All About Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Tennessee


Even though automobile insurance is required by the law in the state of Tennessee, not every driver on the road actually has coverage. Additionally, many drivers only carry the legal minimum amount of car insurance. This means if you are injured in an automobile accident where the other driver is completely at fault, there may not be enough money to cover your medical bills. For these reasons, Tennessee also requires every car insurance policy also include uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to the limits of the property damage and bodily injuries amounts in that policy. At Elite Insurance Solutions, we are often asked questions about both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, and we would like to share these questions and their answers with you to help you understand the laws regarding car insurance in Tennessee.

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What Is the Minimum Legal Automobile Insurance Policy in Tennessee?

In 2008, under the 2010 Financial Responsibility Law, the state legislature increased the minimum liability coverage amount by revising section 55-12-102 of the Tennessee Code:

“(12) Proof of financial responsibility or proof of financial security means:…
(i) If proof is required after December 21, 2008, proof means:
(a) A written proof of liability insurance coverage provided by a single limit policy with a limit of not less than sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) applicable to one (1) accident;
(b) A split-limit policy with a limit of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for bodily injury to or death of one (1) person, not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for bodily injury to or death of two (2) or more persons in any one (1) accident, and not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for damage to property in any one (1) accident…”

So, if you have the bare legal minimum car insurance policy of 25/50/15, you can only receive that same amount of coverage for your uninsured motorist {UM} policy as the state does not allow the UM coverage to exceed the liability coverage. Keep this in mind when you shop for car insurance. Even though you want an inexpensive premium, you also want to be sufficiently protected if you are injured in an accident with someone with no or little car insurance.

When Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Apply?

Most UM policies will cover injuries to:

  • you, while driving or riding in your car or any car and while as a pedestrian
  • any relative who lives with you while driving or riding in the vehicle listed in your policy
  • anyone else riding in or driving your insured car, with your permission
  • anyone riding in a car you are driving but do not own.

When Does Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage Apply?

To be able to be covered under your UIM policy, you must proof to your insurance company that the other driver was underinsured by providing them with a letter from the other driver’s insurance company. This procedure is usually done during the negotiations between the 2 companies after the accident.

If you have any more questions about the laws in Tennessee regarding car insurance, contact Elite Insurance Solutions today. Our expert agents can tell you more details about both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages.



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