Tennessee Car Insurance Laws

Tennessee car insurance laws require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, summarized as 25/50/15.
Written by Jacoba Bood
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 26, 2021
Motorists in the state of Tennessee are legally required to carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance, summarized as 25/50/15. This stands for: $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person; $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident; and $15,000 of property liability per accident.
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Here is everything that you need to know about Tennessee car insurance laws.
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What car insurance is required by law in Tennessee?

Tennessee car insurance laws require drivers to carry a minimum amount of
liability coverage
. Motorists must also carry valid
proof of insurance
when driving. The following is a summary of the minimum required car insurance limits for Tennessee:
**Minimum liability coverage**
**25/50/15**
Bodily injury per accident
$25,000
Bodily injury per person
$50,000
Property damage per accident
$15,000
Key Takeaway Tennessee drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance and proof of insurance when on the road.

Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in TN

Insurance companies are required to provide Tennessee drivers with
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
in addition to the usual bodily injury and property damage liability insurance minimums.
While liability insurance helps cover damage for other parties if you cause an accident, uninsured motorist insurance will help cover your own costs if you get in an accident with a driver who doesn’t carry enough insurance.
Tennessee motorists must reject uninsured motorist insurance in writing if they don’t want the coverage.

What are the mandated car insurance limits in Tennessee?

The state minimum liability insurance required in Tennessee is briefly summarized as 25/50/15. This is an abbreviated way to describe three types of liability insurance.
Here is a more detailed explanation of what type of coverage these limits provide:
$25,000 of
bodily injury liability coverage
per person: The maximum amount per person your car insurance company will pay out if you cause an accident is $25,000.
$50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident: Your insurance company will pay out up to a limit of $50,000 total to cover the cost of injuries for another party if you are at fault in an accident.
$15,000 in
property damage liability
per accident: $15,000 is the maximum limit your insurance provider will pay out to cover property damage if you cause an accident.
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Should I get more coverage than Tennessee’s required insurance minimum?

Tennessee minimum liability car insurance requirements are below average—and will only provide compensation for the other party if you cause an accident.
If you want more robust protection, purchasing additional coverage options like
comprehensive insurance
,
collision insurance
, and
medical payments (MedPay)
will help cover your own expenses.
Most experts also recommend increasing liability limits to 50/100/50 for added protection.

Providing alternative proof of financial responsibility

The Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) allows drivers who don’t want to purchase the minimum state car insurance limits to provide alternative proof of financial responsibility.
Motorists must file a cash or security deposit or a surety bond of $60,000 with the DOS. If you cause an accident and don’t have enough money, the surety company will pay for the damages—but you will have to pay them back later.
If you choose to leave a cash or security deposit, the commissioner will verify you have no unsatisfied judgments before issuing your proof of coverage. A surety bond must be issued by a Tennessee-licensed surety company and will only be valid as proof of insurance for a year after it is issued.
Key Takeaway Tennessee motorists can choose to opt for an alternative form of financial responsibility if they don’t want to take out the state-required car insurance minimums.

How to get cheap car insurance in Tennessee

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FAQs

Is it mandatory to have car insurance in Tennessee?

It is mandatory for Tennessee motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance, summarized as 25/50/15. However, drivers may opt to provide alternative proof of financial responsibility instead.

Does insurance follow the car or driver in Tennessee?

Car insurance in Tennessee typically follows the car, not the driver.
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