Auto insurance laws vary from state to state, with all states, including Tennessee requiring that you purchase some type of automobile insurance or requiring that you can prove you have financial security. Tennessee auto insurance is not an absolute requirement to have but, if you opt out of insurance, you must prove that you have financial responsibility instead. You do not need to have Tennessee auto insurance to register a vehicle, but you must have proof of financial responsibility in order to operate a motor vehicle on streets, roads or highways, and in reality it is far easier to just buy the car insurance, then it is to jump through the hoops to show 'financial responsibility'.
The most reponsible thing you can do it to get covered!
Tennessee auto insurance is priced at less than the national average. The average premium for insurance in Tennessee is $962/year, while the national average is $1,432 a year. This is partially due to the low requirements for insurance in the state as compared to others, and so if you need cover that is above the minimum requirements (and you really should) then you may find it costs more than the raw statistics would indicate.
If you decide to opt out of Tennessee auto insurance, you must place the funds for financial responsibility in a deposit or bond that is equal to the state requirements in coverage. You must then fill out a form with the Department of Safety giving the details of where the deposit is and how much you have it for.
Which all sounds like a lot of hassle! And the truth is that the system is deliberately designed that way, because it is actually in everyones best interests for you to simply get covered by auto insurance. In that way such matters as medical costs become less pressing because they will be covered, and the costs of damage to any cars involved in an accident in Tennessee will also be met.
Tennessee Auto Insurance - The State Minimums...
As an alternative, you can purchase Tennessee auto insurance with the minimum requirements. You must carry at least $25,000 of bodily injury coverage, which covers medical bills of up to $25,000 for one person. Additionally, you must carry $50,000 total for an entire accident for injuries or deaths. You must also carry a minimum of $15,000 towards property damage, which will pay for anything that has been damaged during the accident. You have the option to exclude someone from your policy that lives in your household if they are a high-risk driver (such as for example a 17 year old driver in Tennessee would be considered to be).
The minimums exist because the State of Tennessee has to lay down rules to ensure that most people can afford to legally drive in the state. But the truth is that the minimums are really very low, and if you can afford it you should almost certainly get higher levels of cover that afford you a greater amount of protection. Any type of serious accident is likely to cost more than the minimum amounts of cover, and so otherwise you could find yourself having to pay out thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars to settle the bill.
Tennessee Auto Insurance And How It Applies To Rental Cars...
Rental cars must be insured by law with the minimum liability coverage limits. If you do not have your own liability coverage, rental companies may cover the cost but will charge an extra $7 to $14 a day for the rental. Neither uninsured nor underinsured motorist coverage is required in the state of Tennessee. Since it is a tort state, meaning that someone must be deemed at fault when an accident occurs, it is recommended to carry a higher level of coverage than the state requires, because if you are at-fault, all expenses for both you and the other motorist(s) involved will be your responsibility.
When you get into an accident, the police will require that you show either proof of Tennessee auto insurance or financial responsibility. This is a requirement whether you are determined to be at fault or not. Penalties for not carrying the required state minimums for Tennessee auto insurance include a $100 fine and the possibility of having your license suspended. It is classified as a class C misdemeanor.
Clearly on a number of different levels you will want to avoid this, and so it is worth getting a few Tennessee Auto Insurance Quotes to compare both the relative costs of different policies, and also to see how upping the state minimums to levels that provide better amounts of cover effects the overall price of your prospective policy.