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4 must-know facts about Tennessee car insurance laws

Getting into a car accident is one of the most traumatic events many people will ever face. Even if the incident does not cause an injury, the impact of two cars striking is often unforgettable. In Tennessee, there are a number of laws that regulate what happens following a car accident.

Similarly, there are laws in place that dictate what drivers should do before hitting the road, such as obtaining car insurance. Here are several facts everyone who holds a license should know:

1. Financial responsibility is not optional

It is true that there are people behind the wheel who do not have insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6 percent of drivers in 2012 had no insurance policy.

Not only is this foolish, it is also most likely illegal. Tennessee law mandates that every driver must be able to demonstrate that they are financially responsible for an accident for which they are at fault. For most people, this means carrying insurance. However, posting a bond or cash deposit with the Tennessee Department of Revenue satisfies this requirement, as does qualifying as a self-insurer. These circumstances are rare.

2. No insurance? Here are the consequences

Drivers who operate a vehicle who do not have insurance (and are not otherwise exempt from having insurance) could face financial penalties. Further, and perhaps more importantly, they could lose their driving privileges.

3. There are minimum coverage limits

Insurance policies have different coverage options. In Tennessee, the law demands that every driver has coverage with the following minimum coverage:

Keep in mind that some lenders require drivers to carry collision insurance as well.

4. You can shop around for the best quote

There is no shortage of insurance providers, and consumers may be shocked to find how differently auto policy rates vary from company to company. These rates are typically based on the amount of coverage needed, the driver's record and the type of car covered, among other factors.

Additionally, where the person lives and drives determines the rate. According to a 2016 state-by-state comparison, Tennessee is one of the more affordable states to purchase auto insurance, ranking 35 in terms of the most expensive average policy premiums.

Holding a car insurance policy should give people peace of mind. It is like a safety net that provides protection when accidents happen. Insurance providers make a commitment to policyholders when coverage is provided. They must pay claims fairly. If they do not, consumers have the right to hold them accountable. Anyone who has questions about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Tennessee.

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