Severe storms can damage homes unexpectedly

Tennessee is one of the rainiest states in the country, and averages around 50 days of thunderstorms each year. Tennessee homeowners should consider home insurance for protection against the weather and other unpredictable, potentially damaging events.

How Much Does Tennessee Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Tennessee was $852. The level of coverage you select, as well as your deductible, will affect the cost of your insurance.

Other factors such as the age, condition, and geographic location of your home can affect your rate. Homes made primarily from brick may be less expensive to insure because there is less of a fire hazard compared to homes constructed with wood. A homeowner’s credit score, claims history, and even the type of dog they own can alter how much they pay for insurance.

What Does It Cover?

In Tennessee, home insurance covers the structure of your home and the property within it, including furniture, clothes, televisions, and appliances. Most policies cover damage caused by fire, smoke, lightning, windstorms, hail, vandalism, and theft, but not damage caused by flooding. Liability coverage is typically included in most policies. If you are found responsible for an injury someone sustained on property you own or rent, the insurance policy will pay for legal representation, court fees, and medical expenses up to the policy limit. Liability insurance may also cover injuries away from your property if they are caused by you, a family member, or a pet.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Tennessee?

Home insurance is not required by law in Tennessee. However, buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has more information for consumers about homeowner’s insurance.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. According to the Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee receives an average of 51 inches of rain per year. That amount of rainfall can cause floods, especially near the state’s rivers and lakes. Although it’s not mandatory to purchase flood insurance, you may want to consider doing so since it is not included in most home insurance policies. You can purchase flood insurance through certain insurance providers or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Fire and Lightning. Damages to your home or property due to fire and lightning are usually covered under your basic homeowner’s policy in Tennessee, but you should still evaluate your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Wildfires in Tennessee caused by dry lightning, arson, and open burning have caused significant damage to land and properties across the state.
  • Windstorm. Although Tennessee isn’t in Tornado Alley, it still receives an average of 26 tornadoes per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Fortunately, most policies cover damage caused by windstorms like tornados, so make sure to check your policy to see how much protection you have. Most insurance companies offer additional coverage through special endorsements.

Mobile Home Insurance in Tennessee

Mobile home insurance, sometimes called manufactured home insurance, covers the structure of the home and the furniture, clothing, and appliances within it in the event of damage caused by fire, smoke, windstorms, hail, vandalism, theft, and other perils. If your property is damaged, your insurance company will pay for the repair and replacement costs, as well as additional living expenses if your home is too damaged to live in and you need to temporarily move elsewhere. Most mobile home policies don’t cover damage caused by floods and earthquakes, so make sure to check your policy to see what coverage you have.

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