Cheap Tennessee Low-Income Car Insurance for Families and Individuals

Tennessee does not have a government program to assist low-income drivers with car insurance costs. MoneyGeek collected average rates from auto insurance companies and found GEICO quite often has the cheapest car insurance for low-income individuals and families in Tennessee.

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Last Updated: 11/25/2022
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Car insurers don’t use income when calculating car insurance premiums but consider potentially income-related factors. Adding a teenage driver to a policy and age impact Tennessee auto insurance rates the most.

MoneyGeek found the cheapest car insurance for low-income families and individuals in Tennessee with poor or good credit scores.

Is There Car Insurance for Low-Income Families and Individuals in Tennessee?

In 2019, Tennessee ranked third in the United States for the most uninsured motorists — around 23.7% of drivers do not carry insurance. The lack of a government car insurance program in Tennessee to help low-income drivers afford insurance may be a factor.

A traditional state minimum policy is your cheapest option for low-income car insurance in Tennessee. Pay-per-mile insurance is an alternative for those who don’t frequently drive to save money.

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Does Tennessee Have a Government Program to Support Low-Income Drivers with Insurance?

There is no government car insurance program in Tennessee. Low-income drivers must find affordable coverage by collecting quotes from several providers and choosing the lowest rate.

MoneyGeek found the companies with the cheapest low-income car insurance for drivers in Tennessee to help them save money.

The Cheapest Tennessee Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Drivers

Tennessee insurers cannot use income when deciding on what rate to charge. However, some factors they consider may be income-related, like age and credit score. Both impact your car insurance rates significantly.

For the cheapest possible car insurance, a state minimum policy is ideal. MoneyGeek’s analysis focused on companies offering cheap car insurance for low-income drivers in Tennessee. Our findings show that GEICO, State Farm and Progressive offer the most affordable coverage for various low-income driver types.

MoneyGeek also found companies with cheap car insurance for low-income families and individuals in Tennessee of different ages.

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The Cheapest Tennessee Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Families

Even if income isn’t a factor for car insurance rates in Tennessee, low-income families should be aware that credit score does have an impact.

For example, MoneyGeek’s sample single parent pays around $1,383 more for coverage a year if they have a poor credit score versus a good credit score. Car insurance for a couple with a child costs roughly $1,723 more a year because of a poor credit score rather than a good credit score.

On average, a low-income couple with a child in Tennessee with poor credit can find cheap car insurance from:

  • Progressive: $2,622 per year
  • GEICO: $2,821 per year

USAA is an option at around $2,464 a year to present and former military members.

On average, the companies offering the most affordable car insurance to single parents with poor credit are:

  • GEICO: $2,298 per year
  • State Farm: $2,332 per year

USAA is an affordable option at around $1,978 per year if the single parent has a military background.

A low income doesn’t automatically mean you have a poor credit score. The table below shows how rates vary between profiles and credit scores to find your family’s cheapest possible option.

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $1,059
  • GEICO
    $1,230
  • State Farm
    $1,249
  • Tennessee Farmers
    $1,255
  • Erie
    $1,353
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The Cheapest Tennessee Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Individuals

A sample low-income 40-year-old driver of MoneyGeek’s with a poor credit score pays around $436 more a year for car insurance in Tennessee than if they had a good credit score.

On average, the companies offering cheap car insurance for low-income individuals in Tennessee with poor credit scores are:

  • GEICO: $711 per year
  • State Farm: $749 per year

USAA is the most affordable option for low-income individuals in Tennessee with a military affiliation, around $623 a year.

You don't automatically have a poor credit score if you have a low income. With good credit, GEICO costs around $380 per year, State Farm has an annual premium of $401, and USAA is roughly $333 annually.

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $333
  • GEICO
    $380
  • State Farm
    $401
  • Tennessee Farmers
    $407
  • Erie
    $439

The Cheapest Tennessee Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Students

Car insurance for student drivers tends to have higher premiums because they’re riskier to insure. Since they’re in college, students' income tends to be lower, making car insurance a significant portion of their earnings even if their income is not a factor when calculating rates.

On average, the insurers offering cheap car insurance for low-income students in Tennessee with poor credit are:

  • GEICO: $1,880 per year
  • State Farm: $1,981 per year

If from a military family, students may consider USAA at around $1,648 per year.

A low income isn’t always indicative of a poor credit rating. With a good credit score, students can purchase the same policy from GEICO for around $1,007 and State Farm for roughly $1,060 per year. If eligible, USAA is around $882 annually.

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $882
  • GEICO
    $1,007
  • State Farm
    $1,060
  • Tennessee Farmers
    $1,077
  • Erie
    $1,163

The Cheapest Tennessee Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Seniors

Age is a factor that significantly affects car insurance rates. Seniors tend to pay more for coverage than middle-aged drivers, and credit score does affect their rates. MoneyGeek’s sample senior driver (70 years old) with a poor credit score pays around $478 more each year compared to if they had a good credit score.

On average, the companies offering the cheapest car insurance for low-income seniors in Tennessee with poor credit are:

  • State Farm: $749 per year
  • Tennessee Farmers: $784 per year

If you’re a veteran or come from a military family, you can also consider USAA, with an average cost of $693 per year.

A lot of low-income seniors don’t have poor credit. Seniors with good credit pay around $401 with State Farm per year and roughly $420 a year with Tennessee Farmers. USAA is around $371 annually.

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Good Credit Score

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $371
  • State Farm
    $401
  • Tennessee Farmers
    $420
  • Erie
    $453
  • GEICO
    $464

Does Income Affect Car Insurance Rates in Tennessee?

Insurers may not use income when calculating car insurance rates in Tennessee, but they consider factors often related to it. A person’s claims history is an example. Low-income drivers may file more claims because they can’t afford to pay for repairs out of pocket. Unfortunately, it may translate into higher premiums because insurance companies consider claims history for pricing.

MoneyGeek’s analysis found the factors related to income that may affect auto insurance rates in Tennessee. The most impactful are as follows:

  • Adding a teen driver.
  • Age of driver.
  • Coverage levels.

Your credit score and car model are other factors that impact car insurance premiums.

  • Factor
    How It Affects Your Rates
  • Adding a Teen Driver

    A teenage driver on a policy makes the rate more than triple.

  • Age of Driver

    A student or young driver pays 2.6x more than a middle-aged driver.

  • Coverage Levels

    Purchasing full coverage car insurance costs 2.4x more than a state minimum policy.

  • Credit Score

    In Tennessee, drivers with a poor credit score pay 2.3x more than with good credit.

  • Car Model

    Your car’s model may make insurance 2x more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions About Low-Income Car Insurance in Tennessee

MoneyGeek’s guide on low-income car insurance in Tennessee can help you find affordable coverage. But you may have questions. MoneyGeek answers the most commonly asked questions about low-income car insurance for individuals and families in Tennessee below.

Methodology

MoneyGeek calculated the cost of car insurance for low-income drivers in Tennessee using quotes sourced in partnership with Quadrant Information Services. The sample driver is either a 40-year-old male, a single 40-year-old parent with a 16-year-old child, an adult couple (each 40 years old), or a couple with a 16-year-old child. The individual or family drives a 2010 Toyota Camry LE. The driver buys the minimum car insurance required in Tennessee.

Costs for poor and good credit scores were extrapolated based on MoneyGeek’s dataset of credit score rate adjustments by score categorization.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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