The best car insurance is one of those things you don’t think you need until you need it. And sometimes…you really need it! But how do you know how much car insurance you need? That’s what we are here for! We can help you find affordable car insurance in Tennessee from nationally known companies like Progressive, Safeco, Encompass, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Insurance
Have questions about shopping for car insurance? Here are some frequently asked questions we often get in our agency.
What Should I Look for When Getting Car Insurance?
There are several factors to consider when shopping for car insurance. It is important to consider each part of the policy to determine the right coverage for you. Below, we breakdown a few of the most essential parts of an auto policy to consider.
- Liability Limits
- Liability limits cover the medical or property damage expenses that you would be liable for if an accident is deemed to be your fault. This coverage does not protect you or your vehicle, however it does protect your bank account.
- Liability coverage is required in most states, with the minimum in Tennessee being $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 bodily injury per accident/$15,000 property damage (often shortened to 25/50/15). However, we recommend the highest limits that you can afford to protect you and your family from the financial detriment that could follow an “at-fault” accident.
- There are two different types of liability limits.
- Combined Single Limit (CSL) provides one total limit per accident for bodily injury and property damage. For example, a $500,000 combined single limit would give you $500,000 in coverage for all bodily injury and property damage that occurred in one accident.
- Split limit coverage offers a different limit for each type of coverage. For example, a 100/300/100 split limit policy would give you $100,000 per person bodily injury, $300,000 per accident bodily injury, $100,000 per person property damage per accident. Depending on the accident, split limits can provide more or less coverage than a combined single limit. In either case, the higher the limit, the better.
- For even more liability coverage, you can add umbrella insurance over and above your auto policy. These excess liability policies provide additional liability coverage over your auto, home and other personal insurance policies.
- Collision Coverage
- Collision coverage is what pays to repair your own vehicle in the event of a collision, no matter whose fault it is. Collision coverage is not required by the state, however about 70% of people carry this coverage. If you have an older car that would not cost much to replace, you may elect to skip this coverage. It is best to discuss with your independent agent about whether or not this would be the best decision in your current situation.
- Other Than Collision Coverage (Sometimes Call Comprehensive Coverage)
- This coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle for claim events that are not collisions. This includes things such as hail damage, a tree falling on your car, theft, or fire. You will have a separate deductible for both collision and other than collision. This is also an elective coverage.
- Your deductible is the amount that you are responsible for paying before the insurance company will start paying on a claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and you have a covered claim in the amount of $2000, you would pay $500 and the insurance company would pay the remaining $1500.
- The deductible you choose does affect your insurance rate. The higher your deductible, the lower your rate and vice versa.
- Car insurance deductibles apply per claim, not per year. If you have two claims in one policy period, you would pay your deductible twice.
How Much Car Insurance do You Really Need?
I know it is tempting to get the lowest limits possible to save money, but state minimum car insurance will rarely cover a large accident. What happens if you cause an accident with a semi-truck or multiple vehicles? You are responsible for any damages above your liability limit which could be hundreds of thousands that would come out of your pocket.
You will also need to take into consideration special circumstances such as using a company car or driving for Uber or Lyft.
One of the best ways to make sure you are getting the cheapest car insurance is to make sure you are taking advantage of all the available discounts. Here are just some of the auto insurance discounts we offer:
- Higher Education Discount
- Multi-Car Discount
- Accident Free Discount
- Incident Free Discount (No Tickets!)
- Homeowner Discount
- Military Discount
- Pay in Full Discount
- Safety Features Discount (Air Bags, Blind Spot Warning, Automatic Braking Technology)
- Good Student Discount
- Multi-Policy Discount
- Low-Mileage Discount
Several carriers now also offer a plug-in device or smartphone app that will track your driving habits and give you a steep discount for being a good driver.
Is it Worth Shopping Around for Car Insurance?
Yes, it is worth it to shop around for cheap car insurance, but it doesn’t have to be the long, horrible process you are used to experiencing. Nothing is worse than being forced to give your personal information to multiple companies in order to get the car insurance quotes you want.
That’s where we are different! By shopping with an independent insurance agent, you can go to ONE agency to get quotes from the many of the top carriers in the industry. We do the shopping for you to make the process easy and painless.
How Often Should You Shop for Insurance?
Insurance companies change their rates on a regular basis, so it is a good idea to shop around once a year. We do that work for you by shopping all of our companies every year to make sure you are getting the best rate.
If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call anytime at 615-919-1009. We are happy to help!