Tennessee is home to 6.8 million people. Are you one of the Tennessee residents who also drives in the state? There’s a learning curve to Tennessee’s traffic and insurance laws, and it’s important to learn them whether you live there or are planning to move to Tennessee soon.
Benzinga’s got you covered with top insurance suggestions — check out our list of best insurers before you change up your insurance or purchase auto insurance for the first time.
Best Tennessee Car Insurance:
- Best Tennessee Car Insurance:
- Tennessee Car Insurance Overview
- Tennessee Car Insurance Law Explained
- Cheap Tennessee Car Insurance Rates per Vehicle
- Cheap Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score
- Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record
- Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions
- Best Cheap Car Insurance Providers in Tennessee
- More Ways to Pay Less for Car Insurance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Tennessee Car Insurance Overview
- Number of vehicles per household: 2
- Minimum state insurance requirements:
- $25,000 to cover an injury or death of 1 person in an accident.
- $50,000 to cover total injuries or death of more than 1 person in an accident.
- $15,000 to cover property damage to a person’s car or other property as a result of an auto accident.
- Average rate with a clean driving record: $965
Tennessee Car Insurance Law Explained
It’s helpful to understand Tennessee’s car insurance laws before you get out on the roads. Insurance laws vary from state to state, so your best bet is to visit the state’s official website for the most accurate information.
Anyone who drives a vehicle in Tennessee must have it registered and insured with a minimum of personal liability and property damage (PLPD) coverage and you must show proof of insurance if you’re stopped. If not, you could be fined, lose your license or have your car impounded.
Here’s a breakdown of what PLPD or minimum liability insurance covers:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for 1 person involved in an accident. Bodily injury refers to physical harm or injury as a result of an auto accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for more than 1 person involved in an accident.
- $10,000 in property damage insurance to cover property damage done to vehicles or property as a result of an auto accident.
Whether you have PLPD insurance or full coverage, Tennessee’s financial responsibility law requires you to buy auto insurance unless you qualify for 1 of these exemptions:
- You no longer own the vehicle.
- The vehicle is stored.
- The vehicle is inoperable.
You can also buy optional comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to minimum liability coverage:
- Comprehensive insurance covers damage done by non-accident events such as theft, vandalism or fire.
- Collision insurance covers damage as a result of an auto accident.
You’ll pay quite a bit more but will have the maximum coverage in Tennessee when you purchase liability, comprehensive and collision coverage.
Cheap Tennessee Car Insurance Rates per Vehicle
Looking for cheap car insurance? One way to pay less is to purchase a vehicle that’s fuel-efficient. Electric cars or hybrids usually cost less to insure because they use less gas, get better mileage and are environmentally friendly. On the flip side, certain vehicles automatically have higher insurance costs.
For example, more expensive cars cost more to insure because of the high cost required to replace or repair them. Fast cars with lots of horsepower cost more because their owners are more prone to speeding and accidents.
Popular cars that are often stolen also come with a higher insurance bill because of the high cost of these cars. It makes sense to buy a cheaper or fuel-efficient car to save money on gas and insurance.
Cheap Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score
Many insurance companies equate poor credit scores with risky driving and use your credit score to determine your premium payment amount. Legislation has been introduced in several states that ban the practice, but for now, it’s legal in Tennessee.
Your car insurance rates could be hundreds of dollars more if your credit score is too low, so it’s smart to keep an eye on it. Here are a few ways you can raise your credit score:
- Sign up for a free credit score monitoring service.
- Enroll in autopay for as many bills as possible.
- Pay more than the minimum balance due on credit cards.
Here’s an idea of how your credit score can impact your auto insurance rate:
|Credit Score||Cheapest Provider||Rate for State Minimum Coverage|
The rate for drivers with a poor credit score is $1,100 more than those with an excellent score, so boosting your credit score really makes a difference.
Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record
Insurance companies also consider your driving record when they figure your rates. The more points you have on your record, the higher your insurance rate will be because you’re more of a risk to insurers. Since insurance companies can’t predict your future driving behavior, they look at your past driving record instead.
Let’s say you have numerous points on your record or have been involved in several accidents. You’ll be viewed as high risk and could be denied insurance.
Here are a few examples of insurance rates based on 3 different types of coverage:
- State minimum insurance, or PLPD coverage
- Standard insurance (PLPD and comprehensive coverage)
- Full coverage (PLPD, comprehensive and collision coverage)
|Insurance Company||State Minimum Insurance||Standard Coverage||Full Coverage|
|Tennessee Farm Bureau||$963||$1,324||$1,895|
Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions
Driving infractions such as running a red light and speeding all add up in traffic points and result in higher insurance rates, so it’s best to follow traffic rules. The chart below drives home this fact, showing some insurance rates over $5,000 — significantly higher than those for drivers with clean records.
|Insurance Company||At-Fault Accident||Speed Violation||DUI|
Best Cheap Car Insurance Providers in Tennessee
We’ve done the legwork for you so you can choose the best car insurance company based on your needs. Here’s our list of top picks.
1. Best Overall: Country Financial
Country Financial offers the most competitive rates for drivers with clean records. It also ranked in our top 5 for drivers with infractions, so it’s both affordable and accessible.
The company offers discounts for teachers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. You can also save on premiums if you pass a defensive driver class and equip your vehicle with an alarm or anti-theft device.
2. Cheapest Car Insurance in Tennessee: USAA
USAA is only available to military members and their families, so we included GEICO in this category. GEICO is also among the top contenders in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2018 U.S.
Auto Insurance Study, which measured areas such as billing, pricing and customer service. USAA offers a 10% discount if you bundle homeowners or renters insurance with auto insurance, plus flexible payment plans.
3. Best Coverage for Multiple Cars: Country Financial
Country Financial offers savings of up to 30% if you insure more than 1 vehicle. The offer also extends to unmarried children under the age of 25 who live away from home.
Other discounts Country Financial offers include a student discount (for students with a B average or better) and college graduate discount. You can save up to 26% if you’re a safe driver with no accidents or traffic tickets for 3 years.
4. Best for Military Personnel: USAA
USAA is the best choice for military personnel, their family members and spouses. The company is exclusively dedicated to serving military members, so you’ll get personalized service. USAA also offers discounts for students, safe drivers and families with multiple policies — there are plenty of ways to save.
More Ways to Pay Less for Car Insurance
Watch your credit score, choose a fuel-efficient or less flashy car and drive safe to lower your car insurance. You can also make other smart choices and you’ll save money on car insurance:
- Raise your deductible.
- Pay your premium in 1 lump sum instead of per month.
- Install anti-lock brakes and a security system.
- Enroll in auto payments.
- Drive your car less by working remotely or carpooling.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?
It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.
2) Q: How much is my car insured for?
With a standard auto insurance policy, your vehicle is insured using actual cash value, which means that a deduction may be taken for depreciation based on age or usage. As your vehicle ages, it’s worth less money which reduces the insurable value. If you own a collectible or classic car, you’ll want to consider a specialized classic car insurance policy that insures your vehicle to its full value without a deduction for depreciation.
3) Q: Does auto insurance cover business use?
In most cases, the business use of your vehicle is not covered by your auto insurance policy and can lead to denied claims. However, where you’re most likely risk losing coverage is when you are transporting products or passengers, which insurers define as livery. If your job requires traveling from point A to point B or C to visit customers, attend conferences, or perform other tasks, your personal auto insurance is likely to provide coverage. Get a customized quote now for the best deal.
*Quotes were obtained using the following profile: base 2015 Toyota Camry, male, 40-years-old. Policies reflect state minimum coverage options. We make every effort to provide the most accurate quotes based on the profile above. Due to the many combined variables involved in insurance quotes, the only way to get an accurate quote is to enter your own information through our partners’ secure websites.