Car insurance costs can represent a large portion of the expenses of car ownership and if you live in Tennessee you are required by law to carry insurance on every registered vehicle that is driven on state roads. Tennessee is just under the national average for auto insurance costs with an average annual policy costing $1,263, which may be in part to the vast number of drivers in Tennessee that do not have coverage. In the top ten states with uninsured motorists at over 20%, you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting into an accident with a person with not insurance in Tennessee.
Fault State, but low Insurance
Although Tennessee requires you to carry insurance, with over 20% of drivers not carrying insurance you are at risk every day you drive. Insurance industry historical data suggests that an average driver experiences some sort of traffic accident once every 18 years. Assuming you are licensed young and drive till you are elderly it could mean at least 2-4 accidents in your life time. On the high side, in Tennessee it equates to an 80% chance that one of your accidents will involve an uninsured driver.
As an at fault state, Tennessee allows you to recover your damages in an accident through third party claims or civil lawsuits. Yet if the person is uninsured a third party claim is not possible and if the person cannot afford insurance it is a good possibility that they will not be able to pay awards from a civil lawsuit either.
In other words the insurance requirements in Tennessee including its mandatory offered Uninsured coverage (that can be denied in writing) is a good option for all drivers. The minimum insurance requirements are $25,000 for a single injury accident, $50,000 for a multiple injury accident and $15,000 for property damage (25/50/15). However, remember this coverage only covers ‘people or property you hit’ not your own vehicle or injuries. These minimums while on the high side of average among US states would not generally cover the expenses in a moderate to severe accident in Tennessee.
Consider getting insurance in the range of 100/300/50 to be adequately protected and do not decline the Uninsured coverage. With this type of insurance, no matter what type of accident you have, your own finances will be protected from litigation or insurance settlements. To protect your own financial well-being and expenses from property damage or injuries consider the optional insurance below.
In order to be fully covered in an accident situation, you will want to have collision, comprehensive and medical payments coverage added to your auto insurance. These three insurances protect your own vehicle and property in case of an accident, theft, vandalism or weather events as well as covers your personal injury expenses. Coverage for towing, parts and labor, rental car reimbursement are all available as well.
In Tennessee you will be required by all law enforcement agencies to provide proof of insurance at all traffic stops and accidents which could include an insurance ID card, insurance binder or policy declaration page. Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in license suspension, fines, and a physical STOP or boot applied to your vehicle to prevent it from being driven.