The best car insurance in Tennessee

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Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. She worked for 21st Century Insurance, BlueCross BlueShield Massachusetts, and HealthPass New York. She also spent two years working as a content expert for dozens of auto insurance websites through 360Quote LLC.

Published November 2, 2021

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The average rate for full coverage car insurance in Tennessee is $1,329 per year. The national average rate in the U.S. is $1,652 each year, which means drivers in the Volunteer State pay $323 less for their car insurance than the average American.

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It is important to note, however, that these are averages. Your actual car insurance rates will vary based on a number of factors, including your age, credit score, and driving record. Policygenius can help you compare quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can choose the best policy for you.

Key Takeaways

  • The average rate for full coverage car insurance in Tennessee is $1,329 per year

  • The most expensive cities for car insurance by average cost are Memphis at $1,690 and Bartlett at $1,508

  • The cheapest insurance company in Tennessee is State Farm with an average rate of $755, followed closely by USAA with an average rate of $820

  • Minimum coverage requirements in Tennessee are $25,000 for each injury or death per accident/$50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident and $15,000 for property damage per accident

Cheapest car insurance companies in Tennessee

Every insurance company has their own internal formula for setting their rates, which means two different companies could offer noticeably different rates for the same driver. Comparing quotes from several different companies could save you hundreds of dollars or more on your car insurance.

The table below shows the five cheapest car insurance companies in Tennessee.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

State Farm

$755

881

USAA

$820

890

GEICO

$985

871

Auto-Owners Insurance

$1,021

890

Erie

$1,220

880

Cheapest car insurance companies by age in Tennessee

Car insurance for teens is typically much more expensive than insurance for adults, sometimes by several thousand dollars each year. This is because young drivers are statistically more likely to be in an accident or file a claim than older drivers. 

Most teens see their insurance costs go down as they get into their early twenties, but that is only if they have a clean driving record.

The table below shows the companies with the lowest rates by age in Tennessee:

Age

Cheapest company

Average cost

16

State Farm

$2,675

18

GEICO

$2,030

21

USAA

$1,256

25

State Farm

$898

30

State Farm

$768

35

State Farm

$752

45

State Farm

$745

55

State Farm

$705

Choosing the right car insurance company in Tennessee

Choosing the best car insurance company for you doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. There are several factors to consider, including:

  • Cost: The best way to keep insurance costs low is to get quotes from multiple companies to make sure you are getting the lowest possible rate.

  • Coverage: If you don’t have enough liability coverage you will still be held accountable for damage that goes beyond your coverage levels, so having the highest levels of liability coverage you can afford is an important consideration when choosing an insurance policy.

  • Customer service: The odds are good that you will only contact your insurance company if you are filing a claim. Given how stressful it can be to deal with the aftermath of an accident, choosing a company with stellar customer service can go a long way toward making a difficult situation better.

Policygenius can help you compare quotes and choose the right policy for your needs.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in Tennessee

Your driving history is one of the biggest factors insurance companies use to help determine your rates, which means a single accident or a traffic ticket could have a significant impact on your insurance costs. Avoiding accidents and violations is one of the best ways to keep your insurance costs low.

The chart below shows the average car insurance rates for drivers in Tennessee with speeding tickets or other moving violations:

Violation

State Farm

USAA

GEICO

Auto-Owners Insurance

Erie

At-fault Accident

$899

$1,249

$1,759

$2,268

$1,716

DUI

$834

$1,651

$1,821

$3,103

$2,028

Driving with a suspended license

$834

$1,593

$2,548

$3,103

$1,716

Driving with an open container

$834

$1,162

$1,821

$1,729

$1,404

Driving with expired registration

$834

$1,039

$1,145

$1,043

$1,404

Driving without Lights

$834

$1,039

$1,188

$1,043

$1,404

Failure to show documents

$834

$1,039

$1,145

$1,043

$1,404

Failure to stop at a red light

$834

$1,039

$1,188

$1,043

$1,404

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in Tennessee

Insurance companies in Tennessee can use your credit score to help determine your rates, or even decide whether or not to sell you insurance based on your credit. Drivers with poor credit histories and low credit scores can expect to pay more for their insurance than drivers with high credit scores.

Because of this, working to improve your credit score can save you money on car insurance. The chart below shows the car insurance companies with the lowest average rates for drivers with low credit:

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

GEICO

$1,499

USAA

$1,544

Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance

$1,761

Grange Insurance

$1,896

Nationwide

$1,930

Car insurance costs in Tennessee cities

Every city has a different average rate for car insurance because local factors like crime rates, population density, or the number of accidents in a given area all impact the cost of insurance. Below are the average car insurance rates for the ten largest cities in Tennessee, based on population.

  • Nashville: $1.357

  • Memphis: $1,690

  • Knoxville: $1,278

  • Chattanooga: $1,276

  • Clarksville: $1,309

  • Murfreesboro: $1,273

  • Franklin: $1,217

  • Jackson: $1,362

  • Johnson City: $1,126

  • Bartlett: $1,508

Most places in Tennessee have relatively low insurance costs, but residents in Memphis actually pay more than the national average of $1,652.

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Buying car insurance in Tennessee

If your vehicle is registered in Tennessee, state law says drivers must meet the following minimum liability insurance requirements or have other proof of financial responsibility:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident

  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident

  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

These are just the basic required minimum amounts. However, these limits are relatively low. If you are in an accident that causes more damage than your liability limits will cover, you will be held personally responsible for any costs above and beyond your liability insurance coverage. If you have a car loan or lease a vehicle, you’ll need to have comprehensive and collision insurance as well.

Tennessee is an at fault state, which means that if you cause an accident, you must fully compensate the other driver for any damages to their property or bodily injuries sustained in an accident. Your liability insurance covers the cost of car repairs, other property damage, and medical expenses for the other driver if you are found at fault, but only up to your policy limits. If you don’t have enough liability insurance to cover those damages, expect to pay those additional costs out-of-pocket.

How to get cheap car insurance in Tennessee

Most insurance companies offer Tennessee drivers plenty of ways to save money on your car insurance. These are some of the discounts available from most companies:

  • Good student discount - Students who maintain a B average or higher can earn up to 15% off of their car insurance.

  • Bundling discount - Insurance companies typically offer a substantial discount to customers who combine multiple insurance policies (home, auto, renters, etc.) through the same company.

  • Safe driver discount - Taking a safe driver course can sometimes earn drivers a discount on their insurance, but some companies offer discounts for drivers who maintain a clean driving record for three years or more.

  • Group discount - Insurance discounts are often available based on profession. For example, teachers are often given a discount on their car insurance. Some insurance companies also partner with larger employers and offer discounts as part of an employee benefits package.

  • Low mileage discount - Insurance companies often charge lower rates for drivers who have short commutes.

  • Military discount - Many insurance companies offer a discount to active military members and their families.

Not everyone will qualify for these discounts, but there are other ways to save money on your car insurance. Keeping your driving record clean is the best way to keep your insurance costs low, while improving your credit rating can help save you a significant amount of money on your insurance.

Comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies is another excellent way to make sure you are getting the most affordable policy available.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I drive without car insurance in Tennessee?

Driving without insurance in Tennessee is a Class C misdemeanor. This is punishable by a fine of $300 and the state will suspend your license and car registration until you provide proof of insurance.

What is recommended for car insurance in Tennessee?

Tennessee drivers must have at least the state-required minimum levels of liability coverage, but we also recommend that drivers carry comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage as well. Drivers should also have the highest levels of liability coverage they can afford to protect themselves in case they are at fault in a serious accident.

Why is car insurance so expensive for drivers under 25?

Young drivers are much more likely to be in an accident or file a claim than drivers over the age of 25. Insurance companies charge more for younger drivers to account for the increased risk of insuring them. Taking advantage of student discounts and staying on a parent’s insurance policy is the best way for teen drivers to keep insurance costs low.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.