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General Tennessee Insurance Guidelines
Tennessee currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle. Tennessee drivers are required to show their insurance info when requested by an officer.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Tennessee
Tennessee's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $15,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. Tennessee does not require UM/UIM coverage.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. Tennessee is not a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. Tennessee does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for Tennessee
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. Tennessee requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
Tennessee DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Tennessee are:
- 48 hours to 11 months imprisonment
- $350 - $1,500 fine
- 1 year license suspension
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device
- Possible community service hours
- Possible child endangerment penalty if minor under 18 in vehicle
- Possible alcohol safety DUI program
Special Insurance Regulations for Tennessee
As of January 1st, 2002, law enforcement officers will ask for proof of financial responsibility in the event of a moving violation or traffic accident, without regard for who is at fault. As of July 2nd, 2003, the Tennessee courts will dismiss your violation for a lack of financial responsibility if you secure it before the date of your hearing. If you do not rectify the matter before your court date, a stop will be placed on your vehicle. The stop on your vehicle will prevent you from being able to register it until you have obtained financial responsibility. Non-compliance with Tennessee auto insurance and financial responsibility law is a Class C misdemeanor. Penalties for this violation include a $100 fine and a suspended license.
Additional Information on Insurance for Tennessee
For more information, please contact Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance: 1-615-741-2241 or visit their website at www.tn.gov.
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