No wonder they sing the blues: Memphis has it bad when it comes to car insurance. Not only does it have Tennessee's highest rates, simply crossing the river to Arkansas or the state line to Mississippi could save you hundreds of dollars a year. (The map below shows how ZIP codes in Memphis and its surroundings compare.)
Among the 50 largest cities in the U.S., Memphis ranks No. 42 in walkability, according to Walk Score.
The locals say that everyone in Memphis can give you directions to their house, their job and their church -- but can't point you to Beale Street.
There's good reason for the confusion. Surface streets change names frequently, and for no obvious reason. At one time, the “suicide lanes” of Union Avenue would reverse direction midday. And any road that crosses Sumner Avenue will be on the city's list of most dangerous intersections.
Tennessee as a whole has a very high number of uninsured drivers, about 24 percent according to the Insurance Research Council. Some personal injury attorneys estimate that in sections of Memphis, that rate could approach 50 percent.
Two bridges cross the mighty Mississippi River in Memphis. But if you referred to one as, say, the “Interstate 40 bridge” and the other as the “Interstate 55 bridge,” you would be met with a blank stare. You would further confuse a Memphian by calling them their proper names, the “Hernando De Soto Bridge” and the “Memphis-Arkansas Bridge.”
They are the “New Bridge” and the “Old Bridge,” respectively.
RANK YOUR FAVORITE U.S. LICENSE PLATES
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.