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Tennessee Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Tennessee Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Tennessee is located in the Southeastern region of the United States. It has a population that is slightly above average, but in terms of total land area, it is slightly below average. The geography in the state’s eastern portion is made up of The Appalachian Mountains, while the Mississippi River flows along the western portion of the state. Historically, this state was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War. It was also the first state to be reinstated into the Union following the war.

The nickname for Tennessee is “The Volunteer State” which refers to the significant number of volunteer soldiers during the War of 1812. Many people know this state for being heavily involved in the evolution of popular rock and roll and country music. The city Memphis is widely recognized as the place the birthplace of the Blues. There are many museums of music located throughout the state to showcase how individuals in this state had an impact on its development. Major economic contributors in this state include: agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Tennessee Motorcycle Insurance

In order to drive a motor vehicle in the state of Tennessee, you must follow the state laws. In this state, you will need to establish financial responsibility before you take your motorcycle on public roads. Financial responsibility is required by law in order to help keep roads fair for all drivers. If you get into an accident, you need to be able to provide reimbursement for any damages that you cause. Most people decide to purchase an insurance policy as their preferred method of showing responsibility.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in TN

Despite the fact that you don’t need to have any proof of financial responsibility upon registration of your motorcycle, you are required to have it before you operate it on state roads.

  • Liability Insurance: The most common way to establish responsibility is to buy liability coverage from a state-authorized provider.
  • Cash Deposit / Bond: You are allowed to make a cash deposit or post a bond with the Tennessee Department of Safety.
  • Self-Insurance: If you own a large quantity of vehicles (e.g. a fleet) and they are all registered to your name or business, you may be able to self-insure. In order to qualify you will need to fill out an application.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

Many individuals get confused when it comes to understanding proper classification of 2-wheeled vehicles. Do you know the difference between a motorcycle and moped? What about between a scooter and a motorcycle? If you are unsure, you may want to read over the various definitions below.

Motorcycle: Any two or three-wheeled vehicle with a seat or saddle for the use of the driver that has an engine exceeding 125 cc piston displacement. All motorcycles must be registered and insured.

Motor-Driven Cycle (Scooter): Any two or three-wheeled vehicle with an engine that does not exceed 125 cc piston displacement. These have fully automatic transmissions, a seat with handlebars for the driver, and flat platform to rest the feet. These require registration and insurance.

Motorized Bicycle (Moped): Any motor-driven cycle with an engine under 50 cc. Mopeds have a seat or saddle for the use of the driver, and pedals for human propulsion. Transmission is fully automatic and there is no shifting. Although not required to be insured, it is highly recommended to still get coverage for your moped.

Note: If you are still confused or have questions about your vehicle’s classification, contact the Tennessee Dept. of Safety at the following number: (866)-903-7357. An expert will be able to help you figure things out.

Tennessee Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

In this state, you are required to have at least a “25/50/15” liability policy. What do those numbers mean? They represent each minimum aspect (in thousands of dollars) of liability coverage that you are required to have for your motorcycle. It’s a good idea to keep these numbers in mind when shopping for a policy.

Minimum Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $15,000 property damage per accident

Understand that these are only the “minimum” amounts required in order to legally operate your motorcycle. These minimums may not be enough financial protection in the event that you are involved in a moderate or severe accident. If you purchase a minimal policy, and the limits are exceeded, you will be responsible for paying the rest out of your own pocket. If you’d like more coverage than just the minimum required, talk to your insurer about increasing your limits.

Tennessee Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

In every state, you need to be aware of laws concerning helmet usage, licensing, and know if you need to wear eye protection. Safety laws are taken very seriously, and not following the state’s guidelines could result in penalization if you are caught. Make sure to keep yourself protected and follow the rules.

  • Helmets: All drivers (as well as passengers) are required to wear helmets. Helmets must be in compliance with the FMVSS 218 standard.
  • Eye Protection: All drivers are required to use eye protection. The only exception to this rule is if your motorcycle has a windshield that fully screens and protects your vision.
  • Headlights: You are required by law to use your headlights during the daytime.
  • License: Before operating your vehicle, you must obtain a Class M motorcycle license. To obtain this license, you will need to pass both a written test, followed by a skills / safety test. If you have previously completed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, you will not have to take the road skills portion of the testing.

Proof of Insurance / Responsibility in TN

As was mentioned earlier, you are not required to provide proof of insurance upon registration of your vehicle. However, once you start driving your vehicle on public roads, you must carry proof of insurance or responsibility with you at all times. If you are ever in an accident or pulled over by law enforcement, you will need to show your proof of insurance.

  • Insurance Card: When you purchase an insurance policy, you will be issued an identification card. This card showcases your liability coverage information that is linked to your vehicle.
  • Insurance Binder: If you have not yet received your insurance identification card, you may be issued a binder. This binder can be used as temporary proof of insurance.
  • Certificate: If you posted bond or a cash deposit with the TN Dept. of Safety, you should receive official certification. This must be kept with you while driving.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in TN

It is a serious offense for driving without insurance in any state. Not having any liability coverage makes the state roads a riskier, unfair place to drive. Below are various penalties that you could face if you attempt to drive without insurance.

  • Fine: Driving without coverage will result in an immediate $100 citation.
  • Misdemeanor: You will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for driving without sufficient insurance.
  • Suspensions: Your driver’s license as well as vehicle registration could face suspension.
  • A “STOP” Against Your Vehicle: A “STOP” could be placed against your vehicle, which means you will not be able to get your driving privileges back until financial responsibility requirements are met.
  • Reinstatement Fees: You may be charged various fees to get your license and registration reinstated.

Note:  These penalties can be avoided by always maintaining valid insurance coverage.

Tennessee Motorcycle Insurance Companies

There are plenty of insurance companies that want your business in the state of Tennessee. It is your job to make sure you find an affordable policy that meets state requirements. To start your search for a provider, it is recommended that you use the free form on this website. All you need to do is enter your Zip Code below (or at the top of the page) and collect some quotes from the providers listed.

After you have filled out some digital paperwork and collected your free quotes, you will have a better understanding of how much policies cost. You should be able to narrow down your search to a few companies that are offering great value for your money. Take the time to calculate out the ratios of total cost to total coverage – this should help you make a decision on a provider. If you would like additional information about a company, read some company reviews on this website!

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