Many of our customers at Elite Insurance Solutions know they are required by Tennessee law to carry an auto insurance policy; however, few are aware of the exact personal injury and property damage coverage limits. We would like to tell you exactly what the legal personal auto insurance coverage limits are in Tennessee as well as how you can increase your coverage to best protect you and your family on the road.
What are the legal requirements regarding auto insurance coverage in Tennessee?
Every driver in the state must have a liability auto insurance policy to to cover the costs of injuries and/or damage you may cause to someone in a car accident. According to Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 55-12-102(12), the minimum limits of liability for the state of Tennessee currently are:
$25,000 for one injury or death
$50,000 for all injuries or deaths
$15,000 for property damage for one accident.
What are the penalties for not having liability auto insurance coverage?
If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, you face a Class C misdemeanor, and those penalties could include a fine up to $100, a suspended driver’s license, and a STOP placed on your automobile. This STOP keeps you from being able to renew the registration of your automobile.
How can I remove the STOP from my automobile?
You must reinstate your driver’s license to remove the STOP. If your case has been dismissed because you showed your proof of insurance before your court date, you must also send your proof of insurance to the Tennessee Department of Safety by mail or by fax.
Will there be any penalties on my insurance?
Whenever you lose your driver’s license because of a conviction, you must file an SR-22 proof of insurance with the state department of safety. An SR-22, unfortunately, causes your auto insurance to be quite costly. Your SR-22 can be filed for five years; however, it can be canceled in three years if you have had no other suspensions requiring more SR-22s.
Additionally, if you are considered a “high risk driver” by the state because of a poor driving record, you can be refused standard auto insurance. However, since it is legally required in order to drive, residents have the right to apply for the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan if they have been denied by at least one carrier. This insurance plan may be quite costly, which is why you should work with an agent at Elite Insurance Solutions as we can help you look for another carrier who will provide you with basic liability coverage.
What are other auto insurance options to add on to the basic coverage?
Of course, you can increase your liability coverage to higher amounts. Auto insurance experts recommend that the ideal coverage amounts are $100,000 per person for bodily injury, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $100,000 per accident for property damage. You can also choose from these options: collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorists, medical payments, and rental car. If you have a loan or a lease on an automobile, your lender may require you to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage on top of the legal minimum as part of your loan or lease agreement.
Have more questions about the personal auto insurance requirements in Tennessee? Contact Elite Insurance Solutions to speak with one of our agents about the limits and other options.