Owning a home is as much of a milestone as it is an investment, and it can have some long-term benefits and implications. As an investor, you know that you need to consider the risks as much as you consider the potential rewards.

Whether it's a property to live in, a rental property, or one that you may alternate between both uses, the reality is that you could encounter many unfortunate circumstances that would see your investment go up in smoke, sometimes even literally.

You need to protect your Tennessee home, and one of the best ways to do that is with the assistance of one of the many homeowners insurance policies you could opt to take out.

While it's great that there are different providers you could look to for your insurance coverage, the problem is that it's not easy to know which one is recommended from a cost and policy offering perspective. Do you even know what kinds of assurance you should be looking for?

If you're even remotely confused, then you're reading the right guide to demystify things a bit for you. After careful research, we've compiled a definitive collection of information that should make selecting a homeowners insurance company something you can do with confidence.

We'll start by helping you to understand the fundamentals of homeowners insurance, after which we'll talk about some of the considerations that should be at the forefront of your mind as you contemplate different options. Finally, we'll end things by talking about some of the top Tennessee homeowners insurance companies on the market.

Understanding Tennessee Homeowners Insurance

Is homeowners insurance required in Tennessee? No! No one is forcing you to take out an insurance policy, and you'll certainly have no legal troubles coming to your doorstep for choosing to forego one. However, the kind of trouble that you may find yourself in is arguably worse.

Imagine a flood destroying the structural integrity of your home as well as some of your personal property and having no recourse, especially when you know that many policy providers could've offered you coverage if you wanted it.

We shouldn't need to reinforce for you just how important being covered is. Nevertheless, let's take a moment to understand the insurance landscape a little better.

Average Home Insurance Costs in Tennessee

If you're looking at a baseline of about $250,000 in dwelling coverage, then on average, an insurance policy in Tennessee will run you about $1,7255. If this figure sounds a bit high to you, that's probably because it is. The national average is $1,428.

Even so, it may not cost you as much as it would in neighboring states such as Mississippi and Kentucky, respectively, considering their averages come in at $1,900 and $2,009, respectively.

If you're wondering why Tennessee rates are higher than some of the state's counterparts, it's because of the location and what it means from a climate perspective. Heavy storms are not out of the norm for Tennessee, and that means that the possibility of severe property damage is very real, especially since the storms can bring flooding concerns to the fore.

On the rural side of the spectrum, wildfires are a concern, and even tornadoes hit the region. Depending on where in Tennessee you are, there can be some unpredictable and sometimes severe winter weather to contend with too.

Remember that insurance policy charges are based on risk assessments, and given everything mentioned, standard homeowners insurance policies are going to cost quite a bit more than the national average.

For reference, here are some of the factors that will affect the insurance rates you'll see:

  1. Location
  2. Construction time
  3. Claims history
  4. Property value
  5. Age of the home
  6. Coverage needed
  7. Security features
  8. Property conditions

Your final cost will typically be the charge for the policy based on the standard and additional coverage options minus any discounts that are applied. It's always in your best interest to ask about the kinds of discounts available. For example, you may find that if you bundle home and auto insurance you can access a pretty substantial discount from some providers.

It takes a solid amount of research to navigate the home insurance game. Reading the information here is a great start, but you also want to supplement whatever knowledge you're getting with research on the property and the kinds of offerings that different insurance companies have from coverage limits, to policy guarantees, to deductibles, to terms and conditions, and more.

Considering how confusing this whole thing can be, you're advised to heavily lean on the expertise of your insurance agent to answer questions and clear up any areas of confusion you could possibly have before you agree to the policy.

Homeowners Insurance Vs. Landlord Insurance

You saw information above that spoke to having the right kind of insurance and this is where we elaborate on that concept a bit. If you're a landlord or a property owner, homeowners insurance in Tennessee may just not be enough for you.

There is a separate option known as landlord insurance, and you may be wondering how the two differ. We'll start with homeowners insurance, which is meant to cover the structures on your property and the personal items you have within to an extent.

Landlord insurance, on the other hand, is an expanded version of this, which is intended for properties that are going to be used for rental.

When you have tenants in the mix, then you now have other considerations that come up. What happens if you don't earn the income you were expecting or incur damages because of the nefarious actions of tenants? In these cases, only a landlord insurance policy would suffice since it is meant to cover these kinds of occurrences.

Be that as it may, you should know that there are some instances in which a property that is intended for tenant use may not need a landlord insurance policy at a particular time.

For example, imagine that you buy a house in Tennessee, which you plan to make a rental property. Before you do so, however, you plan to live there for some time first. While you are occupying the space, there's no need for you to take out a landlord policy since there are no tenant damages that will possibly happen during this time.

You may find that will special circumstances such as these, it may be more efficient to use one type of insurance coverage for a time and then switch to the other when appropriate. Though this all sounds very straightforward, remember that the best people to tell you what kind of coverage you should have in a given scenario are the people who are giving you the said coverage.

This is why we always say that it's recommended to talk to the insurance company to understand the nuances of what can be provided based on how you want to use the property. Of course, this only works if you are honest about your intentions.

A lack of honesty and misuse of the property according to the terms and conditions could leave you having to deal with penalties such as your insurance policy being made void or refusal of the company to honor the claim that you are making.

How to Choose from the Available Home Insurance Companies in Tennessee

Let's say that you've gone through all the planning and considerations and you have settled on homeowners insurance. Now comes the point where you choose the policy you want. The question is what should be on your mind as you make what is a very important decision?

You'll want to understand that your thought process should span two parts. First, as a Tennessee homeowner, there are some hazards you may have to deal with that are either less of a concern or not an issue at all for homeowners in other locations. This means that you need protection from them.

With those out of the way, you can start thinking along the more general lines with the tips that follow from a quality-of-life perspective, as these are meant to help you tailor the insurance policy to your unique needs.

Unique Policy Needs for Tennessee Homeowners Insurance

Let's start with the essentials that a Tennessee homeowner may want to have in mind.

Flood Insurance

Unfortunately, standard homeowners insurance policy options will typically not include an element that covers you for flooding. This means that you will almost always have to get it as an add-on, meaning there will be an extra charge. Make use of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Map Service Center if you want insights on what your risk profile looks like for flooding.

Note that you will usually be able to purchase coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program or you can get private coverage from the insurance provider. There is a bit of a trade-off here, considering the former, which is a federal offering, will have less flexibility but will be cheaper. Are you willing to pay more for a more comprehensive coverage option?

Wildfire Insurance

This may come as a surprise to you since Tennessee is not known to have the highest risk where wildfires are concerned. Be that as it may, they are becoming more common. So your situation is this. Are you dealing with the same kind of risk that is present in a state such as California?

No. Insurance companies have stopped accepting new policy applications before, just because of how rampant the fires can be there. At the same time, what if your property happens to be one of the ones that are affected by a wildfire? In that case, it would be nice to have.

It's up to you to understand your level of risk and manage it effectively.

Sinkhole Coverage

Sinkholes can be another very difficult problem to deal with for homeowners. Did you know that they can swallow up a part of your property or the whole thing? Unfortunately, Tennessee ranks among the states with the highest likelihood of sinkhole damage.

That means this is something you definitely want to be protected against. Note, however, that you will likely not get this kind of coverage on a standard policy, which means that you would need to take out a separate policy to mitigate that kind of risk and offer yourself a measure of recourse.

Earthquake Insurance

Do earthquakes happen a lot in Tennessee? Of course not. However, based on the state's location it's pretty prone to them. Under normal circumstances, this will be an addition, as opposed to a part of your standard options. It will cover the different kinds of damages and expenses that can come with an earthquake such as debris removal and the living expenses that come with the restoration process.

Other Factors to Consider When Assessing Tennessee Home Insurance Companies

Now that the Tennessee-specific elements are out of the way, what about the more general side of things that you need to keep in mind? Here are some of the essential puzzle pieces that you'll want to think about:

  1. What are your needs? These will include the amount of coverage you want, what your valuables are, what the risks are in your area, etc. This will guide your ability to identify the areas of coverage that could be relevant to you.
  2. Which companies should you consider? Thankfully, you are getting a preview of this bit below. However, you should look into reputations, offerings, reviews, and more to understand what would make an insurance company a good contender for your business.
  3. Are the costs favorable? Bear in mind that when you get a quote from an insurance company, there is no obligation there. However, you do get valuable insight into what to expect. With that said, it may be a good idea to get multiple quotes and weigh them against each other.
  4. What is the customer service like? You want a responsive insurance company, as well as one that is known for having an efficient claims process since you'll want the company to be there for you as much as possible when you need it.
  5. Is the financial strength where it should be? This will speak to the extent to which the insurance company is in a position to handle claims. Why this is important should be self-explanatory.

Best Insurance Companies in Tennessee

1) Lemonade


One of the best parts of working with Lemonade is the extent to which you can interact with your policy and the company online and via the mobile app provided. To be fair, you don't have a choice since there isn't an in-person service being provided.

Coverage and Features

As far as the coverage side of things goes, Lemonade customers get access to the following from a standard policy:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures coverage
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Liability coverage
  • Medical payments

Additionally, you have the option of getting the following:

  • Buried utility
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Swimming pool coverage
  • Water backup
  • Extra coverage
  • Extended reconstruction cost
  • Foudnation water backup


You'll only be able to access a few discounts from Lemonade and these are as follows:

  • Bundling
  • Protective devices
  • Annual payment plan

2) Auto-owners


With a name like Auto-Owners, you may not think that homeowners insurance is offered, but you'd be incorrect in that assessment. There are plenty of coverage types offered, which means that you can take advantage of immense flexibility to meet whatever your needs may be.

Tennessee is one of the lucky states to have access to this company as there is a lack of national availability to speak of.

Coverage and Features

As far as coverage goes, the options that you can get at Auto-Owners include:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Identity theft
  • Cyber protection
  • Home replacement
  • Sewer backup

Note that these are not all a part of the standard coverage options, which means that you'll need to talk to an agent to ensure that you can get the best mixture.


On the discounts side of things, you do get access to a few, and these are:

  • Paid in full
  • Student discount
  • Green discount
  • Multi-policy discount

3) Travelers


Travelers' strength comes in the form of robust policies that those interested in the company can access. Sure, on the homeowners insurance side, it's definitely more limited than the auto insurance coverage that you can get with the company, but it still represents a great option that you can consider.

Coverage and Features

What are the elements of coverage that you can look forward to as a Traveler customer? Here's a look:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other
  • Personal property coverage
  • Loss of use coverage
  • Personal liability coverage

If you wish, you can add these additional elements of protection to the policy:

  • Special personal property
  • Contents replacement cost
  • Additional replacement cost protection
  • Jewelry and valuable items
  • Personal articles floater
  • Water backup and sump pump discharge or overflow
  • Identity fraud
  • Green home coverage


If you're interested in the kinds of savings you can get with Traveler, here you go:

  • Multi-policy discounts
  • Home buyer discount
  • Loss free discount
  • Protective devices
  • Green home discount

4) Erie


Erie may only be available in just over a dozen states, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best homeowners insurance company options you can find in Tennessee. If there were ever a word to describe the coverage options that you can get from the company, it would probably be along the lines of "generous."

Note also that the experience with the agents is a great one, featuring excellent responsiveness and even a respectable claims-handling process.

Coverage and Features

The types of coverage available for clients are as follows:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures coverage
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Personal liability
  • Medical expenses

Interestingly, your standard insurance policy will come with some interesting perks, including:

  • Cash and precious metal coverage
  • Theft or loss of belongings
  • Replacement cost coverage for personal property
  • Guaranteed replacement cost coverage
  • Animal coverage
  • Coverage for hard-to-replace items
  • Gift card and gift certificate coverage.

Feel free to also add any of these options to customize things just a bit more:

  • Identity theft recovery
  • Water backup and sump overflow
  • Homesharing coverage
  • Equipment breakdown coverage for appliances or major home systems
  • Extra coverage for valuable items or collections.


On the discount side, here is what Erie has to offer:

  • New home
  • Wind mitigation measures
  • Full or auto payment
  • Multi-policy
  • Smoke alarms
  • Burglar alarms
  • Automatic sprinklers

5) Farmers


A variety of homeowners can benefit from Farmers home insurance, especially since there are three tiers of coverage available to ensure that the appeal is as broad as possible.

Coverage and Features

The standard policy will come with the following elements of coverage:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures coverage
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Personal liability
  • Medical payments

You may also find extended replacement cost coverage and personal property replacement cost coverage included in your policy, as well as these perks:

  • Personal injury coverage
  • Homeshare coverage
  • Ordinance or law coverage
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Eco-rebuild
  • Identity theft coverage
  • Higher limit coverage


Discounts are pretty vast and include:

  • Full or auto payments
  • Green certification
  • Special profession
  • New home
  • Home safety features
  • Going paperless
  • Smart home system


There's no doubt that though not required, insurance coverage is essential to provide you with the kind of protection you need for your home in Tennessee.

Disaster can strike at any time and you need to be covered. Of course, it requires considering the right things and choosing from the best companies available, which the information above will help you do.

Just remember to do your research and ask all the questions you possibly can to get things cleared up.

Frequently Asked Quesitons

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.