Tennessee Auto Insurance Requirements
Tennessee has strict auto insurance and financial responsibility laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in Tennessee are mandated by state law and the Tennessee Department of Safety. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: Tennessee Department of Safety)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in Tennessee can result in a $100 fine and suspension of driving privileges. Subsequent offenses are subject to higher fines, reinstatement fees, and jail time.
The Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the AIPSO website.
Alternatively, drivers not wishing to carry basic liability insurance in Tennessee may deposit cash or securities in the amount of $60,000 with the Commissioner of Safety, or obtain a surety bond, and provide receipt of same, who will issue a certificate of financial responsibility in lieu of an insurance card.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in Tennessee
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in Tennessee requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though Tennessee is one of the least expensive states for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in Tennessee include:
– Tennessee is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– Vehicle repair costs are generally less expensive in Tennessee than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are somewhat higher than national averages
– A much higher percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates above national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in Tennessee is $1,146 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in Tennessee
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in Tennessee
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
– Auto Theft: Tennessee has a relatively high vehicle theft rate, but it has been decreasing (as is the case in most states) consistently over the past 10 years. This can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in Tennessee has remained almost constant in recent years, but vehicle accident fatality rates have shown a downward trend. Still, Tennessee is above the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes.
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