The US Congress in 1998 designated Bristol, Tennessee as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” This historic and vibrant town is home to a diverse group of residents, and unfortunately, dangerous roadways are also a part of the town’s makeup. Car accidents can cause a tremendous amount of stress and financial burden for everyone involved. And even the most careful drivers are not immune. Tennessee law requires all vehicle owners in the state to have at least a minimum amount of auto liability insurance in case they cause an accident.
To have the peace of mind you need, it’s smart to purchase a robust car insurance policy with appropriate coverage limits and the additional coverage options that best fit your needs and budget. A local independent insurance agent can help take the confusion out of car insurance. Your agent can explain your options, obtain multiple quotes for comparison, and help you make the right choice.
Tennessee Car Insurance Requirements
If you own a vehicle in Tennessee, you are required to purchase auto insurance. But this isn’t the only reason to have car insurance. Without it, you are entirely unprotected from the financial consequences of causing a crash. The following are the minimum coverage requirements for Tennessee drivers:
- Bodily injury liability: Required
- Property damage liability: Required
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Not required
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Not required
- Minimum liability limits: 25/50/15; coverage up to $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $25,000 for one individual; and $15,000 coverage for property damage
Purchasing only the minimum auto liability coverage required by the state could leave you seriously underinsured. If you cause an accident, you’ll have to pay the medical bills for your passengers or other drivers, vehicle repair costs for everyone involved, and even attorney fees and settlements or judgments levied against you if you are sued for negligence. These can easily add up to more than the minimum liability coverage, leaving you with insufficient financial backup.
Purchasing liability coverage limits that are higher than the state minimum is a good idea. For even more coverage, you can purchase a personal umbrella policy, which offers protection beyond the limits of your auto insurance policy. An independent insurance agent can help determine how much liability coverage is necessary to adequately protect your assets should the worst happen.
How Much Does Auto Insurance Cost in Bristol, TN?
Tennessee is the 24th most expensive state for car insurance. Average car insurance rates in Bristol are higher than both the state and national averages. Shopping around for the best rate and taking advantage of discounts can help you save on your Bristol car insurance.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Tennessee average annual car insurance cost: $1,263
- Bristol average annual car insurance cost: $1,440
Remember, auto insurance rates often vary significantly from one driver to the next, so your rates may be more or less than the average in your town. This is because insurance companies base your rates on several of your unique risk factors that help them determine how likely you are to get into an accident or file a claim. Your age, gender, and marital status help insurance companies determine whether you might be a risky driver. They also evaluate your driving history and credit score, as well as the year, make, and model of the car you drive.
They will evaluate the same characteristics for every driver in your household and will base your rates on your level of risk as well as the coverage limits, coverage options, and deductibles that you choose. You can usually save some money by qualifying for discounts. Most insurance companies offer discounts for customers who bundle several policies together, such as car and home insurance. An independent insurance agent in Bristol can help you compare quotes, choose policy options, and maximize your discounts.
Number of Uninsured Motorists in Tennessee
Driving without insurance is against the law in Tennessee, yet many drivers continue to drive without coverage and put everybody else on the road at risk for financial disaster.
- How many US drivers are uninsured? 12.6%
- How many Tennessee drivers are uninsured? 20%
Tennessee has the 5th highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the US, which makes uninsured motorist coverage essential for most drivers. It covers you if an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver hits you and can’t or won’t pay for your injuries or vehicle repairs. With uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for your accident-related expenses, even if your insurance company can’t collect from the at-fault driver.
Number of Auto Thefts in Tennessee
The auto theft rate across the state of Tennessee is lower than the national average, but in Bristol, there are more thefts than average.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.94
- Tennessee auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.27
- Bristol auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 3.60
The comprehensive coverage portion of your Bristol auto insurance policy offers the protection you need if your car is stolen or vandalized. It reimburses you for your lost or damaged car, and it also offers coverage for all kinds of “other than collision” situations, such as damage caused by falling objects, floods, structure fires, and more. Talk to a local insurance agent about comprehensive coverage and how it can help you pay to repair your car in a variety of unforeseen circumstances.
Why Contact an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents are insurance professionals who can explain your coverage options, answer your questions, and provide you with customized car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. With the help of an independent agent, you can make an informed choice.
Start your search by contacting an independent agent in or near Bristol.
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