Best car insurance in Tennessee for 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 5.8 million registered vehicles as of 2019. The average cost of car insurance in Tennessee is $1,338 for full coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

With an increasing number of vehicles on the road, it is important to protect yourself financially with the best car insurance in Tennessee. Auto insurance is an important part of your fiscal health and could prevent financial devastation for you and your family if you cause an accident. Bankrate’s editorial team has reviewed multiple factors for the largest auto insurers 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 state by market share. Bankrate’s own rating system is based upon a 5-point scale and reflects a weighted rank of the most prominent third-party rating agencies in the insurance industry. The higher a company’s Bankrate Score, the better the company rated across the rating bureaus.

We also compared J.D. Power customer service rankings, coverage options and available discounts. Based on our research, these four major insurers are the best auto insurance providers in Tennessee.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score (Southeast Region)
State Farm 4.7 $1,154 859/1,000
Geico 4.7 $992 843/1,000
Progressive 4.4 $1,287 828/1,000
Allstate 4.0 $1,777 838/1,000

State Farm

State Farm has the second-lowest average annual premium for full coverage on the list, but the highest ranking for customer satisfaction with an impressive J.D. Power score of 859. As the largest U.S. auto insurer based on market share, State Farm has a lot to offer its customers with a wide range of coverages and discounts. Tennessee drivers could save by insuring more than one car and bundling home and auto insurance together with State Farm. By practicing safe driving habits and participating in the Drive Safe & Save program, policyholders can save up to 30% on their car insurance. State Farm is also financially strong, with an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, the highest category possible.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

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, the nation’s second largest auto insurer, 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 score just below average for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Southeast region. This may indicate that Geico falls short when handling customer’s overall needs. Geico is rated A++ (Superior) by AM Best for its financial strength.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Progressive

In addition to the standard coverage types you expect from major car insurance companies, Progressive offers a few extras to personalize your car insurance to your needs. For example, custom parts and equipment coverage, gap insurance and rideshare coverage are available for Tennessee drivers from the nation’s third largest auto insurer. You can also choose Progressive’s deductible savings bank, which reduces your comprehensive and collision deductibles by $50 for every policy period you do not file a claim.

Unfortunately, Progressive is in the bottom tier in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study for the Southeast region, though some of this may be compensated for with Progressive’s highly user-friendly website and the ability to file claims online. Progressive has a very strong balance sheet and is rated A++ (Superior) by AM Best.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Allstate

Allstate may have the highest rates for car insurance in Tennessee on our list, but also offers a number of ways drivers can reduce premiums, including its Drivewise usage-based telematics program, which tracks driving habits and rewards good driving behaviors with up to 40% in savings. Being a responsible payer can also help lower auto insurance costs with multiple discounts for avoiding late payments, paying in full and setting up automatic payments.

Allstate has a slightly below-average J.D. Power score for customer satisfaction, but is also a highly trusted company as the fourth largest auto insurer based on market share. The company carries an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

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 and $371 for minimum coverage. This is well below the national annual averages of $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage. This is likely due to the state’s lack of heavy traffic and reduced risk of claims, compared to more populated states with dense roadways.

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. This is because each geographic location has its own specific rating factors. The factors influencing premiums in Tennessee and other states 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, flood 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 The Volunteer State 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 enough money to repair or replace your vehicle, 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 substantial 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 help provide the funds to repair or replace your vehicle following a covered incident, plus pay 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: Your circumstances determine your car insurance needs, like having a teen driver to insure, a history of accidents or tickets, a desire for mobile tools or the need to keep your premium as cheap as possible. Because these rating factors often change with time — teen drivers getting older and and may move out of your house, your driving record can improve, or maybe you want to work with a local agent instead of handling your insurance online — you may want to consider reevaluating your auto insurance periodically to see if it still fits your lifestyle.
  • Consider state factors: Tennessee is vulnerable to natural disasters, such as tornadoes and other severe weather events, including hailstorms and floods, which makes purchasing comprehensive insurance something to consider. 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 or underinsured motorist, you may want to consider purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist 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 by taking advantage of discounts like:

  • Multi-policy: Insuring more than just your car with the same carrier can result in significant savings. Bundling your auto and home insurance is a great way to save with most Tennessee auto insurance carriers. Some companies also offer bundling discounts for boat, life insurance and other policy types.
  • Defensive driving: Senior drivers age 55 and older can often complete a state-approved defensive driving safety course for additional potential savings. However, some insurers offer a discount for drivers of all ages with a clean driving record. This course must be passed and the certificate submitted to the insurance company to receive the discount.
  • Vehicle safety: Buying a new car with advanced safety features such as forward collision warning, blind spot warning and lane departure warning systems can also help reduce the cost of auto insurance. The more safety features your vehicle has, the less likely you are to get into an accident. The potential claims savings for the insurance company is then usually passed onto the policyholder in the form of a discount.
  • Good student: Teen drivers are expensive to insure, even in Tennessee, due to their lack of experience and high accident rates. One way to lower how much you pay for car insurance for your young driver is to take advantage of discounts. With good grades in high school or college, your teen driver should be eligible for a good student discount with many auto insurers.

Discounts can be extremely helpful in securing a car insurance policy that is both affordable and sufficiently meets the needs of you and your family. It pays to take the time to understand just how you may qualify for discounts.

Since every company has its own range of discounts, the best way to see if you are taking advantage of all possible savings opportunities is to review your auto insurer’s website, talk to your agent or speak directly with your carrier’s customer service representative.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

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 auto insurance needs are different than the coverage 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.

How much is car insurance per month in Tennessee?

The average cost of car insurance in Tennessee is $30.92 per month for state minimum coverage. Your cost for auto insurance in Tennessee may differ, based on several factors, including your driving record, make and model of the car you drive, coverages and city where you live.

Is Tennessee a no-fault insurance state?

Tennessee is an at-fault insurance state, which means the driver who is found at-fault for an auto accident is legally and fiscally responsible for damages and injuries that resulted from the collision. This is why it is important to have adequate liability limits in Tennessee because if you are at fault in an accident, you (or your insurer) will have to pay the other driver’s damages.

Does car insurance get less expensive as a car gets older?

For the most part, older vehicles are cheaper to insure, particularly because lower limits can usually be set for optional comprehensive and collision coverage. In fact, for very old vehicles, you may choose to skip this coverage entirely depending on its current market value. There can be a slight trade-off however, because with older cars, you will likely not be eligible for potential discounts based on cutting edge safety features in newer cars.

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.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.