We looked at more than a dozen of the top car insurance companies in Tennessee by market share to determine which ones gave you the most bang for your buck. Even though we looked for companies that provided low-cost quotes, we took it a step further and had a hard look at the coverage each one offered, as well as the discounts that can bring your premium costs down even further. We also looked at customer service and financial strength as well, and came up with five winners.
The Five Best Car Insurance Companies in Tennessee
- Erie Insurance
- State Farm
|Geico||USAA||Erie Insurance||State Farm||Progressive|
|Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review|
|A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating||A++||A++||A+||A++||A+|
|J.D. Power 2019 Overall Customer Satisfaction Score||3/5||NA||4/5||4/5||2/5|
|Avg. Annual Premium||$475||$553||$692||$678||$661|
|Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates|
Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 07/01/2019.
- Low premiums
- Extensive discounts
- Informative website
- Average customer service rankings
- Only standard coverage
Geico delivers quite well on its promise to save you 15% in 15 minutes. Its average premiums were the lowest among the 14 Tennessee car insurance companies we looked at. It also has one of most extensive discount lists in the business, so it’ll likely save you even more money by using them. The optional coverages aren’t as extensive, however, so there are less opportunities to customize your policy to best suit your circumstances.
Geico isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of great customer service companies. Consumer Reports gives it a lukewarm 78/100, while J.D. Power scores it with three out of five power circles for the Tennessee region — not bad, but not at the top of the list, either. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which tracks customer complaints, also gives it a middle-of-the-road ranking.
The company is financially sound, and has the highest possible ranking from A.M. Best. And we do like Geico’s website, which has some fun extras such as a coverage calculator to determine how much insurance you need, and even a resource to find cheap gas prices near you.
- Low premiums
- Financially rock-solid
- Excellent customer service
- Only available to military members and their families
USAA is, according to all the indicators of quality that we looked at, a great company. It’s premiums are low, the coverage is solid, and the company is financially sound. There’s really no downside, except for one: you can only get it if you are current or former military personnel or a member of their family.
If you fit into that category, we recommend that you make USAA your first stop when you’re looking for insurance. USAA’s average premium cost came in second only to Geico, and you can save even more by taking advantage of the available discounts, which range from safe driver to new vehicle, with several geared toward active military — like a 15% reduction on comprehensive if you garage your vehicle on base.
USAA gets an A++ from A.M. Best — the highest rating the organization offers — so you can have faith that if you do need to make a claim, it will be handled promptly and efficiently by USAA’s highly-rated customer service, which topped Consumer Reports car insurance listing with a 92 out of 100.
- Innovative coverage options
- Top customer service
- Erie Rate Lock
Lackluster digital presence
If customer service matters to you, you’ll want to take a look at Erie car insurance in Tennessee. The company’s ratings from customer ranking organizations are high. It’s in second place in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Southeast Region, with four out of five power circles. Consumer Reports gives it an enthusiastic 86 out of 100. Its rating with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), however, is a rock-bottom .26 — anything below 1.0 is considered above average.
Erie’s coverage is also stellar, with some unusual options such as coverage for your pet if it’s injured in an accident and locksmith services, which are included in a standard policy. If you have comprehensive coverage, rental car fees and glass repair are also covered, with no deductible. The Erie Rate Lock feature means your rate won’t change — even if you have an accident — unless you add or remove a vehicle or driver from your policy, or change your address.
Where Erie fails to shine is in its digital presence; although you can get an online quote and start the claim process online, you can’t do much else without connecting to your local agent. Despite its high ratings elsewhere, Erie is second to last in J.D. Power’s 2019 Insurance Digital Experience Study. If being able to take care of business online matters to you, you may want to reconsider the company.
- Financially strong
- Informative website
- Innovative coverage options
- Limited discounts
- Middle-of-the-pack customer service
As the largest writer of car insurance policies in the U.S., State Farm has a reputation to uphold — and for the most part, it delivers well. It offers standard liability, PIP, comprehensive and other common insurance types, plus a few that are less common, such as insurance specifically designed for sports cars or antique cars, emergency road service coverage, and rideshare coverage if you drive for Uber or Lyft.
The company doesn’t rank badly with consumer watchdog agencies, but isn’t great, either. J.D. Power gives it four out of five power circles for car insurance in Tennessee, for example, but Consumer Report only offers a 78 out of 100 — a passing grade, for sure, but not one that puts it at the front of the class.
We do give State Farms props for having an informative and efficient website, featuring our favorite car insurance blog. You can get a quote, pay your bill, file and track a claim completely online.
The company has a smaller suite of discounts, but the ones it does have are good: such as the Drive Safe & Save program, that uses info from your smartphone to reward your good driving skills.
- Low average premiums
- Excellent discounts
Mediocre customer service
Progressive’s average rate was right in the middle of our five chosen companies, and the same could be said for its customer service, which is not as good as it could be. It ranks below average at Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, and NAIC gives it a less-than-satisfactory 2.0 — anything over 1.0 equates to too many customer complaints.
But we still think the company is worth quoting for car insurance in Tennessee. It has a solid network of feet-on-the-ground agents in the state, it’s financially sound, with an A+ rating from A.M. Best, and has a good record of claims management.
And then there are the discounts. If you’re trying to save money (and who isn’t?), Progressive has a raft of discount options for you, from loyalty-based such as multi-policy and multi-car to driver-based such as its Snapshot program that allows you to save an average of $145 annually if you have a good driving record. You even get a discount just for quoting online.
The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Tennessee
|Car Insurance Companies||Average Annual Premium|
Car Insurance by Credit Rating
|Credit Rating Tier||Average Annual Premium|
|Average Across Credit Rating Tiers||$874|
Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 07/01/2019.
These rates are a sample set meant only for general comparison. Your own premium will vary. Learn how we tested rates for the cheapest car insurance companies below.
Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Tennessee
• Geico – $475
• USAA – $553
• Progressive – $661
Top 3 Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in Tennessee
• Metropolitan Insurance – $1,348
• Allstate – $1,168
• Chubb – $1,052
We’ve included all three of the most economic car insurance companies in Tennessee on our list of the best, for a number of reasons. Although cheap car insurance might sound great, you also want a company with the financial stability to back up its claims, good customer service, and a seamless online experience.
That said, you may want to investigate some of the companies with the higher-end quotes as well. Remember, your own quote will be unique, and possibly lower than average, based on factors ranging from your age and marital status to the age and make of your car.
Buying insurance of any kind is a highly personalized experience, and the policy and company that works best for you might not be the same for your neighbor. It’s easy to get an online quote, or a quick quote from an agent with a simple phone call — so there’s nothing to lose in collecting multiple quotes to see where your best option lies.
Guide to Tennessee Car Insurance
Tennessee Minimum Liability
Liability insurance is the most basic type of car insurance: it covers the medical costs or property damage that the other driver incurs in an accident. Most states require you to have a minimum amount of liability insurance before it allows you to drive legally. In Tennessee, the minimums are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
This is often written 25/50/15. If you are at fault in an accident and had a policy mandating these minimums, this is the maximum amount of money that the insurance company would make available for you to pay for injury or damages to the other driver and car.
Consider purchasing more than minimum coverage
If you can afford it, you would be wise to invest in a policy that includes more than the minimums. In an accident where the other driver is seriously hurt, for example, $25,000 won’t go very far toward paying medical costs, and you could be personally liable for anything over that.
For a better idea of how much insurance you should consider, take a look at Geico’s coverage calculator to gather some initial data. A local agent can also be an invaluable source of information and suggestions to help you purchase enough insurance to be adequately covered.
You should also consider other types of coverage, such as collision in case you have a newer car, and/or comprehensive, to protect you in the event of damage to your car from something other than an accident. Other coverages worth having include personal injury protection (PIP), to pay your own medical bills, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, in case you are hit by someone who has no insurance.
How We Found the Best Tennessee Car Insurance Companies
To find the best car insurance in Tennessee, we started with the 14 companies that are writing the most policies in the state: they’re the ones with the most experience in local insurance rules and regulations.
We took a deep dive into each company’s website to find the most effective in answering your questions and helping you manage your insurance business online. We looked at the rankings of consumer watchdog groups like J.D. Power, Consumer Report, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as well as groups who assess financial stability such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poors.
We worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide data on auto insurance rates by company and credit score. Quadrant makes this information available using rate data insurers are required to file with state Departments of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes.
Tennessee Car Insurance Companies FAQ
Although Geico came in with the lowest average premium cost for car insurance in Tennessee, it’s important to note that your own quote will be different, and is based on multiple factors including where you live, what you drive, and even how you drive.
In general, rates range from about $500 to a little over $1,000 annually. Your average auto insurance rates in Tennessee will vary, and are best determined by getting several quotes from a range of insurers.
The state minimums are 25/50/15. We recommend, however, that you purchase as much car insurance in Tennessee as you can afford, since the costs of a car accident can become astronomical if there are serious injuries or significant property damage.