Tennessee Car Insurance Requirements

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Minimum car insurance requirements in Tennessee

Compared to many other states, Tennessee does not require a lot of car insurance. Only liability insurance is mandated. But liability insurance won't cover damage to your own car. Let's look at the options in Tennessee so you can make insurance picks that are right for you.

Minimum liability insurance:

Liability insurance covers the damage you cause in a crash to others. This include injuries and property damage, such as hitting other people's cars or property, like a fence or building. The minimum coverage amounts in Tennessee are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 property damage per accident
  • Or a combined single liability limit of $65,000

This is often written as 25/50/15.

Other insurance options in Tennessee

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage:

Despite state requirements to buy car insurance, many people drive uninsured. And many people drive with only very low limits of liability insurance. That's why UM/UIM can be valuable coverage. It will pay for your injuries and property damage if you're hit by a driver who has no insurance or not enough to cover the bills, up to the UM/UIM limits you choose.

  • In Tennessee you must be offered UM/UIM by your insurance company but you don't have to take it. If you do buy it, you must have limits of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for injuries.
  • In Tennessee you can also buy an insurance type called uninsured motorst property damage (UMPD) coverage. It's like UM but it covers your property damage instead of injuries. You must have at a limit of least $15,000 of UMPD coverage if you buy it.

   More: Cheap car insurance in Tennessee

Medical payments (MedPay) coverage:

MedPay is not required in Tennessee, and if you have good health insurance you may not need it. MedPay covers medical bills and funeral expenses for anyone driving or riding in your car, no matter who caused the accident.

Comprehensive and collision coverage:

These are not required by Tennessee. However, if you have a car loan or lease you are likely required to have them by the loan or leasing company. These cover: the theft of your vehicle, damage caused by hitting another car or an animal, and damage from hail, flood, fire, vandalism, falling objects and explosions.

Rental reimbursement coverage:

This pays for a rental if your vehicle is being repaired due to an accident. It usually has limits for a daily maximum and also a total limit. If you rent a more expensive car you'll need to pay the difference.

You must show an insurance ID card (or other proof of financial responsibility) in Tennessee when:

  • Law enforcement requests it.

Penalties for not having car insurance in Tennessee

  • Class C misdemeanor, up to a $300 fine.
  • Class A misdemeanor if you're not in compliance with Tennessee financial responsibility laws and involved in accident resulting in bodily injury or death you were at fault for the accident.

Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Consumer complaints against auto insurance companies

Each state has a department of insurance that collects complaints against insurance companies. Data from all states creates a "complaint ratio." The number is meant to show complaints against a company relative to its size. Shown below are complaint ratios for the biggest auto insurance companies in Tennessee.

Auto insurance oomplaints in Tennessee

Updated Aug. 15, 2018

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