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Auto Insurance in Tennessee

The State of Tennessee currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability auto insurance or otherwise be able to demonstrate financial responsibility to cover liability in case of an accident. In Tennessee, if you are asked for proof of valid insurance by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or following an accident, you will need to present an insurance card or statement from a Tennessee-licensed insurer, or a Department of Safety (DOS) statement that proves you have posted a deposit or bond to meet the requirements established by the law.

In recent years, two amendments have been made to these laws. As of January 1st, 2002, law enforcement officers will ask for proof of financial responsibility in the event of a moving violation or traffic accident, without regard for who is at fault. As of July 2nd, 2003, the Tennessee courts will dismiss your violation for a lack of financial responsibility if you secure it before the date of your hearing. If you do not rectify the matter before your court date, a stop will be placed on your vehicle. The stop on your vehicle will prevent you from being able to register it until you have obtained financial responsibility. Non-compliance with Tennessee auto insurance and financial responsibility law is a Class C misdemeanor. Penalties for this violation include a $100 fine and a suspended license.

Tennessee Minimum Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is required by law in the State of Tennessee. The minimum liability amounts for the State of Tennessee are as follows:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person.
  • $50,000 total bodily injury per accident.
  • $15,000 total property damage per accident.

Remember that these are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts always advise that drivers get more than the state-mandated minimums, particularly if you have assets you need to protect, since these limits have not kept pace with the skyrocketing costs of car repairs and medical care. Also, getting liability coverage alone will not cover you in case of damage to your own car, so most drivers will want to add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Some, not all, states will require that drivers carry UM/UIM, also known as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect the driver in the event that an accident occurs and the other party does not have auto insurance.

The State of Tennessee does not currently require this coverage.

No-Fault Insurance

Tennessee is a not no-fault state, so no-fault insurance is not required.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP is an extension of car insurance available in some U.S. states that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damage.

The State of Tennessee current does not require drivers to carry PIP insurance.

Tennessee SR-22 Requirements

SR-22 is a document that is required to be filed with a state's DMV as proof that the minimum liability coverage for the state is being carried. Not everyone needs an SR-22 filing. SR-22s are typically required for a driver to reinstate their driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident, or driving without proof of insurance.

Tennessee currently requires an SR-22 filing to reinstate a driver's license.

Tennessee DUI Laws

For the first DUI offense in the State of Tennessee, you will face the following maximum penalties:

  • 48 hours to 11 months imprisonment
  • $350 to $1,500 fine
  • 1 year license suspension
  • Possible ignition interlock
  • Possible community service
  • Possible child endangerment penalty if minor under 18 is present in vehicle
  • Possible alcohol safety DUI program

Additional Information on Tennessee Insurance

For additional information, you can contact the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance at (615) 741-2241 or go to their website at

Read more about the Most Popular Auto Insurance Carriers in TN.