Tennessee Insurance Questions Answered

Popular Questions about Tennessee Car Insurance

On average, Tennessee drivers pay $1,263 per year for car insurance. This is lower than the national average of $1,311 per year. As a vehicle owner in Tennessee, you can find the best rates by comparison shopping. Independent insurance agents can help by getting customized quotes from multiple insurance companies for you. That way, you can be sure you are getting the coverage you need at a competitive price. 

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. If you are involved in a crash, here are a few of the ways that your Tennessee auto insurance can help.

  • Fix your car: Not required. We call this "comprehensive & collision coverage," and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender. 
  • Fix someone else's car: Required/Min. $15,000. We call this "property damage liability." 
  • Pay your medical bills: Not required. We call this "personal injury protection" or "PIP."
  • Pay someone else's medical bills : Required/Min. $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. We call this "bodily injury liability."

Like most states, Tennessee requires all drivers to have liability insurance coverage in an amount that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum requirements. These mandatory limits ensure that drivers are prepared to pay for other people’s property damage and medical bills if they cause an accident. 

The driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for your damage and injuries.

Despite laws that require car insurance in Tennessee, about one out five drivers you are sharing the roads with is driving an uninsured vehicle. These drivers have no financial backup plan for accidents, and are unlikely to be able to pay for the resultant damage if they cause an accident. 

Fortunately, by including uninsured motorist coverage in your auto policy, you can have peace of mind and the protection you need if an uninsured driver hits you. This optional coverage pays for your vehicle repairs and medical expenses if you are in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. Your insurance company will then assume the responsibility of trying to collect the money owed from the at-fault driver. 

Yes! There are currently 366 Trusted Choice agents in Tennessee who are ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can work with several different insurance providers to find you the best rate for auto coverage? That way, you can buy a policy that meets all your coverage needs at a price you can afford.


Popular Questions about Tennessee Home Insurance

The average American homeowner pays $1,173 per year for home insurance, but in Tennessee, the average annual premium is slightly lower at just $1,149. Even though home insurance costs in Tennessee may seem like a lot of money, having this coverage is vital because hazards like severe weather, hail, fire, and property crimes in this state can cause expensive losses to homeowners who are not insured.

Your home insurance gives you a backup plan in case a disaster strikes in your neighborhood. Whether it's a fire, hailstorm, tornado, or a rash of burglaries, you're covered if you have a suitable Tennessee homeowners insurance policy. 

Pays to repair or replace your home and your belongings

  • Example: An accidental kitchen fire damages part of your home and several appliances.

Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault

  • Example: Your dog gets loose and bites a neighbor.

Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged

  • Example: You need a hotel while your house is being repaired following a tornado.

We can’t be 100% certain, but in 2017, insurance companies spent more than $1.15 billion on home insurance claims in Tennessee. That's a lot of unfortunate events happening to Tennessee homeowners.

Insurance companies calculate home insurance costs by asking, "How likely is it that something bad will happen?" The more likely it is that a damaging event can happen to your house, the more expensive your home insurance policy will be. We call these potential disasters "risks” or “exposures.” Let’s take a look at how risky Tennessee is compared to the rest of the US.

Crime

The burglary rate in Tennessee is higher than the national average. Be sure to protect your property by keeping doors and windows securely locked, keeping entryways well-lit and unobstructed from view, and putting lights on timers when you are out of town. Installing a burglar alarm can earn you a discount on your home insurance costs.

  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in TN: 6.06
  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the U.S.: 4.69

Weather

Severe weather, including hailstorms and tornadoes, can wreak havoc on residential properties in this state. Be sure that your home insurance provides all the coverage you need before disaster strikes.

  • Number of federally declared disasters since 1953: 68
  • Most common cause of disasters in the state: Severe Storms
  • Average number of tornadoes per year in the state: 29.1
  • Amount paid in home insurance claims in 2016: $1,153,112,000

Home Values

The estimated cost to rebuild your home will play a large role in how much your home insurance costs. In Tennessee, the average home value is lower than the national average. This helps to keep insurance rates affordable despite the many weather-related risks.

  • Average home value in TN: $157,700
  • Average home value in the US: $188,900

Yes! There are currently 366 Trusted Choice agents in Tennessee who are ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can work with several different insurance providers to find you the best rate for coverage? That way, you can buy a policy that meets all your coverage needs at a price you can afford.


Popular Questions about Tennessee Business Insurance

Business insurance is designed to shield your company from financial losses caused by hazards such as severe weather, property crimes and liability lawsuits. This insurance can prove quite beneficial, as shown by the fact that in 2016 alone, businesses in Tennessee collected more than $3 billion in insurance claims.

A local independent agent can help you build a business insurance plan that is customized to meet the specific needs of your business.

Statistics predict that 40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some things these companies have been using their insurance on:

  • Theft or burglary: Average cost per claim - $8,000
  • Water damage & freezing pipes: Average cost per claim - $17,000
  • Wind & hail damage: Average cost per claim - $26,000
  • Fire damage: Average cost per claim - $35,000
  • Customer slip & fall: Average cost per claim - $20,000

In Tennessee, commercial insurance will pay for losses, damage, and other expenses associated with covered events so that your business doesn’t have to. If your inventory is damaged, a client files a liability lawsuit, or one of your employees is severely injured on the job, you won't have to worry about how this will affect your business’s bottom line.

Here’s what you can expect a standard business insurance policy to do:

Pay for damage to your building

  • We call this “commercial property insurance.”
  • Example: A tornado destroys the roof of your business-owned warehouse.

Pay for damage to your business property

  • We call this “business property insurance.”
  • Example: A fire damages your storefront, and your backroom inventory is damaged by smoke.

Pay for damage to someone else’s property

  • We call this “general liability insurance.”
  • Example: An employee of your contracting company accidentally spills paint and destroys a Persian rug in a customer’s home.

Pay for someone else’s medical bills

  • We also call this “general liability insurance.” 
  • Example: A customer is injured when the escalator in your retail store stops suddenly.

Pay for accidents involving company vehicles

  • We call this “commercial auto insurance.”
  • Example: Your human resources manager rear-ends someone while driving to a job fair in a company van.

Pay for employee injuries & work-related illnesses

  • We call this “workers' compensation.”
  • Example: An employee at your manufacturing plant suffers serious lung disease after inhaling toxic dust particles.

Sometimes these coverages are not enough to properly protect a business against all of its potential risks. Fortunately, there are many more products and options available to business owners so that you can find coverage against all your exposures. To make sure you're properly insured, we can match you with a local independent insurance agent who specializes in covering businesses in your industry.

A commercial insurance policy in and of itself is not required by law. However, some aspects of coverage may be. 

Businesses that have company-owned vehicles are required to carry commercial auto insurance. All Tennessee construction and coal-mining businesses, and all other businesses with five or more employees, must have workers’ compensation insurance. And contracting businesses are nearly always required to have contractors insurance when they are hired to do a job.

To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can talk with a local independent insurance agent.

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the type and size of your business, the number of employees you have, your liability coverage needs, and the amount and types of coverage you want. 

Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a suitable and comprehensive policy for your business. These agents can help you make sure that you are getting coverage for all of your company’s potential exposures while not paying for coverage you don't need.

Also, because independent agents can work with multiple insurers, they can search for the best price for each type of coverage you need. Sometimes this means building a business insurance portfolio that includes policies from several different insurance companies. Don’t worry. You will still only have one point of contact with your independent insurance agent.

Yes! There are currently 366 Trusted Choice agents in Tennessee who are ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can work with several different insurance providers to help you build a comprehensive and competitively priced business insurance portfolio? Work with an agent near you to ensure that your business is fully covered against all of its potential risks.

Popular Questions about Workers' Compensation in Tennessee

If an employee is injured in the workplace, costs for necessary medical treatment and lost wages can add up quickly. Workers’ compensation insurance protects both your business and your employees by offering benefits to injured workers while reducing the chance that your business will need to deal with expensive lawsuits. 

In Tennessee, all employers in construction and coal mining businesses must carry workers’ compensation for all workers, including subcontractors. 

All other businesses are required by law to have workers' compensation if they employ five or more workers. Family members, part-time employees, and corporate officers must be included when determining the number of employees.

It is not necessary to purchase coverage for sole proprietors, LLC members, corporate officers, or partners. However, if you want to buy coverage for these workers, you may.

In Tennessee, a workers’ compensation policy can be purchased through any of a number of commercial insurance companies that offer this coverage. 

These companies must adhere to the rates for each job classification, which are published annually by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Because commercial providers are permitted by the state to offer policy discounts of up to 25%, comparing rates can potentially save you money.

Additionally, Tennessee businesses are given the option to self-insure. To do so, a company must demonstrate the financial strength necessary to self-insure, and must obtain approval from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Medical bills

  • Example: A worker at your roofing company falls while tacking shingles and requires urgent medical care.
  • Workers’ compensation will cover necessary urgent and follow-up treatment from any of three medical providers authorized by your company for any injuries or work-related illnesses your employees suffer in the course of doing their jobs.

Wage replacement

  • Example: Your employee’s doctor determines that 6 weeks of recovery time is necessary following a back injury at your company warehouse.
  • Injured workers who are totally or partially disabled and unable to work for more than seven days can receive cash benefits (wage replacement) of 2/3 of their average income.

Death benefits

  • Example: A construction work suffers a fatal injury after falling from a scaffold .
  • If a worker dies from a work-related injury, that worker’s surviving spouse and/or minor children can receive weekly cash benefits equal to one half of the deceased worker's average weekly wage for the year before the accident. Workers' compensation will also pay up to $10,000 in burial expenses.

Mileage reimbursement

  • Example: A worker at your manufacturing plant suffers a rare lung disease after inhaling toxic fumes at the worksite. He requires the care of a specialist who is located 25 miles away.
  • If an employee must travel more than 15 miles one way to receive necessary treatment or follow-up care, workers’ compensation will cover traveling expenses.

In this state, workers’ compensation premiums are calculated according to how many employees a business has, the types of jobs these workers do, the company’s overall annual payroll, and the employer’s history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. 

In general, if you have workers who do jobs that have a high probability of suffering serious injuries, you can expect to pay more for workers’ compensation insurance in Tennessee.

Every year, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development publishes assigned rates for every job classification. Insurance companies must adhere to these rates when determining costs, though they are permitted to offer policy discounts when appropriate.

Information needed first

Classification code: Every occupation is assigned a specific classification code. You would need to find the classification codes for all jobs your employees do.

Base rate: The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation assigns base rates to each of these class codes according to the overall injury risks associated with these jobs. 

The base rate is used as part of a formula that determines an employer’s annual workers’ compensation premium. 

Example based on $100,000 in annual payroll

  • Classification code 8829: Nursing Home Employees
  • Base rate: $2.37
  • Premium calculationBase rate X (Payroll/100)
  • $100,000/100 = $1,000 X $2.98 = $2,370.
  • $2,370 = Estimated annual workers' compensation premium for Tennessee nursing home workers

Established employers can get lower rates if they have a solid safety rating. This is known as an experience modifier-based discount.

An experience modification factor, or experience mod, is an additional factor that may be applied to your workers’ compensation premium calculation. It increases or decreases your workers’ compensation premium for a given year, depending on your company’s claims history.

Your experience modification is a numerical representation of your actual losses compared with expected losses for businesses in your industry (roofing companies are compared with other roofing companies; restaurants are compared with other similar-style restaurants, etc.) 

The mod is applied to the Tennessee workers’ compensation premium as a debit or credit. 

  • Average mod: 1.0 = Does not impact your premium
  • Debit mod: Greater than 1.0 = Premium goes up
  • Credit mod: Less than 1.0 = Premium goes down

Experience-rated premium calculation

  • Base rate X (Payroll/100) X Mod = Premium

Tennessee employers are eligible to receive an experience modification rating when they meet one of the following requirements: 

  • $9,000 in policy premium generated during the last year or last two years; or
  • $4,500 average policy premium generated for more than two years.