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. According to the Federal Highway Administration, Tennessee also had more than 5 million registered vehicles as of 2015.

With so many vehicles on the road, it is important to protect yourself with the best car insurance in Tennessee. Auto insurance is an important part of your financial health and could prevent financial devastation if you cause an accident. Bankrate’s editorial team has reviewed multiple factors for the largest companies in the Volunteer State to help you decide which company could offer you the best coverage for your needs.

Best car insurance companies in Tennessee

To determine the best car insurance companies in Tennessee, Bankrate’s editorial team reviewed average quoted premiums, provided by Quadrant Information Services, from the largest insurance carriers in the area by market share. We also compared customer service rankings, coverage options and available discounts. Based on our research, the following five companies are the best auto insurance providers in Tennessee.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating
(Southeast region)
Celina $1,422 Not rated
Erie $1,629 871 / 1,000
Geico $992 857 / 1,000
Travelers $1,052 823 / 1,000
USAA* $1,116 909 / 1,000

*USAA is not eligible for official J.D. Power ranking due to eligibility restrictions

Celina

Although Celina is a smaller company that was not rated in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, it may be worth your time to request a quote. Celina is based in Celina, Ohio, and has been in business since 1914. Its coverage is only available in six states, including Tennessee, where you can buy auto, home, business or farm insurance.

Celina has two auto insurance programs. Its standard auto insurance offers competitive rates for drivers with “above-average” driving records and offers a variety of coverage options. Celina also insures drivers with accidents or tickets through its Miami Auto non-standard program. The company also has an option to insure motorcycles.

Erie

Erie’s average full coverage premium may be higher than the average cost of full coverage insurance in Tennessee, but the company may make up for the higher premium with its customer service and coverage options. It received the second place ranking in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study and an above-industry-average score for claims service in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Erie’s auto insurance policy comes with numerous perks, including pet coverage and personal items coverage. You may also qualify for one or more of Erie’s numerous discounts, which could help to lower your premium. You might get a discount for insuring more than one policy with Erie, being a safe driver or storing your vehicle over the winter.

Geico

Geico offers the lowest average annual full coverage premium on our list and could be a good choice if you are primarily concerned with finding insurance to fit your budget. Geico also offers several potential discounts to help lower your premium even more, such as discounts for being a military member, federal employee or good student.

However, Geico did receive a below-industry-average score for claims service in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. This could indicate that policyholders often feel dissatisfied with the claims service they receive.

Travelers

Travelers offers a number of personal insurance products, including auto, home and umbrella coverage, as well as pet, boat and travel insurance. Although Travelers did score beneath the industry average level in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, the company does have a 0.00 complaint index from the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC) for its personal auto product. This indicates that the NAIC receives few, if any, complaints regarding Travelers’ personal auto insurance.

If you get a quote from Travelers, you will be able to choose from a range of coverage options. Standard offerings like liability, comprehensive and collision coverages are all offered, as well as options to customize your coverage, like ridesharing coverage and gap insurance coverage. Travelers also offers several discounts, although its average full coverage premium is below the state average for Tennessee.

USAA

USAA offers car insurance coverage to current and past military members and certain members of their families. If you qualify for coverage, USAA may be a good option for your auto insurance. Although it is not officially eligible for ranking with J.D. Power, the company routinely receives high scores for customer service.

Although its premiums are already lower than the state average, USAA offers several discounts to its policyholders. You may be able to get a discount for garaging your vehicle on a military base, being a safe driver or insuring a new vehicle. In fact, USAA claims that most drivers save over $700 when they switch their coverage.

Average car insurance cost in Tennessee

The average annual premium for minimum coverage in Tennessee is $371. The average annual premium for full coverage is $1,338. This is well below the national average of $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Tennessee Average annual premium for full coverage in Tennessee
$371 $1,338

Auto insurance premiums differ depending on what state you live in and even where you live in that state. This is because each geographic location has its own specific rating factors. These factors include the amount of minimum required insurance, the likelihood of being in an accident, how severe accidents tend to be and the likelihood of non-accident related claims like hail damage or theft.

State minimum insurance requirements in Tennessee

Tennessee law requires drivers to obtain at least a minimum amount of liability car insurance.

The minimum required liability limits in Tennessee are 25/50/15 which means you must carry at least the following amounts of these coverages:

  • $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 injuries or the funds to rent a car while your vehicle is being repaired. Additionally, state minimum required liability levels may not be enough to pay for the damages you could cause in an at-fault accident, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses. Most insurance professionals agree that purchasing higher liability limits is advisable, if you can afford the coverage. You will likely be required to carry full coverage insurance if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.

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

Everyone has a different situation that they bring to their search for car insurance. You may have teen drivers to insure, a history of accidents or tickets, a desire for mobile tools or the need to keep your premium as cheap as possible. Understanding what you need from your car insurance can help you find companies that can provide what you need. You can then request quotes from several of these companies to compare prices, coverages and discounts.

Because these rating factors often change with time — teen drivers age and may move out, your driving record can improve or maybe you want to find a local agent instead of handling your insurance online — you may want to consider reevaluating your auto insurance to see if it still fits your lifestyle.

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, like hailstorms. You may want to consider adding comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy to cover your vehicle for these weather-related damages.

Tennessee also had the third highest percentage of uninsured motorists in the U.S. in 2019, with nearly 24% of all drivers estimated to be uninsured. To protect yourself from the financial consequences of being in an accident with an uninsured motorists, you may want to consider purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage.

Car insurance discounts in Tennessee

Although Tennessee drivers already pay less than the national average for car insurance, there could be ways to lower your premium even more. For example, many companies offer discounts for good students, insuring multiple vehicles or policies, paperless billing and auto safety features.

Since every company has its own range of discounts, the best way to see if you are taking advantage of savings opportunities is to talk to your agent or a customer service representative.

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, your insurance needs are different than the insurance needs of other drivers. Understanding what you want from a company and comparing several quotes is one of the best ways to find the right coverage for you.

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

Insurance prices can vary greatly between customers because many factors affect insurance costs, including age, gender, marital status, credit score, vehicle make and model and the number of miles you drive per year. Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product; it is personalized to the needs of each policyholder.

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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.