How much are you paying for auto insurance?

According to a new report by “The Zebra,” Knoxville residents are paying some of the highest rates in the state, a stat not going unnoticed by some area drivers.

“I was always told that when you got older, when you got to 25 years old, your car rates would go down,” says resident Chris Williams, “I haven’t seen it go down yet so I’m really not sure if it’s the area we live in or what.”

One big factor that impacts your rates are the numbers of uninsured drivers. The national average right now sits at about 14 percent. In Tennessee, approximately 20 percent of those you share the road with are uninsured. That breaks down to roughly one in five drivers on the road with you.

“Uninsured drivers, as a whole, drive up rates for everybody because somebody has to pay for it,” says Alyssa Connolly, Author of The Zebra’s – 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report.

“We pull something like 53 million rates and then ran aggregates and averages to get this information,” adds Connolly, “So, it’s very thorough.”

A closer look at the insurance costs in Tennessee, provided by “The Zebra,” show that Knoxville ranks second only to Memphis and ahead of Nashville when it comes to the average cost of auto insurance premiums at $1,316 annually.

“So, in Knoxville rates are up 37 percent since 2011,” says Connolly, “So much higher than the national average”

To be more specific, Knoxville is currently 17 percent higher than the national average when it comes to annual costs.

The reason, according to Connolly, is simple. Knoxville is growing.

“The more congested a city gets, the more people are going to bump into each other and the more vehicle theft there is going to be,” she said.

So the question is, how can we lower our costs? 

First, and the most obvious, is to become better drivers. Some insurance companies provide good driver and good student discounts. Also, if you can, pay your premiums early. Connolly tells us you can lower your rates by paying anywhere from a week to 10 days early.

If you pay using automatic bill pay that too can save you some cash in the long run.

And finally, Connolly says work to raise your credit score.  She says, by raising your score from one tier to the next can actually save you upwards of 17 percent on your annual payments.

To get a better look at insurance costs state to state, as well as a break down of insurance costs for specific vehicles, you can check out “The Zebra – 2018 State of Auto Insurance” report.