Cheapest car insurance in Tennessee for 2021

1
Malcolm MacGregor/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

The average cost of car insurance differs with each state. According to our latest research, Tennesseans pay $371 annually for minimum coverage and $1,338 annually for full coverage. While that is below the national average of an annual rate of $1,674 for full coverage, we know that people still want to know how to lower car insurance. Further, with 70% of Tennessee residents driving and a total of 204,673 crashes overall in 2019, it will come as no surprise that insurance is a must-have.

The cheapest car insurance in Tennessee

Finding cheap car insurance in Tennessee that gives great coverage requires a little bit of legwork. However, in Tennessee, the cheapest providers are some of the best car insurance companies in the nation. Our findings indicate that the following five companies offer the cheapest auto insurance in Tennessee on average.

Car insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage
Geico 843 / 1000 $220
USAA 890 / 1000 $310
State Farm 859 / 1000 $328
Erie 874 / 1000 $343
Nationwide 831 / 1000 $392

Geico

Geico is not only the cheapest on our list, but it also has the most discounts. If that is not enough, the discounts may offer a significant amount of savings. Insuring multiple vehicles with Geico may get you a 25% discount, driving without any accidents for five years may get you up to a 26% discount and having air bags for both the driver and the passenger may save you up to 40 percent. However, there are numerous other ways to lower your premium even more. One quick and easy way is to also use Geico for either your renters, homeowners or condo insurance. How much you might save varies, so speak with an insurance agent to learn more if you are interested. Also, consider optional add-on coverage like emergency roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance.

Learn More: Geico Insurance review

USAA

USAA is unique in that it only insures current and retired military, as well as their eligible immediate family members. If this applies to you, you are in luck. USAA has been reported to be one of the most customer-friendly providers on the market. Unfortunately, USAA does not offer many discounts that go beyond the typical ones you will find, but there are benefits that cater to members of the military. For example, if you need to garage your vehicle while you are deployed, USAA may give you up to a 60% discount on your premium.

Learn More: USAA Insurance Review

State Farm

State Farm is a nationally known company for a reason— the premiums are cheap and organizations like J.D. Power consistently give State Farm high customer service ratings. Discounts-wise, State Farm mostly has the standard array of ways drivers can save, including multi-car discounts, anti-theft discounts and accident-free discounts. One standout for safe drivers is the Drive Safe & Save discount, where an app analyzes your driving habits. If State Farm likes what it sees, you may get a discount. With an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, you can also count on State Farm to pay your claims when you file them.

Learn More: State Farm Insurance review

Erie Insurance

Though Erie is almost last on our list cost-wise, do not let that dissuade you from getting a quote if you are interested. According to J.D. Power, Erie is one of the best companies when it comes to customer satisfaction— which means that if you file a claim, you have a high chance of feeling satisfied with your experience. Erie also offers a lot of discounts to get your premium down even further, many of which revolve around young drivers and students. Erie also offers a rate lock, which can freeze your auto premium even if you have to file a claim.

Learn More: Erie Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide makes it easy to customize your policy with add-on coverage that includes gap insurance, roadside assistance and towing and labor coverage, plus classic car insurance for your antique ride. Nationwide also has two usage-based programs for your car insurance, its SmartRide and SmartMiles programs that can save you extra money each month. There is also accident forgiveness with a vanishing deductible and total loss deductible waiver to simplify things if the unthinkable happens.

Learn More: Nationwide Insurance review

Minimum coverage for Tennessee drivers

Tennessee requires its drivers to have 25/50/15 coverage. This means that, at minimum, your basic liability must cover:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury/ death
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury/ death
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage

Insurance companies typically recommend that drivers purchase more liability than this, and for good reason. If you just consider property damage, for example, $15,000 in many situations will not be able to cover many damages you may inflict upon another car. Many new cars on the road cost $20-$30 thousand more. Should you total one of them, you would be expected to pay for any remaining amount out of your own pocket. As such, purchasing more liability insurance than just the required minimum can save you from financial hardship in the long run.

How to get cheap car insurance in Tennessee

While there are some things you cannot control, there are a few things you can do that may help lower the cost of insurance:

  • Shop around: Insurance companies use their own pricing algorithms to determine the true cost of your quote. Typical rate factors include personal information (driving history, type of car, distance travelled, location, etc.), but the importance of each factor is weighed differently with every company.
  • Compare discounts: Once you get quotes, you may want to compare car insurance discounts that work for your policy. You may find that certain providers get less expensive with discounts than they seemed at first look. You might also consider looking at discounts like pay-in-full or auto-pay options and how that will affect your costs.
  • Consider a higher deductible: Some people opt for a higher car insurance deductible to save money on premiums. The obvious downside to doing this is that you will receive less of a payout should something happen.
  • Improve your credit score: A little known fact about car insurance is that your premium is affected by your credit score. You will not be able to improve your credit score overnight, so consider this a part of your long-term game plan.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in Tennessee?

The best car insurance in Tennessee will depend on a variety of factors, including your own personal coverage needs, available discounts, rating factors and customer service scores. Shopping around and comparing quotes and providers will help you to find the best company for you.

What is the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.?

The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $565 annually for minimum coverage, but the average expenditure is $1,674 for a full coverage policy. Drivers in Tennessee currently pay less than these amounts, with an average of $371 for minimum coverage and $1,338 for full coverage.

Is Tennessee a no-fault state?

No, Tennessee is not a no-fault state. This means that as a driver, you will want to have plenty of liability just in case you do cause a major accident. Any amount over your liability coverage will have to be paid out of pocket by you.

Does Tennessee have a lot of uninsured drivers?

Yes, Tennessee does have a lot of uninsured drivers. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Tennessee is the 5th worst state for uninsured motorists. Currently, at least 20% of drivers are driving uninsured.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a cleaning driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Rates are based on 2021 data from Quadrant Information Services.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
Edited by
Insurance Editor