According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, vehicle owners must be financially responsible in the event of an auto accident. Unless the vehicle is stored or inoperable, vehicle owners must meet that requirement through buying auto insurance.
Basic Auto Insurance
According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the basic auto insurance that you need to have is:
- $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
- $50,000 for total injuries or death per accident
- $15,000 for property damage per accident
This is the absolute minimum that is acceptable within the state. Most insurers have standard and basic policies. Standard policies may cost more but will provide additional benefits such as:
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Basic auto insurance will meet the state requirements for liability coverage and can be purchased through any Tennessee licensed insurance provider.
If you’ve financed your vehicle, the lien holder may also require additional collision or comprehensive insurance.
Required Insurance Documents
It is important to carry your insurance card on you either in paper or electronic form. The VIN on the card must match the VIN of your vehicle. Tennessee also does electronic verification of insurance for each registered vehicle. If the electronic process cannot verify coverage, you’ll receive a notice to provide proof of coverage.
Your Insurance Card
Your insurance card has to be provided in paper or digital form upon request. You may need to present the card:
- If you are stopped by a police officer during a spot check
- If you are stopped for a traffic violation
- When you’re involved in a crash
- Before a vehicle inspection
If you don’t present the card, then you could be fined. Additionally, if you fail to carry insurance, then you could have your license suspended, be subject to insurance surcharges, be fined, or be required to complete community service.
Insurance fraud is taken seriously in Tennessee Insurance fraud, which includes providing falsified information to your insurance company when submitting an application or making a claim, could result in:
- Up to $25,000 in fines
- A jail or prison sentence of up to 30 years
- The loss of your driver license
- Recovery of damages in civil court by anyone or any organization that has suffered harm by your insurance fraud
How to Report Fraud to the State
Consumer insurance fraud is directly handled by the criminal division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Consumers who want to report those who they believe have committed fraud should contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Consumers may make reports anonymously or by giving their names. Providing a name allows for a complete investigation, TBI says.
To report fraud by phone, call 1-800-TBI-FIND. To report by email, use TipsToTBI@tn.gov.
Consumer insurance fraud costs several billion dollars each year, and most of that cost is passed onto honest consumers through higher insurance rates. Reporting fraud can help prevent insurance rate increases because of fraud costs.
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