Our guide to buying car insurance for Tennessee drivers is based on rate data research and expert advice from our veteran staff of insurance analysts and editors. You’ll learn how much coverage to buy, how much it will cost, and learn how auto insurance in Tennessee works to protect you and your family.
Drivers in Memphis pay as much as 60 percent more — or up to about $600 more — for car insurance than their fellow Tennesseans who pay the lowest rates in state. Location has a lot to do with your car insurance rates — we’ve got every city and town in Tennessee mapped out below — but so does the insurance company and car insurance discounts you find. The cheapest carrier in any ZIP code usually charges hundreds of dollars less than the most expensive. To compare rates, enter your ZIP code, age and coverage level. You’ll see the average rate, as well as the highest and lowest, for your neighborhood.
Tennessee Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
- The average car insurance cost in Tennessee is $124 per month or $1,493 a year for a full coverage policy.
- Geico & State Farm have the cheapest auto insurance in Tennessee for state minimum policy.
- In Tennessee, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 160 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage.
- Tennessee ranks 14th among the worst states for drivers with bad credit.
- Cheap car insurance in Tennessee
- Recommended car insurance coverage
- Cheapest car insurance in Tennessee by company
- Low cost auto insurance for Tennessee drivers with recent accidents
- Who has the cheapest Tennessee car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?
- How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Tennessee?
- Cheapest Tennessee auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25
- Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Tennessee drivers age 65 to 85
- Car insurance for Tennessee drivers with bad credit
- Best car insurance companies in Tennessee
- Largest car insurance companies in Tennessee
- Tennessee Car Insurance Laws
- Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Tennessee
- Guide to car insurance (with rates) in cities of Tennessee
Cheap car insurance in Tennessee
Tennessee car insurance requirements
|Minimum Coverage||Minimum Limit|
|Minimum bodily injury liability||$25,000/$50,000|
|Minimum property damage liability||$15,000|
Recommended car insurance coverage
The cheapest car insurance may not provide sufficient protection, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.
Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.
We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:
- less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
- between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
- more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100
If you’re leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:
- less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
- more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.
For drivers in Tennessee, collision costs an average of $505 yearly, comprehensive is $142, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.
Medical coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it’s an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:
- Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
- Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
- Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking
If you and your passengers:
- Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
- Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.
If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.
- If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
- If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
- If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.
|Coverage limits||Average annual rate|
|Liability Only – state minimum||$404|
|Liability Only – 50/100/50 BI/PD||$430|
|Full Coverage – 100/300/100 BI/PD $500 Comp/Collision deductible||$1,214|
**The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Tennessee from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Cheapest car insurance in Tennessee by company
Below you’ll see average annual rates for Tennessee, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:
- State minimum liability requirements
- Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
- Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible
|Company||State minimum average annual rate||50/100/50 average annual rate||100/300/100 average annual rate|
|Allstate Prop & Cas Ins Co||$676||$696||$1,794|
|Geico Gen Ins Co||$251||$255||$764|
|Mid Century Ins Co||$526||$597||$1,576|
|Nationwide Affinity Co of Amer||$308||$304||$796|
|Progressive HI Ins Corp||$333||$343||$1,223|
|State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co||$329||$386||$1,131|
Low cost auto insurance for Tennessee drivers with recent accidents
Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that’s why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average Tennessee driver with a full coverage policy:
|Company||1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K||2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k||At-fault bodily injury accident|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$1,964||$2,710||$1,964|
|Mountain Laurel Assurance||$1,083||$2,262||$1,083|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,084||$1,823||$1,084|
*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Tennessee from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Who has the cheapest Tennessee car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?
If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you’ll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you’ll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you’ll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $1,064, on average, according to CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis. That’s how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,084|
|Mountain Laurel Assurance||$1,402|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$1,747|
How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Tennessee?
No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In Tennessee, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 160 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You’ll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in Tennessee, and how major insurers compare on price. Mountain Laurel Assurance had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.
|Company||Average Rate||Average Rate after adding female teen||$ Increase (female)||Average Rate after adding male teen||$ Increase (male)|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$1,301||$3,107||$1,806||$3,350||$2,048|
|Mountain Laurel Assurance||$1,083||$2,431||$1,348||$2,749||$1,666|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$998||$2,379||$1,380||$3,025||$2,026|
Cheapest Tennessee auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25
Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in Tennessee, by company.
You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.
Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Tennessee drivers age 65 to 85
Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.
Car insurance for Tennessee drivers with bad credit
Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. Tennessee ranks 14th among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com’s data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in Tennessee with bad credit pay 75 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You’ll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $1,250 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That’s how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.
|Mountain Laurel Assurance||$1,925|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,992|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$2,604|
Best car insurance companies in Tennessee
Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.
|2||CSAA Insurance Group||91.63|
|9||The Auto Club Group (ACG) – AAA||86.09|
|16||Auto Club of Southern California (Auto Club Enterprise Insurance Group)||84.50|
Largest car insurance companies in Tennessee
|Rank||Company||Premiums Written||Market Share|
|1||State Farm Group||948,604||23.23%|
|2||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group||348,059||8.52%|
|3||Progressive Insurance Group||311,706||7.63%|
|4||Allstate Insurance Group||254,285||6.23%|
|6||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies||211,928||5.19%|
|9||Farmers Insurance Group||84,028||2.06%|
|10||American Family Insurance Group||54,693||1.34%|
Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines) – P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018
Tennessee Car Insurance Laws
|Roads||Number of Fatal Accidents|
Tennessee’s minimum liability insurance requirements are about average. Drivers who have few assets may be adequately insured if they are at-fault in an accident. But homeowners and those with substantial savings should consider higher limits — $100,000 per person bodily injury ($300,000 per accident) and $50,000 property damage are considered adequate for a typical family.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not required, but Tennessee has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, according to the Insurance Research Council. If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you would have to pay your own hospital bills unless you have health coverage of your own. And you would have to repair your own car unless you have bought collision coverage.
Dropouts don’t drive: Schools must notify the state when students 15 or older drop out, which automatically suspends the teen’s driving privileges until age 18.
Got some ID? Tennessee lets drivers who stop driving apply for an identification-only license, useful for boarding planes and voting.
Uninsured motorist penalties for Tennessee: If you are caught driving without insurance in Tennessee, you may be fined up to $100 and have your license and registration suspended.
SR-22 requirements: If you need to carry an SR-22 in Tennessee, you must do so for three years. If you don’t renew it at least 15 days before the expiration date, your insurer will notify the state, which may then suspend your license until you reinstate the insurance.
Driver’s license points: In Tennessee, driver’s license points stay on your driving record and affect insurance rates for 24 months. Drivers who accumulate 12 or more points on their Tennessee driving record within any 12-month period are sent a notice of proposed suspension and given an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing. If they fail to request a hearing, their driving privileges are suspended for a period of six or 12 months. Teens are penalized more harshly for driver’s license points in Tennessee.
Electronic proof of insurance: Tennessee is one of 31 states that allow drivers to show proof of insurance on a smartphone during a traffic stop.
Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Tennessee
Below you’ll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.