The 5 Best Tennessee Homeowners Insurance Companies
Tennessee’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are right in line with the national average — $1,139 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,132 nationwide. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. Use our tool to find your best rates:
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Tornadoes are the primary enemy of homes in Tennessee. In fact, 2011 saw 11 tornadoes that were F3 or stronger. Needless to say, there’s a decent chance you’ll have to file a weather-related claim at some point. And for residents of western Tennessee, earthquakes are also a concern due to the New Madrid Fault Line.
If not for all the high-powered winds and earth shaking, the average cost for homeowners insurance would probably fall well below the national average. As it stands, Tennesseans pay $1,139 a year which is nearly identical to the national average of $1,132. Since every home and region is unique, premiums will vary. You can use our handy tool below to get and compare quotes for yourself.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Tennessee
We used a process similar to our nation-wide search for the best homeowners insurance company to find the top dogs in Tennessee. We reviewed the five biggest insurers (except USAA) in the state. Each of those companies had to meet our high standards for financial stability (at least an “A” rating from A.M. Best) to move on. Then, we scored each one on a number of factors like claims process, customer service, educational material, and available discounts. When the dust settled, we found that Liberty Mutual shined the brightest and State Farm wasn’t too far behind.
Tennessee Homeowners Insurance Reviews
The way an insurer treats your when you submit a claim is of utmost importance, so we looked intently at what independent evaluators like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports had to say about our five contenders. Liberty Mutual tied State Farm for top honors in this category, and was very competitive in our evaluations of customer service, policy and discount transparency, and financial stability. We also loved that we didn’t have to worry about a separate deductible for wind damage like with Allstate.
Our personal experience with this company was pleasant from start to finish and we were able to find out almost all of the information we needed online, and easily get a quote. Liberty Mutual’s process was the simplest and easiest for us to decipher; however, we did notice that when we called to get a quote, it was significantly lower than the quote we received online.
While State Farm was nearly our first choice, Liberty Mutual’s plethora of discounts (including new roof and monitored security system discounts) place it above the rest. Between those discount options, great customer service, and excellent claim processing, we believe Liberty Mutual should be at the top of your list.
As the largest provider of homeowners insurance in Tennessee (it owns a staggering 25 percent of the entire market share), State Farm was nearly our top choice. Our only major reservation was the difficulty we had when trying to find out information about its policies and discounts online. It doesn’t offer as many discounts as Allstate and Liberty Mutual, but the by-product is a more transparent pricing model.
When we called to test the quote process, we experienced part of what makes State Farm so attractive: its impeccable customer service. While its online quote tool was nothing special, our phone call with an agent produced detailed quote in a little over 10 minutes. Plus, it didn’t require any special wind deductible (like Allstate does) and included a separate price for optional earthquake insurance.
State Farm is that it’s rock-solid, well-rounded company that provides a consistently great customer experience across the board. As the largest provider of homeowners insurance in the state (and in the country), it’s A++ A.M. Best rating for financial security ensures that no matter the size of the catastrophe, State Farm will be able to pay out on any claims you might have.
Allstate had the most user-friendly, informative website we ran across – all of the coverage options and available discounts were easily accessible. Not to mention that the discounts it offers are quite extensive and on-par with Liberty Mutual’s offerings.
The biggest gaps we noticed during our evaluation were its mediocre claim satisfaction rating and lack of transparency with discounts. For instance, we weren’t told the “welcome” discount on our policy would expire after the first two years, which would cause our premium to substantially increase. If you plan on purchasing coverage with the lowest deductible possible ($1,000), you should know that there is a $1,500 minimum deductible for wind damage, so you would be out an extra $500 should you have a wind related claim.
Our phone call with Allstate was one of our best experiences of all. The agent was very helpful, and gave us extra information that we didn’t even know to ask about, like how the age of the roof plays a big part in Allstate’s underwriting process. He also informed us that Allstate would send a local rep out to do an outside inspection before the policy was written.
Allstate’s website, customer service, and numerous discounts made including it in our top three an easy choice. For us, Allstate’s quote was the cheapest, but you will need to get a quote to find out for yourself.
Travelers is somewhat unique in that it doesn’t have local offices or agents in Tennessee. Instead, it utilizes independent agents. While this isn’t necessarily bad (in fact, it can actually be a good thing), our experience was not great. We called numerous offices before we were finally connected with an agent that could actually sell us Travelers homeowners insurance.
Because of Travelers’ set up, you could have a totally different experience depending on which independent agent you were doing business with. Since the other aspects of the company were strong, like it’s financial rating, website education material, and discounts, we can still recommend Travelers as a decent choice – provided you can find a trusted, quality agent in your area that sells Travelers Insurance.
Tennessee Farmers Mutual
Simply put, Tennessee Farmers did not wow us in any category that we scored, but it also didn’t leave us shaking our heads either. It offers a few discounts, but lacks some standard policy endorsements that other companies offer, like optional coverage that covers water damage for a sewer back-up.
Its website didn’t do a great job explaining what discounts and policy options it offers, but we were still able to find a few tucked-away nuggets of helpful information. The agent was friendly, but couldn’t provide us with a quote on the spot, and didn’t call back in the promised time frame.
Note: We couldn’t evaluate its claim process since we couldn’t test it for ourselves, and it wasn’t evaluated by either J.D. Power or Consumer Reports.
What about USAA?
If you, or one of your immediately family members is a current or former member of the military, then you have access to USAA. Since it isn’t open to the general public, we didn’t compare it to our other choices. However, if you are eligible, it’s definitely worth your consideration. Not only is it one of the highest-rated companies according to JD Power, it’s the fourth largest provider in the state.
Optional Coverages to Consider
Residents of western Tennessee (think Memphis) should consider purchasing earthquake insurance due to the proximity of the New Madrid Fault Line. Based on studies of the region’s geological history, some experts conclude that a moderately sized earthquake is highly likely to occur in the near future.
Most insurers will allow you to purchase earthquake insurance directly from them, but they might not offer it unless you ask. Don’t assume that your home is automatically covered without first checking with your agent.
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. If this is news to you, you aren’t alone. According to a unpredictable flash floods. You can learn more about flood insurance and even do a quick, easy flood-risk assessment through the National Flood Insurance Program’s website.
Note: Flood insurance is purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program, not through your homeowners insurance company.
The Bottom Line
Homeowners in Tennessee have a few perils to look out for, and should take great care when choosing a policy. Thankfully, homeowners insurance in Tennessee isn’t overly expensive, but premiums could vary drastically based on the value and location of your home. That’s why you should get a quote from multiple providers and compare them for yourself.
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