Best cheap car insurance in Knoxville

1
GreenStock/Getty Images

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

Knoxville, Tennessee offers its residents plenty of college football fun and beautiful mountain views. It also offers cheap car insurance, with minimum coverage averaging $390 per year and full coverage averaging $1,304 — well-below the national average of $565 and $1,674, respectively. But Knox County also had 42 fatal crashes in 2019 out of the 374 overall in the state of Tennessee, further highlighting the critical need for a comprehensive, well-rounded auto insurance policy.

Bankrate reviewed a number of carriers to discover which ones offer the cheapest car insurance in Knoxville based on a sample of each company’s 2021 quoted premiums.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Knoxville

There are a multitude of options when it comes to car insurance companies in Knoxville, but choosing the best takes careful review. Bankrate analyzed several based on rates from Quadrant Information Services, 2020 J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings, discounts and coverages available, plus financial strength. Based on this information, there are a handful of carriers that excel in these categories. Many of these companies even offer coverage below the average cost of car insurance in Knoxville.

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Southeast Region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Grange N/A $252 $964
USAA 909 / 1,000 $341 $1,118
Safe Auto N/A $357 $1,660
State Farm 835 / 1,000 $377 $1,143

Grange

Grange, a regional carrier founded in 1935, operates with an agent network. Grange features a long list of discounts available, ranging from good grades and away at school, to loyalty savings and bundling. Coverages are equally varied too, with both standard coverages and more personalized options available. Add-ons such as full glass repair, pet injury and rental car reimbursement are a few ways to round out your policy with Grange.

Learn more: Grange insurance review

USAA

USAA provides insurance exclusively to current or former members of the military and their immediate family members. In addition to low premiums. USAA offers some of the highest customer ratings in the industry, scoring 909 out of 1,000 in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study and an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best. USAA offers numerous coverage and discount options, several of which are geared towards military personnel, such as a reduction in premiums while deployed.

Learn more: USAA insurance review

Safe Auto

Safe Auto was founded in 1993 and now offers insurance products in 28 states, including Tennessee. The company may be one of the best car insurance companies in Knoxville for drivers needing an affordable policy, like low-income families. Safe Auto specializes in issuing auto insurance coverage to traditionally high-risk drivers, such as those who were denied by other carriers. Coverage options include the standard coverages, plus SR-22 and full coverage policies. Safe Auto offers discounts too, to help save further on your premiums.

Learn more: Safe Auto insurance review

State Farm

Whether you purchase your car insurance in Knoxville online, via a mobile app, over the phone or work directly with an agent, State Farm offers all of these methods to fit your preference. State Farm also offers a wide variety of coverages and discounts, including rideshare coverage and rental car reimbursement. State Farm not only offers strong customer service ratings, scoring 835 out of 1,000 J.D. Power points, but has an A++ (Superior) rating with AM Best, showcasing its financial strength too.

Learn more: State Farm insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Knoxville

Knoxville’s average cost of a minimum coverage policy averages $390 per year, while a full policy averages $1,304 per year. Compare this to Tennessee, where the overall state average is $371 annually for minimum coverage, and $1,338 for a full coverage policy, and you will find the rates are a bit varied.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $236 $915
USAA $341 $1,118
Nationwide $356 $1,065
Travelers $375 $1,073
Erie $377 $1,569

Geico, USAA, Nationwide and Travelers are all national carriers offering competitive rates plus a wide range of coverage options and discounts in Tennessee, including the city of Knoxville. Erie, although smaller in size, offers big savings too, plus enough coverage options and discounts to compete with national carriers. Erie also relies on a strong agent network, with over 13,000 agents to service 12 states.

Knoxville insurance requirements

When buying car insurance, Knoxville drivers are required to follow the state’s car insurance laws. The state of Tennessee requires minimum auto insurance, and those who fail to purchase it could face serious fines and license suspension. Tennessee requires liability coverage of 25/50/15, which includes:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability or death per accident
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability or death per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

While only purchasing the minimum to fit within your budget may be tempting, doing so could leave you financially vulnerable. For instance, Tennessee ranks third in the nation for the most uninsured motorists — almost 24% of drivers do not carry insurance. If you are involved in an accident with someone who does not carry insurance, and they are the at-fault driver, having added uninsured motorist coverage to your policy helps cover your medical expenses and lost wages.

Car insurance discounts in Knoxville

While average premiums in Knoxville are below the national average, taking advantage of as many discounts as possible is a great way to save even further on your premiums. Knoxville residents should consider looking for additional discounts, including:

  • Good student: Whether you are a high school student, enrolled at the University of Tennessee or any other school, you could qualify for an additional discount if your grades are good.
  • Paid-in-full: If possible, pay your premiums all at once, instead of in monthly installments. You could save money by avoiding added installment fee charges and possibly late payments, as well as a possible discount for upfront payment.
  • Safety equipment: If your car is equipped with safety features such as airbags or an anti-theft system, then ask about reduced premiums for added safety equipment.
  • Bundling: Purchasing your auto insurance policy with the same carrier you purchase your homeowners/renters insurance from means added savings for bundling.

Discounts are a smart way to save even more on your premiums, but there are other ways to save too. Taking on a higher deductible — which means you pay more out of pocket costs if you have a comprehensive or collision claim — lowers your premiums. This may be a good option if you can afford the higher personal expense of a claim. Comparison shopping is another way to save. When you compare several carriers, you can see how much the rates and coverages can vary from one carrier to another.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

Choosing the best car insurance company in Knoxville is dependent on both your budget and what is most meaningful to you from a carrier. Competitive rates, discounts, coverage options, customer service ratings and digital assets are all worth considering.

How much car insurance do I need in Knoxville?

The amount of car insurance you need depends on both your budget and your driving lifestyle. In addition to the required state minimum requirements, most lenders require you to add comprehensive and collision coverage if you lease or finance a vehicle, for added protection.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 clean 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.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman has three years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
Edited by
Insurance Editor