Homeowners Insurance in Tennessee

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If you’re looking to insure a home in Tennessee, you’ll want a homeowners insurance policy that provides coverage for wildfires, sinkholes, severe weather, and wind damage. Additional insurance plans may be needed to protect against these common natural disasters.
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make—and one you’ll want to make sure is adequately protected. Homeowners insurance can provide the coverage you need, but finding the right plan can be a daunting task.
Before you settle on a policy, make sure you understand what it covers and ensure you’re not overpaying for your coverage. Jerry, the licensed shopping and broker app for home and auto insurance, has compiled everything you need to know about purchasing homeowners insurance in Tennessee.
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What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a policy type that provides coverage for your home and everything in it. A standard homeowners policy will cover property damage, personal liability, and the total loss of your home.
In the United States, homeowners pay an average of $1,387 per year, or $115 per month, on their homeowners insurance policy.

Basic components of homeowners insurance

The following coverages are included in most homeowners insurance policies:
  • Coverage A (Structure): Covers the cost of repairing or replacing the structure of the house.
  • Coverage B (Additional structures): Covers the cost of repairing or replacing other structures on the property (sheds, fences, etc.).
  • Coverage C (Personal property): Provides financial protection against the loss or destruction of specified personal belongings (furniture, jewelry, electronics, etc.).
  • Coverage D (Other expenses): Also referred to as “loss of use,” this provides coverage for the cost of temporary living expenditures (such as rent or a hotel) incurred as a result of losing your house in part or in full.
  • Coverage E (Personal liability): In the event someone is injured while on your property (or by a family member or pet), this provides coverage for your legal fees.

Named perils

Unfortunately, there is no standardized or exhaustive coverage policy for homeowners insurance.
Unless you have a unique policy, your homeowners insurance will likely only cover named perils, or those specific risks stated in the policy. For the most part, these include:
  • Theft
  • Freezing of household systems
  • Accidental water overflow or discharge
  • Weight of ice, snow, and/or sleet
  • Vandalism
  • Smoke and fire damage
  • Hailstorms and wind
  • Lightning
  • Falling objects
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Power surge damage
Before you sign onto a policy, make sure to thoroughly read through the coverages to know what you’re protected against (and what’s not covered).

Is homeowners insurance required in Tennessee?

Homeowners insurance is not legally required by Tennessee state law, but if you are purchasing a home loan to pay for the house, you will likely be required by a mortgage lender or another financial institution to obtain homeowners insurance.
This is so the investment of the bank or lender is protected should the house be damaged or destroyed before your mortgage is finished.

How to get homeowners insurance

Whether you’ve just bought a house or are simply looking for a better rate on your homeowners policy, your best bet is to start by comparing quotes from a few different insurance companies (the Jerry app makes this easy!). 
While it may seem convenient, don’t take the first referral that comes your way—you might miss out on savings because of it.
You should always wait for a quote from your car insurance provider. Bundling your home and auto insurance may save you money in the long run, even if the premium itself is more expensive.
On average, bundling discounts range from 5% to 15% or even higher, so it’s usually worth looking into what plans may be available to you.
For homeowners in Tennessee, sinkholes, wildfires, and flooding are some of the primary perils to be concerned with. Most homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for the first two, but you’ll want to make sure your home and belongings are protected against flooding as well.
To help minimize the risk of flood damage, keep these strategies in mind:
  • Water backup insurance can cover the cost of water removal and repairs in the event of a burst or backed-up pipe.
  • Flood insurance can help protect your home against flooding caused by external sources. It is available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (FLIP) or a referral.
  • Unless it is clearly stated as an exclusion in your policy, any risk (flooding included) will be covered by an H0-5 or open perils policy.
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Why is homeowners insurance in Tennessee so expensive?

In general, homeowners in Tennessee can expect to pay over $1500 a year on home insurance, which is well over the national cost of $1387 a year
While homeowners insurance prices tend to vary person to person depending on a variety of factors—such as credit history or marital status—prices in Tennessee are further elevated by the high risk of damage from certain environmental perils.

Wildfires

Wildfires are one of the most devastating risks to a home and can result in massive amounts of damage or even total destruction of the property. Over the last decade, Tennessee has seen a dramatic rise in the frequency of wildfires, meaning higher risks of financial loss for insurance companies.

Sinkholes

Despite their high frequency, sinkholes were not always covered by homeowners insurance policies in Tennessee. As of 2006, however, all insurance providers were required to include sinkholes under their list of named perils, thus raising the average policy cost.

Homeowners insurance discounts in Tennessee

Many insurance providers offer a variety of discounts for different types of consumers and actions. Check out the table below to find examples of common homeowners insurance discounts.
DiscountHow to get it
BundlingBundling home and auto insurance could earn you a steep discount on both policies.
First-time homeownerMost companies will offer you a discounted policy if it’s your first time purchasing a home.
Claims-freeIf you maintain a certain period (typically a few years) without any claims on your policy, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.
Storm proofingInstalling various hurricane safety measures, such as an upgraded roof or storm shutters, could earn you a discount on your homeowners policy.
Security systemIf you’ve got a security system to prevent theft, your insurance company might discount your homeowners insurance rate.
Upgraded fire alarmSet up your fire alarm to contact the fire department directly—your insurance company may give you a discount for a shorter fire response time.

How to save on home and auto insurance

Even if it’s not your first time insuring a home, finding the right policy can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, the Jerry app streamlines the process of finding the best deals on homeowners insurance!
All you have to do is answer a 45-second questionnaire and Jerry will show you dozens of customized quotes from top providers—no paperwork or hassle necessary. After you find a policy that works for you, Jerry can even help bundle your car insurance with your new homeowners plan!
“It was my first time buying insurance. I expected the worst, to be honest. And then I found Jerry. It’s an amazing app that’s super easy to use. It saved me so much time and energy.” —Simon M.

FAQs

While the cost varies based on multiple factors, homeowners in Tennessee can expect to pay over $1500 a year on their homeowners insurance, a number considerably above the national average. This is due to the state’s relatively high rate of potentially destructive perils.
Homeowners in Tennessee are not legally required to purchase flood insurance, but it is recommended and may even be required by mortgage lenders, much like homeowners insurance.

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