available, the conditions of the roads, the frequency of accidents, and more.

The average commute time for people living in McAllen is 19.1 minutes, and the majority of people’s commute times are between 10 minutes and 24 minutes.

Very rarely does a commute go longer than 34 minutes.

This average time is significantly shorter than the average commute for a U.S. worker (25.1 minutes).

Now, we know how long it takes people in McAllen to get to work, but how are they getting there?

In many cities, commuter transportation can be through a rail train or (in the case of New York City) a subway.

That’s rarer when you get outside of the larger cities, in which people then use cars mostly. McAllen isn’t much different.

The stat breakdown:

  • The majority (76.7 percent) drove to work alone.
  • 11.6 percent carpooled and 4.82 percent were in the other category.
  • 4.33 percent worked from home.

Overall, people get to work quickly in McAllen and do so by driving.

– How Safe Are McAllen’s Streets and Roads?

Road fatalities can be a grim topic; that much is certain.

But certain areas have trends where you can spot the trouble zones. In some cities, that might be intersections. In others, roadway departures.

So, what about McAllen’s streets and roads?

For this, we used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report, which looks at traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2017.

We used Hidalgo County, where McAllen is located, for the statistics.

Type of Fatality20132014201520162017Total
Fatalities (Total)6565677560332
Single Vehicle3547405139212
Roadway Departure1937344029159
Passenger Car1622272017102

McAllen had 332 total traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2017.

The three highest categories are:

  • Single-vehicle crash fatality: 212 deaths
  • Roadway departure crash fatality: 159 deaths
  • Alcohol-impaired crash fatality: 144 deaths

Some of the categories can overlap, or a single crash can be classified into multiple categories.

It’s not necessarily surprising that single-vehicle crashes or road departures make up two of the largest categories.

Hidalgo is very rural in parts, and as the Federal Highway Administration has noted, a disproportionate amount of crashes happen in rural country compared to how many people live there, and two-thirds are roadway departures.

There are some big spikes in-between years (roadway departure between 2013 and 2014; single vehicle between 2013 and 2014).

In general, however, the categories stay fairly level for the five-year period.

The biggest upward trend?

Roadway departure from 19 in 2013 to 29 in 2017.

The kind of road is also associated sometimes with road fatalities.

Highways and interstates have a higher allowed speed but perhaps require easier driving. Arterial roads (roads that lead to highways and interstates) present more challenges.

Road TypeFatal Crashes
Rural Interstate176
Urban Interstate402
Other Highway982
Minor Arterial652
Collector Arterial600
Other Arterial261

The largest classified category is minor arterial roads, which can have a speed limit up to 45 miles per hour.

These roads often require constant braking, turning options, lights or stop signs, and some questionable decisions by drivers.

– Allstate’s America’s Best Drivers Report

Allstate does a report every year looking at the drivers in 200 cities, ranking them according to numerous factors, such as:

  • The number of claims filed
  • The number of hard-braking incidents they have
  • How those two numbers are controlled against precipitation and population density.

McAllen does well:

2018 Best Drivers Report RankingAverage Years Between ClaimsRelative Claim Likelihood (Compared to National Average)2018 After Controlling for Population Density

McAllen drivers are ranked 10th in the nation and even higher when controlled for population density.

There are 11 and a half years between claims, well above the national average and McAllen residents are 13.4 percent less likely to file a claim compared to the rest of the nation.

– Ridesharing

Whether you don’t have a car, or yours is in the shop, ridesharing provides an option (sometimes economically) to get from place to place.

To take a look at ridesharing services in McAllen, we’re going to take a hypothetical trip: McAllen International Airport to the International Museum of Art and Science.

The trip is 4.7 mile and takes 12 minutes.

Here are your options, courtesy of Ride Guru:

  • Lyft: Regular ($9) | Plus ($16)
  • Uber: X ($9) | XL ($16)
  • Carmel: (cost is unavailable)

Not many, but Uber and Lyft are operational in McAllen, which can make it easy to get around.

– E-star Repair Shops

When you purchase insurance through, you get access to their E-star repair program.

This pairs you with qualified repair shops around the country.

There’s just one near McAllen, and it’s a 50-mile drive to Brownsville:

Name of FacilityAddressContact Information
TIPOTEX CHEVROLET1600 N. EXPRESSWAYemail: [email protected]
BROWNSVILLE TX 78521P: (956) 983-1875
F: (956) 983-1864

Still, with this program, you get daily photos to see how the repair process is going.

They promise high-quality service in state of the art facilities, as well as the use of EPA and environmentally friendly products.

Pues, that closes the section on traffic.

Winded yet?

Catch your breath.

The next five sections cover important parts of McAllen:

  • Weather, air quality, public transport, and more.

Put on some Maluma.

Let’s keep it rolling.

– Weather

McAllen has a subtropical climate with long, humid summers and brief, warm winters. There is a wet season from May to October and a dry season from November to April.

Temperature FactsDetails
Annual High85.9°F
Annual Low65.3°F
Average Temperature75.6°F

Overall, the annual temperatures range just 20 degrees, with the low a mild 65 degrees and the high a balmy 85 degrees.

Weather FactsDetails
Average Sunshine223 days
Average Annual Rainfall22.24 inches

There are just 22 inches of rainfall, most of which occurs from May to October, during the wet season. The city receives 223 days of sunlight each year.

There is a general concern in McAllen for natural disasters, however. From

The number of natural disasters in Hidalgo County (19) is greater than the US average (13).

A sitting president has declared 12 of these 19 major disasters, while seven have been declared as emergencies.

What are the causes?

  • Hurricanes: 12
  • Floods: 5
  • Storms: 4
  • Tornadoes: 3
  • Winds: 3
  • Fire: 1
  • Heavy Rain: 1
  • Tropical Storm: 1

Also, note, some of these disasters can fit into multiple categories.

Hurricanes are the most prevalent natural disasters in Hidalgo County, with 12. What are some steps you can take to protect yourself?

– Public Transit

If you don’t have a car, there are other ways to get around other than ridesharing companies.

First, to get around the city, there is Metro McAllen, which used to be the McAllen Express Transit.

As they write on their site:

Metro McAllen currently operates seven intracity bus routes and a paratransit bus service for eligible patrons. The bus system hubs out of the downtown terminal facility where passengers can connect to … [almost any] destination

The fares are simple:

  • $1 per ride for adults
  • No cost for children
  • 50 cent discount for those with disabilities, on Medicare, are seniors or students

Hours of operation are 6 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday, and 8 am to 6 pm on Sunday.

The other is Valley Metro, which operates (and can move you around) five counties in the Rio Grande Valley community.

Those counties are:

  • Hidalgo
  • Cameron
  • Willacy
  • Starr
  • Zapata

Fares are the same as Metro McAllen, with the exception that veterans are added to the 50 cent discount.

Transfers from one bus to another free, and there is curbside pick-up for those within .5 miles of a stop. They have multiple maps available, including one with routes throughout the five counties.

– Parking in Metro Areas

There are numerous places to park in McAllen, including a downtown city parking garage that’s open 24/7.

Parking in McAllen is now under the governance of ParkMobile, which allows people to pay for parking on their mobile devices for more than 1,500 city spaces.

There are at least six public lots throughout the city, as well as ample street parking. Parking can be as low as (free) or 25 cents for paid spots.

Good news for veterans with these designations:

  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Medal of Honor Recipients
  • Pearl Harbor Survivors
  • Former POWs
  • Purple Heart Recipients

If you have any of those, you can park in any spot for free.

– Air Quality in McAllen

Bad air quality can lead to smog, messed up lungs, headaches, and more.

In large cities, this is a common problem, while in smaller cities (even metros) like McAllen, it seems to be minor, if non-existent.

The Environmental Protection Agency does an Air-Quality Index every year that ranks dozens of cities and metros around the country for air-quality.

This index categorizes days from good to very unhealthy.


For this statistical analysis, we looked at the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area.

Overall, most days are good, with a chunk coming in as moderate.

There are just five days out of the three years listed as unhealthy:

  • One in 2016
  • Four in 2018

The even worse categories were irrelevant for McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.

So what does bad air quality look like taken to its extreme?


Life as a servicemember can be difficult—the moving around, the types of jobs, never knowing if you’ll be deployed.

But you know what shouldn’t be difficult?

Finding your car insurance.

This section is for military and veterans—and anyone that wants to learn more about the military presence in McAllen.

Questions answered:

  • What are the demographics of veterans per service period in McAllen?
  • What are military bases nearby?
  • What the military discounts by company?
  • What are the rates of USAA compared to others?


– Veterans by Service Period

Who served when for military vets in McAllen?

As you can see, the majority of veterans served in Vietnam, followed by the two Gulf Wars.

  • Vietnam: 1,390 veterans
  • Gulf War (2001): 744
  • Gulf War (1990s): 643

Overall, a higher percentage of veterans from the Korean and Gulf wars live in McAllen compared to the rest of the country.

– Military Bases within an Hour

There are no close-close military bases to McAllen, but the Naval Air Station Base at Corpus Christi is about two and a half hours away.

Built in 1941, the base was home to some of the most distinguished Naval pilots, including thousands of aviators in World War 2.

Today, it functions as a training facility, where 400 Naval servicemembers graduate as aviators each year.

It is also home to the world’s largest helicopter repair facility.

– Military Discounts by Providers

It turns out, just one: GEICO at 15 percent (must be an active or retired)

There’s also still USAA.

– USAA Available in State

It’s already established that USAA has the cheapest rates by some of the demographics in the first section.

Now, how do they compare to others overall?

GroupAverage PremiumDifference (+/-)Difference (%)
American Family$4,848.72$805.4419.92%
State Farm$2,879.94-$1,163.34-28.77%

Clearly, better in terms of price, at 38 percent (or $1,555) cheaper than the average.

They are $400 cheaper than the second-lowest company (State Farm) and $3,000 less expensive than the highest-priced (Allstate).

USAA also offers discounts for everything from vehicles to retail items.

Unique City Laws

Every city has unique laws. Some of them are strange; others are just odd. Some of them are from the 1800s.

Here, we’re going to take a look at four categories:

  • Hands-Free Laws
  • Food Trucks
  • Tiny Homes
  • Parking Laws

All have their unique laws, whether city or state.

– Hands-Free Laws

McAllen follows the laws of the State of Texas, which state that texting while driving is banned (as of September 2017).

There, as of yet, appears to be no handheld ban in McAllen, meaning you are still able to use your electronic device while driving, just not for sending, writing, or reading messages.

Texting and driving has been banned in most states because it leads to distracted driving, which hundreds of thousands of injuries each year from car accidents. In general:

  • 390,000 injuries each year are caused by texting while driving
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving

There are many PSAs out there about the dangers of texting and driving:

– Food Trucks

Food trucks have become more popular, both with earning an income and beginning your foray to opening a restaurant.

To take a look at the laws governing food trucks in McAllen, we need to take a look at the city code.

There, food trucks are categorized as mobile food vendors and must fill out (and have approved) an application for a permit before doing business.

There’s a fee of $300 for the first time and every year for renewal.

There are three reasons an application might be denied:

  • The person has unpaid civil judgments
  • The person has committed a crime related to their occupation
  • The person’s information is incorrect or the information shows that a person is unsuited for the job

The food truck business is doing well in McAllen, to the point they have a mobile food truck park in downtown McAllen.

They boast of it as the first mobile food park in South Texas.

And as of October 2018, they were planning to loosen some restrictions as well.

– Tiny Homes

There is scant information out there about the legality of tiny homes in McAllen (a quick search of tiny homes in the city code reveals nothing).

However, there are some general thoughts about Texas.

  • When it comes to building a tiny home, it may not be expressly illegal, but it may conflict with land-uses.
  • Therefore, it is always important to check with your local planning or zoning board.
  • Often, what you want to use the tiny home for determines its classification, whether it’s approved, or what taxes you’ll pay.
  • A tiny home being used as a hunting cabin might be very different than one being used for an art studio.

Also, if it is going to be a residence (from NOLO):

If your tiny house meets the definition of a new residential structure, you may have to get a building permit and comply with the building code.

So a great deal varies according to the use of the tiny home, what the land-uses are for the property you’re building on, and your local ordinances.

With McAllen, that last part is a little uncertain.

Never hesitate to reach out directly to your councilmember or zoning board.

– Parking Laws

The City of McAllen has a whole article in its code devoted to parking ordinances (ordinance being law at the local level) and over 10 pages of search results for their mini-search engine.

Some quick highlights:

  • It is illegal to park/block an alley
  • When parking side-street, you must always be parallel with the curb
  • It is illegal to park in a public way for more than 48 hours
  • Any vehicle with more than .5 per ton of carrying capacity cannot be parked in angle parking spots
  • Any vehicle longer than 20 feet cannot be parked in a parking meter space

There are many more.

If you violate these ordinances, your vehicle could be impounded.

McAllen Car Insurance FAQS

– What happens if I get into an accident in McAllen?

Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that if you are found to be at-fault in an accident, you (or your insurance company) is liable for any property damage incurred in the accident or any medical bills for injuries to the other person or persons. Your insurance company will cover as much as your policy allows.

– What is the minimum coverage in McAllen?

It was covered earlier but worth repeating: In Texas, the minimum coverage is 30/60/25, meaning you must have coverages of $30,000 to cover the injuries to one person, $60,000 to cover the injuries of more than one person, and $25,000 to cover property damage.

Not having the minimum coverage can lead to paying a fine and suspension of your driver’s license.

– What other languages, if any, should I know when moving to McAllen?

According to, over 80 percent of the residents of McAllen identify as Hispanic or Latino, with 76 percent of residents speaking Spanish or Spanish Creole.

Knowing Spanish may help get you around from place to place, and there are certainly many free options for learning, including the new wave of mobile apps.

– If I’m a high-risk driver, how can I get coverage?

Often, you’re labeled a high-risk driver if you’ve engaged in reckless behavior—getting a DUI, too many speeding violations, or other moving violations—or if you’ve driven (and been caught) without having insurance.

In these cases, you’ll likely have to have an SR-22, which is a certificate of insurance. If you can’t find an insurance company willing to give you one, try the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association. They are the last resort for high-risk drivers.

– What is there to do in McAllen?

Check out the International Museum of Art and Science, visit Quinta Mazatlan (a Spanish revival mansion), go to the McAllen Heritage Center (set in a 1930s post office), observe the birds and wildlife at the many parks, speak Spanish with the locals, eat amazing Mexican food, and enjoy the blissfully nice driving, which can’t be found in many other places.

Eso es todo!

Now you should be equipped to make an informed decision about buying car insurance in McAllen, Texas.

Clear eyes, full hearts.

Happy driving.

Hasta luego.

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