Almost all of the states in the country require their drivers to maintain basic liability insurance coverage and Tennessee is no exception. In short, when you don’t have a policy, you can’t drive legally. Penalties and potentially high out-of-pocket expenses await those who fail to comply with these state laws.

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Average cost of car insurance in Tennessee

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $704.20 for car insurance in Tennessee each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$400.64 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$292.01 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$136.73 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Tennessee

Our case study revealed that a young driver in the Volunteer State can have one of these yearly auto insurance premium averages:

  • $919.6 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $2027.6 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $2722.4 for premium full coverage3.

Insurers take into consideration as many risk-determining factors as they can. And statistics show that new drivers, consisting mainly of young individuals, places first in terms of risk. There are, however, cost-lowering strategies. Completing driver’s education, maintaining good academic grades, and taking additional driving courses can help reduce premiums.

Female Drivers in Tennessee

A female driver in can have annual premiums with an average of:

  • $438 for state minimum coverage,
  • $888.8 for basic full coverage and
  • $1188 for premium full coverage.

Our methodology4 shows that women pay hundreds of dollars less than young drivers. This is why they can easily fit a more comprehensive coverage in their budget. Choosing to upgrade will extend the list of included perils. In other words, you can expect a greater level of protection.

Senior Drivers in Tennessee

In general, premiums go up once a driver turns 65 years old. However, the results of our case study suggest otherwise. We found that a senior driver in TN can expect to pay just an average of:

  • $426 for state minimum coverage,
  • $839.2 for basic full coverage and
  • $1105.2 for premium full coverage.

It’s also worthy to note that individuals who live in bigger cities usually enjoy better premiums. For instance, Tullahoma, the second biggest micropolitan area in the state with an estimated population of 19,128 (2015, latest data5) offers a senior driver with a premium of just $18 a month.

Minimum car insurance requirements

To make certain you do not get into trouble with the law due to motor vehicle insurance-related issues, keep your policy’s liability insurance coverage updated.

This will ensure that your insurance company will assist you in covering expenses for injuries to other people and damages to their property in case you cause a road traffic accident. In addition, maintaining the mandatory coverage minimum will prevent driving-record tarnishing violations that also come with hefty fines.

Complying with state laws means that this part of your policy should feature a $25,000/person for bodily injury coverage minimum, $50,000/accident for total bodily injury/death (for accidents that have more than one victim) coverage minimum, and $15,000/accident for property damage coverage minimum.

Although you can keep penalties at bay by simply purchasing and maintaining the above-mentioned liability coverage minimums, you should think about upgrading your policy. This way, you can protect yourself and others more extensively. Take a closer look at the other optional coverage types you can get from TN insurers, including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorists coverage, medical payments coverage, and rental car coverage.

Violations and Penalties 

Compared to the fines for violations that other states in the nation enforce on motorists caught driving without insurance, Tennessee’s may seem less expensive. However, the fine of $100 is already an unnecessary expense that you could have avoided if you only carried the proper coverage.

Besides, you don’t want to have your license suspended for up to three years (unless you can show law enforcement that you already have proof of financial responsibility). Add to these the fee of $100 for restoration and the hassle of having to take the licensure exam again, and you can already see why you should always have an up-to-date auto insurance policy.

Driving safety in Tennessee

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 84% drivers and front-seat passengers religiously wear their seatbelts. This number is lower than the national average, which is at 86%.

A National Highway Safety Administration study conducted in 2015 revealed that during this year, 958 driving casualties occurred. 26% of this number – 252 – had something to do with alcohol impaired driving.

The CDC rates the overall vehicle occupant death in TN at 11.7 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

As a driver, you don’t want to get involved in a road traffic accident, more so cause one. However, these unfortunate incidents can happen to anyone, including you. This said, it is always better to drive prepared and protected with a robust Tennessee car insurance policy.

licensed drivers in Tennessee, 2014
privately insured vehicles in Tennessee

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source:
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