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Best 4 Car Insurance Companies in Tennessee 2020
An online quote should take only five minutes or so. If you don’t know your annual mileage or your driver’s license number, look those up before getting started. You can also call for a quote, but that’ll take a little longer, probably about 10 minutes per call. And if you’re dealing with an independent agent, you may have to wait for an agent to give you a call back with the quote.
Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Tennessee
Each of the above companies has strong financial strength ratings and excellent customer service, per A.M. Best and J.D. Power, respectively. A.M. Best measures a company’s long-term financial stability and a high score from the firm is a good sign the insurer will be able to pay out claims when necessary. J.D. Power is an internationally known organization that measures customer satisfaction across a variety of industries. It publishes a yearly report on auto insurers. All of the companies listed here earned at least three stars in the most recent survey.
Tennessee’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Tennessee residents are required to carry $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $15,000 of property damage liability coverage. This is in line with what most states require, though the property damage requirement is a bit below average.
Auto loans come with their own insurance requirements in order to protect lenders. While the requirements will vary from lender to lender, comprehensive coverage and collision are often required if you want to secure a loan for a car.
The best car insurance is not just cheap car insurance. Consider this:
- The average driver has an accident every 17.9 years.
- The average cost of a disabling, nonfatal injury is $93,800, according to the National Safety Council.
- If you have cheap car insurance and hit someone and that person incurs a $94,000 injury, you could be held responsible for anything over your $25,000 bodily injury policy limit. Do you have almost $70,000 lying around? Would it drain your savings or retirement account if you had to pay such an amount?
Raising your policy limits to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 would cost you an extra $20 a year with Progressive. That still wouldn’t be enough to cover all the damages in the accident above, but it would mean less money out of pocket.
Uninsured drivers are not uncommon in Tennessee. In 2015, the state ranked fifth in the nation for the percentage of uninsured motorists — a whopping 20 percent! It’s wise to invest in uninsured motorist coverage. Without it, you risk paying to fix damages that weren’t your fault. Underinsured motorist coverage goes hand in hand with this. The minimum liability coverage isn’t enough in every accident, and in cases where the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t cover the full cost of the damages, underinsured motorist coverage will pick up the balance.
You may also want to think about comprehensive and collision coverage, though it’s not required by law. If you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, your lender will require it. Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by an accident with another driver, regardless of whether you were at fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by natural disasters, theft, vandalism and run-ins with deer or other wildlife.
Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
Few people know it, but shopping habits impact insurance rates. Essentially, insurers look at your online shopping habits and other factors and determine whether you’re likely to leave them for a different insurer. If that risk is high, they’ll offer you a competitive price, but if it’s low, you may end up paying a higher rate because the company believes you’ll pay it without question. It’s a process called price optimization, and it’s caused quite a controversy.
Shopping around for new coverage every year or two helps you avoid being labeled as complacent by the insurer’s algorithms. This way, you’ll get quotes that accurately reflect your risk as a driver. That risk changes over time, so you may find in a year or two that your rates are much cheaper than they are today. For example:
- Good drivers will get steep discounts from other companies looking to pull loyal customers from competitors.
- Young drivers will get bigger discounts as they move out of the highest risk categories.
- Drivers with bad credit get quicker insurance savings as their credit scores increase.
Fifteen states have banned insurers from using price optimization when calculating rates, but Tennessee is not one of them. So for the time being, it’s up to you to make sure you’re not paying a higher rate than necessary.