In Tennessee, drivers are legally required to purchase liability insurance, which covers the cost of property damage and injuries you cause to other people in case of an accident. Continue reading this article to get more information about Tennessee car insurance options, requirements, programs, rates and discounts.
If you are a driver in Tennessee, you are required to purchase a liability insurance to cover the cost of property damage and injuries caused to other people after a car accident. The minimum limits of liability insurance required in this state include:
- $25,000 for death or injuries to an individual
- $50,000 for death or injures per accident to multiple people
- $15,000 for property damage per accident.
Optional Car Insurance
Liability insurance alone cannot cover all costs of car accidents that you may be involved in. You need additional insurance coverage. So, if you purchase liability insurance, consider other optional car insurances. Most car insurance companies in Tennessee offer the following optional car insurances:
- Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
- Uninsured motorists
- Medical payments
- Rental car coverage.
Note: Collision and comprehensive coverages are not mandatory, but they are required if you are planning to finance your car through lease agreement or loan.
Proof of Insurance
Tennessee car insurance law requires drivers to provide proof of car insurance when you are pulled over by a police officer. If your car is involved in an accident, the law requires you to report if the accident caused any injury, death or property damage worth $400 or over. You are required to report a car accident by mailing the Driver Report (Form SF-0395) to Tennessee Department of Safety. You are also required to include a copy of your insurance ID card, insurance binder and a policy declaration page. All these documents can be obtained from your car insurance provider. Note: Proof of insurance is not required when applying for a driver’s license or when registering your car.
Insurance Violation Penalties and Fines
If you are a resident of Tennessee and you are caught driving without car insurance or violating any car insurance laws, you will face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $100
- Driver’s license suspension
- A STOP on your car; this may keep you from renewing your car registration.
A STOP can only be removed from your car registration by doing the following:
- Have your driver’s license reinstated
- Fighting for the case to be dismissed; this will involve showing proof of insurance cover.
You can send your proof of insurance to the Tennessee Department of Safety through fax or mail. Through fax, you can fax your proof of insurance to (615) 253-2094. Through email, you can send your proof of insurance to the DOS using the mailing address below: Financial Responsibility Division Tennessee Department of Safety P.O. Box 945 Nashville, TN 37202
If your driver’s license is reinstated after suspension, you will be required to file SR-22 insurance. This type of requirement provides proof of insurance and certifies that you will maintain your car insurance for 5 years.
Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan
Drivers who have poor driving record may find it hard to obtain car insurance through open market insurance companies. If you are one of these drivers, you can apply for car insurance through the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan. Through this plan, you will obtain car insurance but be prepared to pay higher rates. All car insurance companies in Tennessee must participate in the plan. You can therefore apply to Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan through your local car insurance agent.
Car Insurance Fraud in Tennessee
Car insurance providers lose significant sums of money through car insurance frauds. These losses trickle down to affect car insurance premiums. You can help fight car insurance frauds by reporting any suspected car insurance fraud to the authorities involved. Examples of Tennessee car insurance fraud include:
- Staging car accidents
- Falsifying car repairs
- Falsifying injuries
- Increasing medical costs.
Report any suspected car insurance fraud at the Tennessee Insurance Division’s Fraud and Investigation department. You can report the fraud in person at any local TIDFID office or by phone (800) 792-7573.
Tennessee Insurance Rates
Most Tennessee car insurance companies use various factors when calculating your car insurance rates and premiums. Some of these factors include:
- Your driving record
- The make and model of your car
- Your car insurance claim history
- Your gender
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your credit history.
Tennessee Car Insurance Discounts
When shopping for car insurance policies, always go for companies that offer car insurance discounts. Most car insurance providers in Tennessee offer the following discounts:
- Good driver discounts
- Good student discounts
- Homeowner discounts
- Multi-car discounts.
Discounts can lower your car insurance rates, but greatest way is by keeping a good driving history.
Most Stolen Cars in Tennessee
If you are driving a car that is always targeted by thieves, you are more likely to pay higher insurance rates to your insurance carrier. This is the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in Tennessee according to www.nicb.org
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Impala
- Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).
- Toyota Camry
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).