Driving through Tennessee’s rolling Blue Ridge Mountains can be an adventure – especially if you don’t know the basic facts and minimum coverage levels for car insurance. To help you get up to speed, we’ve provided a guide on auto insurance in Tennessee.
Just need an auto insurance quote? Start comparing rates here.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Requirements
While Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State, demonstrating financial responsibility is mandatory for all drivers. Issuing a cash deposit or bond for $60,000, or qualifying as a self-insurer are the rare and round-about ways to meet this requirement, but most Tennessee drivers go the route of car insurance. Auto insurance policies come with minimum required levels in Tennessee that will help guide your car insurance shopping.
Tennessee Bodily Injury Liability Requirements
For bodily injury liability, Tennessee residents need minimum coverage levels of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
For property damage liability, which includes damage to homes and vehicles, drivers need to secure a minimum of $15,000 in coverage.
Collision and comprehensive insurance are available, but not required. Additionally, while insurance companies must include Tennessee drivers uninsured motorist coverage at those same levels in their policies, drivers can choose to decline this provision. Think hard about this decision as the coverage provides security in the event that you have an accident with an uninsured motorist. In Tennessee, an estimated 20-percent of drivers are uninsured. Paying your premiums is only half the battle; the state also necessitates that drivers keep proof of insurance on them at all times.
Don’t know what those numbers mean? Check out our liability coverage page.
As a “fault” state, Tennessee places the legal liability and financial responsibility of an accident on drivers who were determined to have caused accidents. This allows those injured in accidents the option of filing a claim with their own provider, filing through the provider of the party determined to be at fault, and to file a civil suit seeking additional damages.
You don’t need to worry about insurance for Medical payments, collision insurance, and comprehensive coverage in Tennessee; however, please keep in mind the added costs that lawsuits and other bills could bring your way. The minimal coverage amounts may not be sufficient for your own financial situation if you are deemed to be at fault for an accident.
Cheap Liability Coverage in Tennessee
In Tennessee, if you want cheap liability insurance you’ll need a policy that meets the state minimum requirements: that means $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $15,000 in property damage liability. (You’ll see this abbreviated as 25/50/15.) The best way to find the absolute cheapest rate is to compare quotes for this state minimum plan on Compare.com! Enter your info, select “state minimum” and check out the results.
Our sample driver, a 27-year-old Nashville woman with a good driving record, got rates for liability coverage ranging from $61 to $83 per month when paid in full. Your mileage may vary, however — compare quotes to find your best deal.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Discounts
Odds are that you may qualify for more car insurance discounts than you think. From safe driving discounts to employer-arranged incentives and insurance bundling opportunities, there are a number of ways to save on auto insurance. Do your homework as different providers offer different discount programs.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Penalties
While meeting the minimum Tennessee car insurance requirements provides peace of mind, failure to maintain compliance may result in the following penalties:
- A Class C misdemeanor conviction and a fine of up to $100
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- The need to have meet all requirements associated with having driving privileges reinstated before you can renew your registration
- Being required to file an SR-22 annual for five years after driving privileges are reinstated (In Tennessee, this may be truncated to three years if SR-22 is filed three total years after reinstatement.)
Tennessee Vehicle Costs and Fees
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees and a slew of other costs.
Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in Tennessee.