What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Tennessee?
How much car insurance do you need in Tennessee? According to state law, you need to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to drive in Tennessee. This includes:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
You might see these minimum liability requirements expressed as 25/50/15. However, you can choose insurance with higher coverage minimums at an additional cost for better financial protection.
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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?
Most states, including Tennessee, require liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance covers the cost of injuries to other parties and damage to property if you are in an at-fault accident. In Tennessee, liability limits are set at 25/50/15. This means that you need a minimum of $25,000 per person for injuries or death, with a total of $50,000 per accident. Property damage liability covers property damage, like a home or a vehicle, that gets damaged in the accident. Therefore, you need a minimum of $15,000 property damage coverage in Tennessee.
How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Tennessee?
The cost of car insurance in Tennessee can vary based on several factors, including your age, driving record, ZIP code, the type of car you own, credit score and other factors. Costs can also vary among different car insurance providers in Tennessee.
The cheapest car insurance in Tennessee is from USAA and costs about $324 per year. However, USAA policies are only available to current and former military members and their families. The second cheapest option is GEICO, at $369 per year.
These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Tennessee driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.
For this study, MoneyGeek compared car insurance rates with state minimum limits of 25/50/15 liability insurance for a 40-year-old male driver with a 2010 Toyota Camry, a clean driving record and a good credit rating.
MoneyGeek also ranked the best car insurance companies in Tennessee for those who want strong service and affordable rates.
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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Tennessee While Leasing a Car?
While the state of Tennessee has minimum car insurance liability limits, a leasing company might have its own set of requirements if you opt for a lease. This is usually a full-coverage car insurance policy with 100/300/50 minimum liability limits for most leasing companies. Contact your leasing company to find out the minimum coverage that meets your leasing terms. When shopping for a leased car, make sure you fully understand the agreement terms and the minimum car insurance requirements you need to meet to satisfy the lease agreement.
If you are confused about how much car insurance you should purchase in Tennessee, MoneyGeek recommends full-coverage car insurance with at least 50/100/50 liability limits. Unfortunately, Tennessee has a high ratio of uninsured motorists at 23.7%. This means you might not be covered for property damages or injuries if an underinsured or uninsured motorist hits you, and you do not have a full coverage car insurance policy.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Tennessee
Driving your vehicle without car insurance in Tennessee can attract penalties, financial or otherwise. Therefore, you need to carry proof of insurance at all times and provide it whenever asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. In most cases, this can be a policy declaration page, a printed ID, or electronic proof of insurance you carry on your phone.
Tennessee uses a web-based program to verify the insurance of drivers. Monetary fines and the loss of driving privileges may result if you drive without insurance. Since 2017, failure to provide proof of insurance during a traffic stop or an accident is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. Here are some of the repercussions drivers can expect for driving without insurance or proof of insurance:
- A maximum fine of $300
- Up to 30 days in prison
- Your vehicle might get towed
- Suspension of vehicle license and registration
- The requirement to file SR-22 to confirm financial responsibility
- Coverage failure fee of $30 in failing online check
- Additional $100 fee, $50 fee to commissioner and $65 fee to reinstate driving privileges for no timely response to the above
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Tennessee
Here are some answers to questions people sometimes ask about car insurance in Tennessee.
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- CARCO. "CARCO FAQs." Accessed July 9, 2021.
- CollisionClaims.com. "Tennessee Diminished Value Claims." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Insurance Information Institute. "2020 Insurance Factbook." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Uninsured motorists." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Kelly Blue Book. "Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance by State." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Tennessee Department of Revenue. "Why You Should Have Auto Insurance." Accessed July 11, 2021.