Last updated: August 2023
Direct Auto Insurance is proud to offer car insurance in Tennessee, the “Volunteer State.” Whether you live in Music City, Memphis, or the Tri-Cities area, you must meet the Tennessee minimum auto insurance requirements to fulfill legal requirements. Take a few minutes to learn what coverages are mandatory, which ones are optional, and how Direct Auto can help you find cheap Tennessee car insurance. Get a free quote to see how much money you can save with Direct.
Tennessee Car Insurance Laws
Do you have to have car insurance in Tennessee?
Tennessee law requires all drivers have proof of financial responsibility, which is most commonly satisfied with a car insurance policy. Tennessee auto insurance policies must at least meet the minimum liability coverage limits, typically expressed as three numbers representing thousands of dollars. For example, the liability limits in Tennessee are 25/50/25, as shown below under Tennessee Minimum Car Insurance Requirements.
Tennessee Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Wondering what your insurance policy needs to fulfill Tennessee’s insurance requirements? Here’s a quick breakdown by coverage type.
Tennessee updated its minimum liability limits in 2023, so if you currently have lower liability limits, they should be updated at your next renewal.
Is It Required by Law?
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage provides financial protection if you cause an accident that injures another person. It helps pay for their medical expenses and your legal services (if necessary).
Yes. $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 bodily injury per accident.
Property Damage Liability Coverage helps pay to repair or replace other people’s property that is damaged in an accident you cause. It typically involves damage to another vehicle, but it could help pay to repair a house, fence, mailbox, and more.
Yes. $25,000 property damage per accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) helps pay for your medical bills and related expenses if the other driver has no coverage (UM), insufficient coverage (UIM), or can’t be identified due to hit and run. In some states, UM/UIM can also help pay for property damage.
Not required but included in policies by default unless rejected in writing.
Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) helps pay for your medical and related expenses stemming from an accident, regardless of fault.
Collision Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if you collide with another car, tree, guardrail, or another object, regardless of fault.
Comprehensive Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by something other than a collision, like fire, floodwaters, falling branches, vandalism, or contact with an animal.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While liability-only coverage ensures you meet state laws, it provides no protection for your own injuries or damage to your own vehicle. You would need to add additional coverage, like UM/UIM, comprehensive and collision, to protect yourself and your vehicle more fully.
1Your lender may require these coverages if you lease or finance your vehicle.
Are there additional coverage options?
For added peace of mind, Direct Auto offers add-on services and other insurance products for Tennessee drivers:
- Roadside Assistance*
- Emergency Protection Plan (EPP)*
- Towing & Labor Coverage
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Tennessee Proof of Financial Responsibility and Penalties
What if I don't meet Tennessee’s minimum car insurance requirements?
The Volunteer State takes a strict stance on uninsured drivers. The fines and other penalties for driving without insurance vary depending on the nature of the violation.
If the State's online insurance verification system cannot verify a vehicle's insurance coverage, a letter is sent to the vehicle registrant, notifying them that they have 30 days to provide proof of auto liability insurance coverage. Failure to verify insurance within 30 days will result in additional notices and penalties, including up to $125 in coverage failure fees and possible vehicle registration suspension. You can verify your insurance status and view sample notification letters online at Drive Insured Tennessee.
Additionally, you should always carry proof of insurance because you need to be able to provide it upon request after an accident or during a traffic stop.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Tennessee
Driving with a suspended license is a Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee. Driving with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license is punishable by a maximum $500 fine and/or six months in jail. A second offense within 10 years is a Class A misdemeanor, and the penalty is a maximum $2,500 fine and/or a maximum of 11 months and 29 days in jail.
SR-22 Insurance in Tennessee
Some high-risk drivers are also required to keep an SR22 (also known as a certificate of financial responsibility) on file with the state verifying they have purchased auto insurance coverage that satisfies the state’s minimum coverage requirements. You might be required to keep one on file if:
- You have committed serious driving violations
- You have failed to maintain proper liability coverage or have broken Tennessee insurance laws
- You were convicted of a DUI/DWI.
If you need an SR22 filed to demonstrate financial responsibility compliance or have questions about the penalties for non-compliance, we’d be happy to help. Direct Auto specializes in helping people find affordable car insurance coverage, regardless of their history. Give us a call today for a free quote.
High-Risk Auto Insurance in Tennessee
Most individuals do not have a perfect driving record, and after a certain number of violations or a serious enough violation, drivers can be considered a major risk to insure. While some companies try to steer clear of these individuals, other insurance companies offer non-standard insurance (another name for high-risk auto insurance) to provide financial protection for these drivers.
At Direct Auto, we're proud to offer non-standard coverage. We believe your driving history shouldn't define you forever, and we work hard to find quality, affordable coverage for every driver, regardless of their past.
Where can I find the cheapest car insurance rates in Tennessee?
Car insurance costs vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The amount & type of coverage you choose
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle you drive
- How much you drive, where you drive, and where you live
- Your demographics
- Your driving record
- Your credit history
The good news is that Direct Auto Insurance can help drivers, even those with a less-than-perfect driving record, find car insurance coverage.
Get a free car insurance quote online, or work with a Direct Auto agent to create a coverage plan that not only meets your state's requirements but fits your needs as well. We’ll work hard to make sure you get any discounts you’re entitled to receive so your premium is the lowest price possible.
Tennessee Regional Auto Insurance
Depending on where you live, you might have specific wishes and “must-haves” in your mind for your car insurance policy. After all, a policyholder who lives and drives in busy, downtown Nashville might want more coverage than a person who lives in a small town in the Smoky Mountains. But no matter what city you call home in the Volunteer State, we’re here to help you get covered.
Other Tennessee Auto Insurance Resources
- Tennessee Department of Transportation
- Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance
- Official State of Tennessee website
- Tennessee Driver Services
- Drive Insured Tennessee
Find Cheap Car Insurance in Tennessee with Direct Auto!
Call, click, or come in to get a Tennessee car insurance quote from Direct Auto! We always offer affordable coverage options, and we work hard to get you cheap car insurance in Tennessee so you can keep driving to exciting new adventures.
*Emergency Protection Plans (EPP) and Roadside Assistance are not insurance and are administered through Nation Safe Drivers, Boca Raton, FL. Not all benefits available in all states.