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Auto insurance guide to TennesseeT

Car insurance quotes for Tennessee should provide drivers with the following insurance coverage or financial responsibility at a minimum:

25/50/15 – This is shorthand for the liability policy limits required which means you need a minimum coverage of:

  • $25,000 for death or injury to one person;
  • $50,000 for death or injury to two or more people; and
  • $15,000 for property damage to others

Nearly all car insurance policies have a provision that will adjust your coverage from the minimums required in your state to the minimum insurance or proof of financial responsibility in another U.S. state. So you do not need to get a new insurance policy for each state you are driving through. However, if you buy a policy in a low limits state (like Tennessee or South Dakota) but live in a high limits state (like Alaska), insurers will only write a policy where your car is principally garaged. So if your home is in Alaska, you should buy the minimum limit s for Alaska. Another exception are drivers which commute from a low limit state to a high limit state. For such frequent driving activities your car insurance policy might need to be adjusted to fit the minimum limits of both states.

However, as for all US states, Tennessee’s required insurance limits are low, considering the actual cost of repair and damages which are likely to occur in an accident. If you are in a serious collision and the damages you caused are greater than the coverage limits you purchased, you may be personally liable to pay for those damages that exceed your insurance coverage. Buying considerable higher amounts of coverage is actually not only a sensible but in many cases a quite affordable strategy to enjoy better financial protection in the case of an accident.

Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements

Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state with a 50% rule. This is a legal defense that means that a plaintiff can recover for an injury, reducing the amount that the plaintiff can recover based on the percentage of which the plaintiff is at fault if it is determined that his or her fault in causing the injury is less than 50%. If the plaintiff’s fault level reaches 50% or more, he or she cannot recover any damages resulting from the accident.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In Tennessee, a first time offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor offense. If you are 21 years or older, if you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08% or higher while driving, Tennessee law presumes you are driving while intoxicated. If you are under 21, a lower BAC may apply to you.

1st DUI

If convicted, you may be sentenced for at least 48 hours (7 days if BAC is over .20) and up to 11 months, 29 days in jail, depending on your BAC and other aggravating factors. A court fine of at least $350 and up to $1500 may be imposed. You will also be responsible for other court fees. Your license will be suspended for a 1 year and you will be required to attend DUI school and may be ordered to undergo drug/alcohol treatment. An ignition interlock device may be ordered installed on your vehicle. SR-22 or FR-44 forms are required for DUIs in Tennessee (read more on these forms here).

2nd DUI

If convicted, you may be sentenced for a minimum of 45 days up to 11 months, 29 days depending on BAC and aggravating factors. Fines may be imposed of at least $600 up to $1,000. Your license will be suspended for 2 years, with the possibility of a restricted license after 1 year. You will be required to attend DUI school and may be ordered to undergo drug/alcohol treatment. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device after your license revocation. Your vehicle may be subject to seizure. SR-22 or FR-44 forms are required for DUIs in Tennessee.

Tennessee Car Insurance Info


NAIC 2009 Market Share Information

Note: List does not contain duplicates of associated or affiliated insurance companies

State Ressources

Top Ten Car Insurance Companies in Tennessee

These are the top ten insurance companies rated by 2009 market share in the state:

  1. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance
  2. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance
  3. Allstate Property and Casualty
  4. Geico General Insurance
  5. Progressive HI Insurance Corporation
  6. Nationwide Mutual
  7. Travelers Personal Security Insurance Company
  8. United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
  9. Safco Insurance Company
  10. Mountain Laurel Assurance Company

To read more about car insurance company ratings visit this section.