National Insurance Awareness Day
June 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day. We observe this day each year to serve as a reminder to review your insurance policies, assess your risks, and make sure individuals and businesses have the coverage they need.
With Hurricane Season starting this month, Tennesseans need to be weather aware. Even though Tennessee is landlocked, our neighbors are not, and flooding can still occur. Do you know how likely your home or business is to flood? Will you have enough insurance in case a disaster strikes like we have seen on multiple occasions this year? Should you buy supplemental flood, wind or hail coverage? Remember anywhere it can rain, it can flood. Be sure to keep your insurance policies in a safe location, create a "go bag" for emergencies, and buy flood insurance before a disaster strikes to protect your home and business. Go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal to find your area’s flood-hazard map and other tools to better understand your flood risk.
Additionally, schedule time to sit down or virtually meet with your insurance agent and review your policies to help make sure your insurance coverage is still appropriate and that you are prepared for any risks. An in-depth review can help uncover gaps in your insurance coverage or ensure that you have adequate coverage limits. Bottom line, know your insurance policy and make sure it meets your risk and coverage needs.
Our Insurance Division at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) had many accomplishments last year, and we are proud of our continued success. To name a few, in 2019, 68,000 Tennesseans were employed by insurance companies and $4,270,091 was recovered in restitution as a result of complaints handled by our Consumer Insurance Services Section. Additionally, as of May 2020, we have licensed 3,000 new insurance agents bringing Tennessee’s total number to 228,422 insurance agents.
Furthermore, we have a robust property and casualty (“P&C”) insurance market with 1,278 P&C companies actively licensed in 2019. In 2018, $11.9 Billion in P&C premium was written in Tennessee by insurance companies. I am proud to say that Tennessee is 16th in the country and 33rd in the world for premium volume. It is also worth noting that premium written in Tennessee has increased by 7% in just the last year.
Lastly, Tennessee is well on its way to being one of the best states for insurance companies to do business. In the last year, we had 6 new domestic carriers and 60 new foreign companies come to Tennessee. We are proud that these companies understand the business opportunities in Tennessee and appreciate our Department’s reputation as we have continued to adapt as effective and efficient regulators within the captive industry.
Here is a breakdown of our sections and programs that serve Tennesseans daily through our Insurance Division.
- The Consumer Insurance Services Section educates consumers about their policies and mediates complaints between consumers and their insurance companies.
- The Policy Analysis Section reviews policy rates, rules and forms filed by insurance companies. Policies sold in Tennessee must have prior approval by this section.
- The Agent Licensing Section licenses insurance producers, business entities, public adjusters, brokers and investment agents.
- The Financial Affairs Section oversees the financial condition of insurance companies and other organizations.
- The Examinations Section performs in-person examinations of insurance companies based in Tennessee by looking at company records.
- The Receiverships Section oversees insurance companies that are failing and the rehabilitation and liquidation of those companies.
- The Captives Insurance Section oversees companies that are underwriting their own insurance to manage risks. Additionally, we are happy to announce that this year we marked the licensing of our 200th captive insurance company within Tennessee. Therefore, making Tennessee the seventh-largest captive domicile in the United States
From a market conduct perspective, this year’s two deadly tornadoes and the devastating derecho that followed all amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have made it more important than ever for us to be vigilant with market conduct work. It is one of our top priorities to ensure that claims are being adjusted, paid appropriately and quickly. For any Tennessee consumers who believe they have been wrongfully denied a claim by their insurance company or have another issue with an insurance agent or carrier, you can file a complaint online and learn about other ways to file complaints, including by mail or phone, at https://www.tn.gov/commerce/insurance/consumer-resources/file-a-complaint.html. Please note, that the insurance policy must have been written in Tennessee.
Our Insurance Division looks forward to continuing to serve you, Tennessee!
Rachel Jrade-Rice is the Assistant Commissioner for Insurance at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.