While it is not required to own car insurance to register a vehicle in Tennessee, you are required to have insurance in order to operate any vehicle on roads, motorways or highways in the state. Tennessee auto insurance has a few complicated ins and outs that you should understand before you make an informed decision. This article will provide all the necessary information you need in order to buy the best insurance for your needs. TN insurance rules and regulations are among the least intimidating of all the states, but it is still important to know what you’re getting into before you make a final purchase.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Requirements
The penalties for driving without insurance in Tennessee are not very severe in comparison to other states. If you are stopped for a traffic infraction or any other reason, the police officer will ask to see proof of insurance. If you don’t have proof of current insurance on your person while driving, you may be liable for a $100 fine and a class C misdemeanor. Repeat violations may lead to temporary license suspension, so even if the fine seems small compared to other states, you should be sure to get insurance before you go out driving.
It is important to note that you don’t need insurance to register your vehicle, so you shouldn’t forget to do so before taking your new car out driving. Many TN drivers make this mistake and end up incurring a fine simply due to forgetfulness.
Insurance requirements in Tennessee are pretty simple. With a Bodily Injury Liability requirement of $25,000/$50,000 for personal/accident coverage and Property Damage Liability of $15,000, Tennessee is said to be a 25/50/15 state. These are the only required coverages in Tennessee, though experts recommend that you get more than just the minimum due to the nature of the tort system.
When your TN insurance expires, state law mandates that you renew it before driving again. Many people think that due to the relative laxity of insurance law in Tennessee that it is okay to fudge the renewal boundaries, but this has caused many undesired tickets to be issued. It’s better to renew it as soon as it expires.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Laws
As a tort state, Tennessee uses a system of fault to determine whose car insurance pays for damages. Fault is settled in court, and liabilities are used to pay for a variety of costs, including medical damages, loss of wages or pain and suffering. Only the driver at fault in an accident has his or her premiums go up. For this reason, individuals are encouraged to purchase more than the minimum amount of coverage, as damage claims can go through the roof when the courts get involved.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Coverage
Mandatory TN car insurance coverage is somewhat bare-bones. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage isn’t required by the state of Tennessee, meaning that if you only get the minimum coverage and an uninsured motorist hits you, you will still end up paying for your own medical or property damage expenses out of your own pocket. It is important to get better than minimum coverage, even if premiums are slightly higher. At least, you should include UM coverage on your policy.
Furthermore, minimum TN Bodily Injury Liability coverage is somewhat low compared to the average claims made against drivers at fault. If you are ruled at fault and damages exceed $25,000, you will be expected to pay the difference out of pocket.
Finally, collision (colliding with objects) and comprehensive (damage from theft, weather, etc.) insurance plans are often required in order to lease a car in Tennessee. Even if you are buying rather than leasing, it may be a good idea to get either if other people are listed on your policy or if you live in an area where people or the elements present a danger to your car.
Cheap Tennessee Auto Insurance Quotes
You will be able to find TN car insurance from many of the top car insurance companies in the country. Simply visit the companies’ websites and type in your information and your desired plans, and you will get free quotes with cheap prices. You can then compare the prices to figure out which insurance company offers the best deal.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Ratings
Your eligibility for cheap insurance in Tennessee depends on your auto insurance rating, which is determined by a variety of factors. These include your credit report, how often you drive, your driving and police record, the model of your car, your location, your age and your gender.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Rates
Average Tennessee annual insurance costs in 2011 were among the lowest in the country, at $865 per year. This is nearly half the cost of the national average, and rates have been falling for the past three or four years. In a buyer’s market such as Tennessee, car insurance purchasers should always be on the lookout for good deals and new insurance policies. It could be a good idea to switch policies if you feel that you’re paying too much for yours.
Tennessee Auto Insurance Companies
Many car insurance companies offer great deals to Tennessee customers, including:
* Liberty Mutual
* Travelers Insurance
Many of these companies will also bundle your home insurance into your car insurance, reducing the rates for both. Visit their websites today for free online quotes and find the best deal for you.