Tennessee, Elizabethton among most affordable for car insurance in region

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                 Elizabethton drivers are ranked fifth in the state for cheapest car insurance according to a report issued by ValuePenguin.com.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Elizabethton drivers are ranked fifth in the state for cheapest car insurance according to a report issued by ValuePenguin.com.


Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the cheapest states to receive car insurance in the Southeast, according to a report issued by ValuePenguin.com on Friday, July 29.
ValuePenguin.com is a personal finance website that delves into a variety of topics, including insurance rates, credit cards and everyday spending by individuals.
Tennessee was lumped into a seven-state region, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky. North Carolina was dubbed the cheapest state within the region, where the average premium was $807.
According to information provided by the service, ValuePenguin.com studied auto insurance rates by looking at 44 cities and towns across Tennessee and collected quotes to see which place was the most affordable in the state.
“We keep it so there are very few variables since auto insurance pricing is very sensitive to a variety of factors,” Craig Casazza, who authored the study, told the Elizabethton Star on Tuesday.
“Our driver was always 30 years old, male, single, unknown credit, home owner, (drove a) Toyota Camry, and same limits. The only thing that ever changed was where he lived.”
The formula put together indicated that the City of Elizabethton is among the five most affordable cities to insure a car in the state, with rates seven percent below the state average.
ValuePenguin.com’s report also stated that Nashville is the cheapest among large southern cities for auto insurance costs. The state average for the sample driver was $1,119 per year with Memphis being the most expensive city for rates ($1,600 per year). The least expensive city was Bristol, where the average premium was totaled at $1,071 a year.
While the results for Elizabethton and the state are good for this year, gauging the future progress goes all to speculation, Casazza said.
“It requires more speculation than a concrete answer,” he said. “It is hard to say. We have been in the process of updating our data across our site, most of which was taken in 2014. From that time, we have found rates in many states have gone up by $200 to as high as $500.
“Interestingly though,” he continued, “their relative expensiveness has stayed the same. So Tennessee was still one of the cheapest in 2014, as it is now in 2016. If traffic and accident occurrences do not dramatically alter, then I do not see any reason for that to change.”
Casazza followed up the statement by delving into detail about rates changing.
“Essentially, it comes down to how many accidents people are getting into, and how much the insurance company is paying for repairs,” he said. “As of now, it seems Tennesseans are not costing the car insurance companies as much as maybe Kentuckians are. That’s just a guess, of course. I do not have the data to support that and companies typically keep this stuff pretty tight lipped.
“Elizabethton was cheap when we first did this study in 2014, and it retained about the same position in 2016,” he continued. “So for now the trend will continue. If all of a sudden a disaster were to befall Elizabethton, causing everyone’s car to be totaled, then perhaps after that you would see some rate hikes.”
Visit valuepenguin.com/2016/tennessee-car-insurance-study-second-best-region to view the study in its entirety.

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