Car Insurance in Tennessee

Tennessee Car Insurance

In Tennessee, you're legally required to hold liability insurance in case you get into an accident. Note, however, that there are plenty of other options for insurance coverage you may consider for additional protection.

Read below to learn more about Tennessee's auto insurance requirements, options, rates, and discounts.

Insurance Requirements

In Tennessee, you are required to carry liability insurance to cover injuries or damages you may cause to someone after a car accident.

The required minimum limits of your liability car insurance are:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident.
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Optional Car Insurance

If you wish to protect yourself beyond the required auto insurance minimums, you might want to consider purchasing optional types of car insurance.

Most Tennessee car insurance companies offer the following coverage options:

  • Collision – Covers accident-related damages to your car.
  • Comprehensive – Covers non-accident related damages to your car, such as those caused by weather or vandalism.
  • Uninsured motorists – Helps cover costs associated with accidents with uninsured drivers or those with too little insurance.
  • Medical payments – Helps pay for your medical bills after an accident.
  • Rental car.

NOTE: If you have a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.

Proof of Insurance

In Tennessee, you must provide proof of insurance when you are:

  • Pulled over by a police officer.
  • Involved in a car accident you are required to report. You must report accidents that involve:
    • Any injuries.
    • Death.
    • Over $1500 in property damages.

You can report a car accident by completing the Owner/Driver Report (Form SF-0395) form and mailing it in to the Tennessee Department of Safety.

Legal proof of insurance includes:

  • Your insurance ID card.
  • Insurance binder.
  • Policy declaration page.

You can obtain any of the above from your Tennessee car insurance provider. Remember to ask for new documents each time you renew your policy.

You do not need proof of insurance to register your car or to obtain your driver's license.

Insurance Violation Penalties and Fines

If you are caught driving without car insurance or evidence of financial responsibility, you face a Class C misdemeanor, which could include:

  • Fines.
  • Suspension of your driver's license.
  • A STOP on your car, keeping you from renewing your registration.

To have a STOP removed from your vehicle registration, you must:

  • Have your driver's license reinstated.
  • If you have had your case dismissed by showing your proof of insurance before your court date, you must also send your proof of insurance to the DOS through one of the methods listed below.

By mail to:

Financial Responsibility Division
Tennessee Department of Safety
1150 Foster Ave
Nashville, TN 37243

By fax to: (615) 253-2094.


After any conviction leading to a suspension of your driver's license, you are required to file an SR-22 proof on insurance with the TN Department of Safety.

Your car insurance carrier must file this on your behalf.

SR-22 insurance is required to be maintained for the length of your license suspension or revocation period.

Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan

Drivers who have a poor driving record may be considered high-risk drivers and can be denied access to standard car insurance. Since all drivers must have liability car insurance, Tennessee laws provide an avenue that guarantees access to liability insurance.

If you've been denied by one or more insurance carriers, you can apply for an insurance policy through the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan (TAIP).

Every TN auto insurance carrier must participate in TAIP. The program allows all providers to share the risk associated with a high-risk driver's policy.

Understand that buying your insurance through TAIP will be costly. Continue to shop around in the standard market for cheaper car insurance rates.

You can apply to TAIP through any TN car insurance company or agent.

Car Insurance Fraud in Tennessee

Car insurance companies lose significant amounts of money when dealing with insurance fraud. Those losses get passed down to you through higher insurance rates.

You can help keep car insurance premiums low by being vigilant and reporting fraud.

Examples of auto insurance fraud include:

  • Staging car accidents.
  • Falsifying injuries or severity of injuries.
  • Falsifying needed car repairs.

If you suspect car insurance fraud, contact the Tennessee Insurance Division's Fraud and Investigation department by calling (800) 792-7573.

Determining Your TN Insurance Rates

Several factors go into determining your auto insurance rates. These include:

  • Driving record.
  • Your car's:
    • Make.
    • Model.
    • Year.
  • Deductible(s).
    • This is the amount of your claim that you must pay.
    • The higher your deductible, the lower your rate.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Credit score.

Tennessee Car Insurance Discounts

When comparing car insurance quotes, don't forget to ask about any auto insurance discounts you may be able to apply to your policy. Most Tennessee car insurance companies offer the following discounts:

  • Good driver.
  1. Good student.
  • Homeowner.
  • Multi-car.

Discounts are a great way to lower your car insurance rates.

Combine discounts with a clean driving record that reflects safe driving practices, and you are well on your way to affordable car insurance rates.

Most Stolen Cars in Tennessee

If your car is highly targeted for theft you may face high car insurance rates.

The following is a list of Tennessee's most stolen cars in 2013, according to

  1. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  2. Ford Pickup (Full Size).
  3. Honda Accord.
  4. Honda Civic.
  5. Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
  6. Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).
  7. Chevrolet Impala.
  8. Toyota Camry.
  9. GMC Pickup (Full Size).
  10. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
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