Best Car Insurance in Tennessee

Last Updated on December 9, 2020

Car insurance premiums vary widely across Tennessee. Drivers in urban areas of Tennessee tend to pay much higher car insurance premiums than drivers in rural areas. Overall, drivers across Tennessee pay average rates for car insurance compared to drivers in other states, although you could pay significantly higher or lower rates depending on your ZIP code, demographics, and other factors.

Expect to pay around $1,342 per year for full coverage car insurance in Tennessee, which is slightly lower than the nationwide average.Best Car Insurance in Tennessee

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Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies in Tennessee

Tennessee drivers have plenty of options for car insurance, including regional providers and nationwide insurance corporations. Some drivers in Tennessee prefer strong claims satisfaction and customer service. Others would rather save money with a faceless nationwide company. Any of the car insurance companies listed below, however, are among the top 10 auto insurance companies in Tennessee:

1. USAA

USAA charges around $746 per year for car insurance across the state of Tennessee, making it one of the best-value providers in the state. You won’t find cheaper average rates than USAA, and the company’s claims satisfaction and customer service are top-notch. The only drawback? USAA car insurance is only available to military personnel and their families. If you qualify, then USAA car insurance is one of the best in Tennessee.

2. GEICO

GEICO policyholders in Tennessee pay around $802 per year for car insurance. It’s only slightly more expensive than USAA in Tennessee, although membership is open to any drivers. GEICO has average ratings for claims service and satisfaction, although ratings are similar to other nationwide insurance giants.

3. Erie

Erie serves Tennessee and several other states in the region. In states where Erie is available, they tend to be one of the best car insurance options available. The company is known for strong customer service and claims satisfaction along with competitive rates. Expect to pay around $921 per year for full coverage car insurance in Tennessee with Erie.

4. State Farm

State Farm is a popular car insurance company for drivers with an at-fault accident in Tennessee, as they seem to punish accidents less harshly than other providers. However, they’re also one of the best-value car insurance options overall, with drivers paying just $978 per year for full coverage car insurance.

5. Tennessee Farm Bureau

Farm Bureau’s affiliates offer competitive pricing in all covered states, and Tennessee Farm Bureau has a particularly strong presence in rural areas of the state. Originally launched to serve farmers in Tennessee, Tennessee Farm Bureau now insures thousands across the entire state at an average price of around $1,001 per year.

6. Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance is rarely the cheapest option in any state, but it remains a competitive option for drivers in Tennessee. Policyholders pay roughly $1,136 per year for full coverage car insurance with Auto-Owners Insurance in Tennessee.

7. Progressive

Progressive charges roughly $1,209 per year in Tennessee, based on our model driver profile. Expect similar service and claims satisfaction to other large insurance companies.

8. Farmers Insurance

Popular among rural and urban drivers alike, Farmers is a competitively-priced car insurance company for drivers with all types of backgrounds. Farmers is particularly competitive for drivers who only need the bare minimum insurance coverage. If you want minimum liability coverage, then Farmers may be the right choice for you. Drivers pay approximately $1,249 per year for full coverage, although rates could be under $400 per year for minimum liability coverage.

9. Nationwide

Like other large car insurance companies, Nationwide offers cheap car insurance throughout the country, including competitive prices in Tennessee. Based on our model driver portfolio, Nationwide charges approximately $1,252 per year for full coverage car insurance.

10. Allstate

Allstate has average ratings for claims service and customer satisfaction, although ratings are similar to GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, and other large corporations on this list. Tennessee drivers pay lower than average insurance rates with Allstate, with drivers paying about $1,270 per year.

Tennessee Auto Insurance Requirements

According to Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law, drivers are responsible for any damages they cause while driving. Although some drivers qualify for a car insurance exemption, most drivers in Tennessee must buy carry valid car insurance at all times.

The minimum Tennessee car insurance requirements include:

  • $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

Insurance companies label this policy as a 25/50/15 policy.

You could also see these requirements expressed as $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage, $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $15,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident, although the terms listed above are the official terms used on the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

Overall, Tennessee has similar car insurance requirements to other states. Many drivers choose to exceed these limits. They might buy uninsured and underinsured driver coverage, for example, or comprehensive and collision coverage.

Driving without Insurance in Tennessee

It’s illegal to drive without insurance in Tennessee. Drivers caught without insurance could face penalties, license suspension, and other consequences.

If you caused an accident and were caught without insurance, then you may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a fine of $300. The police officer at the scene may also decide to have your vehicle towed. Your license and registration will be suspended until you reinstate it.

If you caused an accident and were caught without insurance and the accident led to injuries or deaths, then you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could lead to fines up to $2,500 and imprisonment up to one year.

The state may impose SR-22 requirements on you, requiring you to carry an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility for the next 3 to 5 years.

Overall, penalties for driving without insurance in Tennessee include:

  • $25 to $300 in fines
  • 45-day suspension of driver’s license (or longer, if unable to obtain proof of insurance)
  • $65 license and registration restoration fee
  • $50 fee to Tennessee’s Commissioner of Safety
  • SR-22 requirement for 3 years

Penalties vary depending on the situation. If caught driving without insurance after speeding, for example, then you may not receive any penalties listed above. If you caused a serious accident without insurance, however, then you are more likely to face the most severe penalties listed above.

Car Insurance in Tennessee with a DUI

Tennessee drivers caught driving under the influence (DUI) face higher insurance premiums. Fortunately, not all car insurance companies treat DUIs the same way, and some insurers only slightly raise your rates – especially if it’s your first DUI conviction on an otherwise clean record.

Some of the best car insurance companies in Tennessee for drivers with a DUI include:

  1. Erie: $1,602 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,749 per year
  3. Allstate: $1,811 per year
  4. Progressive: $1,982 per year
  5. Tennessee Farm Bureau: $2,021 per year

Car Insurance in Tennessee with At-Fault Accidents

Car insurance in Tennessee is more expensive when you have an at-fault accident on your record. Fortunately, by shopping around for car insurance, you can save a considerable amount by choosing the right provider.

The best car insurance companies in Tennessee for drivers with at-fault accidents include:

  1. State Farm: $1,584 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,699 per year
  3. Allstate: $1,712 per year
  4. Tennessee Farm Bureau: $1,713 per year
  5. Progressive: $1,723 per year

Car Insurance in Tennessee with Speeding Tickets

A single speeding ticket on a clean record is unlikely to impact insurance premiums. However, multiple speeding tickets or a single severe speeding ticket could immediately raise premiums. Some insurers treat speeding tickets seriously, while others ignore them.

Some of the best car insurance companies in Tennessee for drivers with speeding tickets include:

  1. Erie: $1,202 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,449 per year
  3. Allstate: $1,511 per year
  4. Progressive: $1,582 per year
  5. Tennessee Farm Bureau: $1,621 per year

Car Insurance in Tennessee for Young Drivers

If you’re under age 25, then you’ll pay some of the highest car insurance rates in Tennessee. Car insurance rates consistently drop with age, especially if you maintain a clean record. However, as a young driver, you’ll continue to pay expensive rates for car insurance through most of your teenage years and early 20s.

Fortunately, some car insurance companies in Tennessee cater to young drivers, offering relatively competitive rates:

  1. Erie: $1,702 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,859 per year
  3. USAA: $1,911 per year
  4. Progressive: $2,082 per year
  5. Tennessee Farm Bureau: $2,099 per year

Car Insurance in Tennessee with Poor Credit

Insurance companies in Tennessee are permitted to use your credit score to calculate car insurance premiums. Drivers with average to high credit scores should not see significantly lower rates, although drivers with bad credit scores will pay significantly higher rates.

In fact, some Tennessee drivers with a bad credit score pay 40% to 60% more for car insurance, which is similar to a single DUI or at-fault accident.

Request a quote from the car insurance companies listed below if you have a bad credit score:

  1. USAA: $1,602 per year
  2. Progressive: $1,749 per year
  3. Tennessee Farm Bureau: $1,811 per year
  4. Nationwide: $1,982 per year
  5. Erie: $2,061 per year

SR-22 Insurance in Tennessee

Tennessee may require drivers to obtain an SR-22 certificate. An SR-22 form is proof of future financial responsibility. It’s a certificate proving you have valid car insurance in Tennessee.

You may be required to obtain an SR-22 certificate after letting car insurance lapse, causing one or more serious accidents, or doing something else that makes you a high-risk driver.

The SR-22 certificate isn’t technically insurance: it’s a certificate verifying you have valid insurance. You or your insurer submit this certificate to reinstate your driver’s license and registration.

All major car insurance companies can provide an SR-22 certificate to you in Tennessee. Simply call your insurance provider and request an SR-22 certificate.

However, if you are a high-risk driver, then you may be unable to obtain car insurance through ordinary providers. You may need to buy car insurance through a high-risk provider to return to the road.

Shop around for SR-22 insurance in Tennessee by comparing rates with different providers. Expect to pay 40% to 100% higher rates than normal, depending on your provider.

Conclusion: How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in Tennessee

Car insurance in Tennessee doesn’t have to be expensive. No matter where you live, and no matter your driving history, you can find cheap car insurance in Tennessee.

Consider requesting a quote from any of the providers listed above. All of the car insurance companies we mentioned are among the best car insurance companies in Tennessee.