Because prices for auto coverage rise and fall depending on where you look, comparing quotes from several companies is the best way to find cheap car insurance in Tennessee.
To help you snag a competitive deal, NerdWallet sampled rates from the eight largest insurers in Tennessee and found the cheapest options for these types of drivers:
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» FIND YOUR MATCH: Who’s the cheapest carrier for you?
Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no at-fault crashes, DUIs or moving violations.
The average rate for good drivers among the three cheapest companies was about $970 a year. Geico had the best deal of the bunch, $963 per year, followed closely by Tennessee Farm Bureau and Travelers.
Before deciding on an insurer, it’s smart to compare discounts for good drivers. Price breaks for not having claims or moving violations, for instance, could lower your rate and affect which option is cheapest for you.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Young drivers typically don’t have much to lose in a crash-related lawsuit and can often select lower coverage limits than older drivers who have more savings. We gathered rates for motorists in their early 20s carrying the minimum required coverage and found relatively cheap car insurance in Tennessee.
Geico was the most affordable option, with an average quote of $483 per year, or roughly $40 a month. Tennessee Farm Bureau and Travelers rounded out the list of cheapest companies for this group, with nearly identical rates.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash
The lowest rate we found for drivers with one at-fault crash was $1,058 per year from Tennessee Farm Bureau. This was $95 a year higher than the cheapest estimate available for drivers of the same age with no accidents on record.
Having a blemished record doesn’t mean you should settle for the first quote you find. There was more than a $2,800 difference between the lowest and highest rates for this group, a reminder of how much you stand to save by shopping around thoroughly.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.
A poor credit rating is high on the list of issues that can increase Tennessee car insurance rates, perhaps even ahead of causing a collision.
For instance, the cheapest quote we found for this group was $1,113 from Tennessee Farm Bureau. That’s $150 higher than the best deal for good drivers with no credit problems and $55 higher than the cheapest rate for drivers with an at-fault crash. Geico was the next cheapest option for drivers with poor credit, but with an average rate that was more than $300 higher than Tennessee Farm Bureau’s.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.
Retirees typically spend less time in the car than drivers who commute, which is a big reason why older motorists can find relatively cheap car insurance in Tennessee.
We collected quotes for drivers in their 60s who travel half as many miles in a year as other groups. Tennessee Farm Bureau fetched the best deal, $758 per year. That’s about $205 less per year, or $17 less per month, than the lowest estimate we found for good drivers half that age who commute. State Farm and Travelers were the next cheapest options for this group, respectively.
Cheapest if you have a military connection
If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — you’ll probably get a good rate with USAA, a company that’s not available to the general public. USAA was one of the two cheapest options for every category listed above, and often the cheapest.
Minimum required car insurance in Tennessee
Tennessee law requires liability insurance for all drivers living in the Volunteer State. If you cause a crash, this coverage kicks in to pay others’ injury treatment and property damage, up to your limit.
The state’s minimum liability limits are:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
- $15,000 property damage liability per accident.
A serious crash could easily result in damages that surpass these limits. To avoid paying out-of-pocket costs, consider selecting more than the bare minimum. You might also benefit from adding optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist insurance.
Check out NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state for more detail on common coverage options in Tennessee and how they work.
Alternative Tennessee car insurance
If you’re denied car insurance on the voluntary market due to past violations, crashes, poor credit or other reasons, you can apply for coverage via the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan.
For more help finding cheap car insurance in Tennessee, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance in Tennessee, by category:
Cheapest car insurance in Tennessee
|Drivers with one at-fault crash||Tennessee Farm Bureau|
|Drivers with poor credit||Tennessee Farm Bureau|
|Retired drivers||Tennessee Farm Bureau|
For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
- Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible
We used a 2013 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups. Our sample young driver was 22 and carried the minimum required coverage levels. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.
Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance site. Email: [email protected].