Mother Nature can do significant damage to homes in Tennessee, as can human nature. Storms can strike, but so can thieves and vandals. The state of Tennessee doesn't require homeowners to carry insurance, but most mortgage companies require buyers to have home insurance before approving a loan. Having a comprehensive home insurance policy protects Tennessee homeowners when the unexpected happens.
When shopping for a homeowner’s insurance policy, talk to different agents and discuss different coverage options. Consider the value of your home, and list any personal property inside the home when buying an insurance policy. If you don’t have enough insurance, that can almost be as devastating as having no insurance at all.
Comparing Tennessee Home Insurance Rates
The price of a Tennessee home insurance policy depends on several factors. The home's construction affects the premium you pay each year. For example, a house with a crawl space (an area below your floor boards) will often come with higher insurance rates than a slab home. The age of your home also affects what you pay. Another factor that plays a part in insurance costs is how close the home is to a local fire department or fire hydrant.
Breeds of dogs on the Tennessee blacklist include pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, chow chows, and Rottweilers. Some companies may still issue a policy to you if you own one of these breeds, but may exclude the dog from your personal liability coverage. This means that if the dog attacks someone on your property, your home insurance won’t cover damages if the victim sues you.
The deductible you choose on your insurance policy is another factor that determines your insurance rate. Choose a lower deductible if you don't mind an inflated monthly payment. If your budget is tight, consider a higher deductible, but make sure you have the funds to cover the deductible should a disaster occur.
Other factors that affect Tennessee home insurance rates include:
- Whether you have fire alarms in your home.
- If you have installed a security system.
- How much your home is worth.
- Whether your area is vulnerable to tornadoes.
Tornado and Storm Damage in Tennessee
Tennessee is a hotspot for tornadoes that can damage or destroy a home. Tornadoes usually take place in early spring and occur with no or little warning. Most parts of Tennessee may be vulnerable to tornado damage so insuring your home against tornado damage is essential.
Spring isn’t the only time you need to worry about severe weather conditions in Tennessee. The heat of summer brings on intense thunder and lightning storms. Downed trees and hail are two of many things that can severely damage your roof. Small earthquakes also occur in Tennessee occasionally, which can damage your home's foundation. Many home insurance policies don’t cover earthquake damage so you may need to purchase separate earthquake insurance coverage.
Flooding often occurs in Tennessee due to the harsh thunderstorms of summer. Tennessee typically doesn’t experience heavy snow during the winter, but flooding from melting snow and ice is a concern. A standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding; instead, you need to purchase special flood insurance from the federal government. FEMA offers protection against floods through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tennessee Home Insurance
1. What does the phrase "other structures" refer to in a home insurance policy?
“Other structures” refers to buildings on your property that aren’t part of the main dwelling. This may include a storage shed or a detached garage. Items within these structures are insurable against loss for an added cost.
2. Is a home insurable if it has a pool on the property?
In Tennessee, insurance companies require that all pools have safety fences around them, with a locking gate. Insurance companies may check your pool for compliance before they will issue a policy to you.
3. What is personal liability protection on a homeowner’s insurance policy?
Personal liability protection covers you against lawsuits. For example, if a person sues you because he fell and broke his arm on your property, personal liability coverage will cover the costs – but only up to the liability limit of your policy. As with most other aspects of the policy, your coverage amount varies based on your needs and budget. If you choose to raise your liability coverage, your premium will also rise.
4. What personal property items does insurance cover?
Personal property consists of appliances, furniture, jewelry, and even clothing. If these items get damaged by a storm, or are stolen or vandalized, your insurance policy will typically pay out the replacement value of these items.
5. What if you can't live in the home because of excess damage?
If damage to your home is so severe that you can't live in it, your insurance policy will usually pay you to live somewhere else during repairs, or at least pay a portion of your accommodation fees. This is known as loss of use coverage and it’s an important portion of a home policy in Tennessee.
How to Get Great Rates on Tennessee Home Insurance
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Tennessee Home Insurance Resources
TN Insurance Division
Information for Tennessee residents on state insurance laws and regulations