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Tennessee Auto Insurance

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The state of Tennessee follows a Tort insurance system — if you cause an accident, you and your insurance company will be asked to pay for the material damages and, should it be the case, cover the medical expenses of all injured passengers.

Minimum insurance requirements

Tennessee asks all its motorists to carry at least a 25/50/15 Liability insurance:

  • $25,000 in Bodily Injury Liability for one injured passenger, but not more than $50,000 for the whole accident,
  • $15,000 in Property Damage Liability.

Average insurance quotes in Tennessee

Auto insurance costs in Tennessee revolve around the national average. Tennessee residents pay, according to the latest statistics, $1,654 per year, while the other Americans pay $1,678. There are even cheaper cities to be insured in — it may cost, for instance, $1,143 in Chattanooga, $1,298 in Jackson, $1,155 in Knoxville, $1,182 in Nashville, $1,589 in Clarksville, $1,131 in Johnson, $1,560 in Memphis, $1,230 in Franklin, $1,101 in Kingsport or $1,357 in Murfressboro.

Use of cellular phones while driving

Tennessee has put a ban on all forms of text-based communication when operating a vehicle. In addition, school bus drivers and teenagers with Learners’ or Intermediate licenses aren’t allowed to use a cellphone altogether when driving a car. No further restrictions are in place.

Teenage driving regulations

Tennessee uses the Graduated Driver Licensing system to help aspiring drivers of at least 15 years old get used to driving on public roads while still minimizing the chances to get into high-risk situations.

Depending on their skills and the number of hours of behind-the-wheel training, kids may get a Learner’s or an Intermediate License. Several restrictions will apply:

  • Learner’s permit holders must always be accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years old; Intermediate license holders may drive unattended during the day, but between 11 pm and 6 am they must also be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver of legal age;
  • Intermediate holders they may not carry more than one underage passenger, unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver of legal age;
  • everybody in the car must wear seatbelts; as a consequence, provisional license holders may not carry more passengers than the number of seatbelts the vehicle is equipped with.

Violations of these restrictions may lead to fines, delays in licensing between three months and one year and, in case of serious offenses, suspension of the driving privileges until the teen’s 18th birthday.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Tennessee

Failure to show proof of insurance in Tennessee is a Class C misdemeanor that comes with a financial penalty of not more than $100. Once the state has been notified of this offense, the Department of Safety will have your license suspended, as well as suspend the registration certificates of all uninsured vehicles. Should you be able to provide proof of insurance by the date the trial is set, you might be able to have all charges dismissed. If not, you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility (i.e. file a SR-22 certificate) for 3-5 years.

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