Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and, of course, Nashville. Whether you want to get back to nature in Gatlinburg or visit Graceland in Memphis, you’ll need to be able to legally drive your vehicle in the Volunteer State.
In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about registering your car with the proper Tennessee car insurance.
Tennessee Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
If you’re moving to Tennessee, you’ll likely want to move your car, too. But in order to drive your vehicle legally on Tennessee’s public roadways, you’ll first need to have the proper insurance coverage.
Tennessee law requires that registered drivers carry:
- Bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability insurance in the amount of $15,000 per accident.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Underinsured motorist property damage insurance in the amount of $15,000 per accident.
Remember, these are just the minimums. Tennessee car insurance can cover you for more, including comprehensive and collision, as well as roadside assistance. The coverage you choose depends on your driving habits and your budget.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Tennessee?
When you move to Tennessee, you can expect to pay around 8% less than the national average for your car insurance. The annual average cost of full coverage insurance is around $1,315 in Tennessee. Looking for the minimum coverage? You’ll pay an average of $509 per year.
Your insurance premiums will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- Your driving history
- The zip code where you park your car at night
- Your marital status
- Your gender/sex
- The type of vehicle you drive
Always be sure to scout around for discounts available to you. These may be based on the number of miles driven per year, or even groups like AAA or AARP that you might belong to.
Why is Car Insurance So Cheap in Tennessee?
If you’re coming to Tennessee from another state, you may be wondering why car insurance is so inexpensive here. A large part of the reason is that 93% of the state is very rural. There are fewer drivers and, therefore, fewer auto accidents.
With that said, approximately 20% of all drivers in Tennessee are uninsured. That’s the reason for the mandatory uninsured and underinsured coverages, and one factor that may bring Tennessee car insurance premiums up a bit.
Lapses in Tennessee Car Insurance
Should you get stopped by law enforcement in Tennessee and be found to have no proof of insurance coverage, this could lead to legal trouble. Here’s just a small sampling of what could happen if you have a lapse in coverage.
- $300 fine punishment for a Class C misdemeanor.
- Possible tow of your car to an impound lot.
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
- Suspension of your vehicle registration.
- Restoration fees and other penalties to reinstate your driving privileges.
As you can see, driving without insurance is inconvenient and costly. Be sure your policy is always up to date and that you carry proof of coverage at all times.
Best Auto Insurance in Tennessee
Shopping around for the best Tennessee car insurance? Residents of the state were polled and asked their favorite carriers. In terms of price, service, and coverage, these five insurance companies consistently ranked at the top.
- Tennessee Farm Bureau
- State Farm
Of course, no one insurer is best for everyone. Check with friends and family to learn who they trust, then speak to several agencies to find coverage that’s suitable for your needs.
Driving in Tennessee
Ready to head to Dollywood or the Grand Ole Opry? Here are some fun Tennessee driving facts and laws you can ponder while you’re on your way.
- It’s against the law to carry or drive a skunk over state borders.
- The only game you can shoot from your window in Tennessee is a whale. Tennessee is 100% landlocked.
- It is legal in Tennessee to harvest roadkill for food without a permit. Deer, possum, rabbit… it’s all fair “game.”
- There is a law on the books in Tennessee that states that it is illegal to drive while you’re sleeping.
Conclusion: Tennessee Car Insurance
Tennessee is full of adventure, music, beauty, and natural sites to explore, but you can’t do it if you don’t have car insurance. Make sure you’re properly registered and insured before you head down I-24 to Chattanooga.