The Best Tennessee Car Insurance Companies 2021

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From the scenic highways of the Great Smoky Mountains to the gates of Graceland, Tennessee holds a lifetime of natural and cultural attractions to explore. But before you hit the road for a trip to the store or family vacation, you need to have the best Tennessee car insurance.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Tennessee has more than 5.7 million registered vehicles, based on the most recent 2019 statistics. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reports reports that 1,066 people died in 2019 as a result of traffic accidents in the Volunteer State. Between January and early December 2020, 1143 people died on Tennessee roads and highways, a 7.2% increase compared to the same period in 2019. So, you can see why you need to protect yourself with the best auto insurance in Tennessee.

Finding the best insurance is important in the unfortunate event one needs to make an insurance claim due to an accident or property damage. In addition to paying low premiums, it is also important to find a company who is responsive and provides quality service and the appropriate coverage.

Best car insurance companies in Tennessee

Every year, J.D. Power & Associates, a market research company, conducts a study of U.S. car insurance companies. Using a five-star rating system, J.D. Power ranks insurance companies regionally based on overall customer satisfaction, policy offerings, pricing, billing process and policy information, customer interaction and claims handling. In its 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, the top car insurance companies in the southeast region include:

Car Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Rating AM Best Financial Strength Rating BBB Rating
USAA* $1,306 1 A++ (Superior) A-
Farm Bureau Ins of TN $782 2 A+ (Superior) A+
Erie $1,070 3 A+ (Superior) A+
Geico $ 566 5 A++ (Superior) A+

A.M. Best Rating Services rates insurance companies based on their financial strength. The financial strength of an insurance company should play an important role in purchasing a policy, because it is an indicator of a company’s ability to fulfill its claims obligations.

The Better Business Bureau helps resolve consumer complaints and rates businesses based on several criteria, including company size, the number of complaints it receives about a business and how well a company resolves complaints.

USAA

*Although USAA came in first in J.D. Power’s survey, the company does not qualify for ranking because it only offers insurance products to military members and their families.

USAA has a long history of providing excellent customer service and was one of the two companies with the top A.M. Best ratings because of its continued financial success. USAA still maintains an A rating, although it’s the only company in the top five with an A-.

USAA is only open to military members and their families, and offers discounts for teen drivers who have good grades in school, defensive driving, automobile safety equipment, multi-vehicles, the number of miles you drive, driving history and even storing your car.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee

Unlike USAA, Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee is available to the general public, and is ranked number two in the overall market. Farm Bureau Insurance maintains a Superior rating in both AM Best and the BBB. The premium is slightly more than Geico (which has a lower premium but is also ranked lower by J.D. Powers). Therefore, Farm Bureau of Tennessee is our choice for the best automobile insurance choice in Tennessee.

Farmers Bureau Insurance of Tennessee offers discounts to young drivers who watch “The First Mile” safe-driver video online, and offers discounts to members.

Erie Insurance

Ranked number 3 in the overall market, Erie maintains a Superior rating in both AM Best and the BBB. The annual premium is bit higher than others and already includes discounts such as claims and violation free driving record and automobile safety equipment.

Erie offers discounts for safe driving, car safety equipment, multi-cars, multi-policies, reduced usage, young drivers who live with their parents, and an annual payment plan.

Geico Insurance

Ranked at number 5 in the overall market, Geico has one of the top AM Best ratings for financial stability. Its memorable advertising campaigns have created brand awareness and even won the coveted CLIO award in advertising. Geico also maintains an A+ rating with the BBB as well, showing great success in both areas, as well as charging the lowest premium of all the top providers.

Geico offers discounts ranging from 1%-40% for good drivers, new vehicles, seat belt use, defensive driving, good students, military, federal employees, specific group membership affiliations, multi-vehicles, and multi-policy holders.

Average car insurance cost in Tennessee

The average annual premium for minimum coverage in Tennessee is $369. The average annual premium for full coverage in Tennessee is $1364. This is well below the national average of $1738 for full coverage due to lower risk factors in Tennessee. Risk factors in different states can include higher rate of accidents, theft, vandalism, weather damage and natural disasters, as well as poorly maintained roads and states who require additional coverage beyond standard liability coverage.

Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage in Tennessee Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage in Tennessee
$369 $1,364

State minimum insurance requirements in Tennessee

According to the website www.tn.gov, Tennessee law requires drivers to obtain liability car insurance, which means if you are in a car accident and at fault, you can at least pay to repair the other person’s vehicle and/or bodily injuries. Lenders will also require collision and comprehensive coverage if you still owe money on a car as well.

The minimum liability required is 25/50/15 coverage is:

  • $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

This is the minimum coverage required, but it will not provide money to repair or replace your own vehicle, your own bodily injuries or the funds to rent a car while your vehicle is being repaired. Unless you have access to a spare car, or the funds to replace your car, then liability insurance is usually not enough coverage for most people.

How to get the best car insurance

Insurance can provide the funds to repair your vehicle, or to pay off a car loan if your car is totaled in an accident. Insurance can also provide funds for medical expenses and wages lost, in the event of personal bodily injury. Getting the best car insurance may mean getting additional coverage for some of these possibilities.

Evaluate your needs

There may be other more personal and individual reasons to seek additional insurance coverage. Many families have teenagers learning to drive, accidents added to a driving record or have just purchased a new car and the lender requires additional coverage. Other risk factors that affect insurance costs include gender, marital status, credit score, vehicle make and model, and the number of miles driven per year.

Any time these factors change, it is advisable to contact your insurance agent to reevaluate your individual insurance needs, and especially to inquire about the necessary legal requirements.

Consider state factors

There are many other insurance coverage options in Tennessee that give a driver additional coverage and additional services in the event of an accident. This additional coverage can offer peace of mind and protection of yourself and your personal assets.

Tennessee is vulnerable to natural disasters, such as tornadoes and weather events, such as hailstorms. For all of these reasons, additional coverage may be advised.

Tennessee also had the fifth highest percentage of uninsured motorists in the U.S. in 2015, with 20% of all drivers being uninsured. This is a highly risky practice because the penalties for driving without insurance can be stiff, and could include fines, license suspension and vehicle registration suspension.

Car insurance discounts in Tennessee

Rather than just getting the cheapest insurance, which may not be the best insurance coverage, insurance discounts can also lower insurance costs.

There are some common discounts that most providers offer. For example, families can receive discounts for allowing the use of vehicle tracking devices, for teen drivers who have good grades in school, as well as driver education classes, automobile safety equipment and association membership.

Many providers also offer vehicle tracking devices track speed, braking and the number of miles you drive.

Ask your chosen provider about what discounts it offers.

Frequently asked questions

How do I determine the best insurance?

The best insurance companies are those that are rated highly for overall customer satisfaction, policy offerings, pricing, billing process and policy information, customer interaction and claims handling. Ultimately, you may pay a lower price at one insurance company, but when it comes time to process a claim, you may “get what you pay for”.

Why would the best insurance provider for one person not be the best for someone else?

Insurance prices can vary greatly between customers because so many factors affect insurance costs (e.g. age, gender, marital status, credit score, vehicle make and model and the number of miles driven per year), as well as discounts like vehicle tracking and discounts for good students. Comparison shop several of the top companies, according to your individual needs, to determine what is ideally best for you.

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 2018 Honda Accord, 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.