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Tennessee Auto Insurance Requirements

Tennessee auto insurance laws, minimum requirements and regulations. We help to find cheap auto insurance in Tennessee.

Tennessee Minimum Insurance Requirements

The Tennessee State laws governing auto insurance require you to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. You will need to provide proof that you possess the minimum liability auto insurance to pay for injuries to another person or damages to their property in case of an accident. This proof is not required in order to register your vehicle with the state of Tennessee but is a requirement of operating that vehicle on Tennessee roads.

The Tennessee State Department of Revenue and the Tennessee State Department of Insurance are the government agencies you need to present your proof of insurance if you are stopped for a traffic violation or involved in an accident and do not have current insurance information in the car. Failure to present this proof is considered a Class C misdemeanor. You may also need to contact the Motor Vehicle Division. All eligible drivers in a household must be covered under a liability auto insurance policy.

Mandatory liability auto insurance is also required on rental vehicles by the state of Tennessee. Your personal auto insurance policy generally covers rental cars but if it does not provide coverage for rental vehicles, you may want to check with the credit card that you used to rent the car. Credit card companies sometimes cover insurance on rental cars. If neither option applies to your situation, you must purchase the minimum liability insurance from the rental company. The rental companies policy will be about $7.00 to $14.00 per day. Keep the rental agreement in the vehicle throughout the term of the agreement. This will be your proof of insurance in case of an accident or traffic stop.

Tennessee is a Torte state. This means that the individual who is at fault in an accident may be sued by those injured in the accident, or families of those killed in the accident, for pain, suffering, and lost wages. That individual will also be held responsible for all medical expenses connected to the accident. For this reason, your insurance agent may strongly suggest that you carry more than the required amount of mandatory coverage.

You must have proof of insurance with you at all times. Tennessee’s mandatory minimum liability auto insurance limits are $25,000.00 per individual injury or death, $50,000.00 for all injured persons, and $15,000.00 for damage to property. As of December of 2008, the law was changed to add other options to the minimum insurance laws. You must have a single limit policy of $60,000.00 per accident, a deposit of $60,000.00 with the insurance commission or file and execute a bond in the amount of $60,000.00. Auto insurance policies purchased in Tennessee will include the mandatory liability minimum insurance limits. However, the state of Tennessee does not require drivers to carry underinsured or uninsured auto insurance coverage but the insurance company must offer that protection to you when you apply for a policy with their company. Likewise, you do not have to carry collision and comprehensive insurance on your vehicle but the company must offer you that option.

Penalties for Lack of Insurance

Tennessee requires motorists to be covered by the mandatory liability auto insurance policy at all times. As stated before, you do not have to show proof of insurance to register your vehicle but you do need to have proof of the minimum amounts of coverage if you are stopped for a traffic violation or involvement in an accident. Allowing your insurance to lapse for any reason is considered as a lack of the mandatory minimum insurance. Should you become involved in an accident or be stopped for a traffic violation and you do not have the required liability policy, you will be cited as an uninsured motorist. Even if the accident is not your fault, you can still be cited for lacking proof of insurance. This will result in fines and the possible suspension of your license as well as being charged with a Class C misdemeanor. The exemptions to the mandatory liability insurance are off highway vehicles and non operational vehicles.

Upon the first offense, you will be charged $100.00 and as well as being charged with the Class C misdemeanor and losing your license

Proof of Insurance

You must produce proof of insurance upon request by the authorities. This proof needs to include the name of the insurance company, the dates of coverage, and the amount of liability coverage. It also needs to include the policy number, VIN number of the vehicles covered, the make and model of the vehicles as well as the name of the policy holder and all individuals covered by the policy. The auto insurance needs to be authorized by a qualified auto insurance company. The most commonly accepted proof of insurance in most states is an insurance identification card issued by the insurance company. A copy of the current policy or a declaration page from the company may also be used as long as it contains the necessary information. Proof of prior coverage on another vehicle may be used with a bill of sale on any vehicle purchased in the last 30 days when that vehicle was purchased to replace the prior vehicle. If you have a deposit on file with the insurance commission or a bond executed, the required proof will be documentation from the insurance commission stating you have this coverage.

Remember that you may need your proof of minimum liability auto insurance at any time. You will definitely need it in the case of involvement in an accident either as the cause of the accident or the victim of the accident, or if you should be stopped for a traffic violation.