Insurance 101

Insurance helps you manage risk. It’s preparation for the worst. You, the consumer, pay a regular amount each month or year, called a premium. In exchange, if something costly occurs, such as a medical emergency or damage to your roof, you don’t have to cover the total cost on your own.

There are a variety of types of insurance, including health, life, homeowners, flood, dental, vision, and more. Consider your needs and what you would like covered when shopping for an insurance policy.

Some insurance is required by law or by a lender.

Auto Insurance is required by law. The minimum insurance requirements are $25k per person, $50k per accident, and $15k for property damage per accident. For more information, visit Drive Insured Tennessee.

Mortgage lenders often require you to get homeowners insurance when getting a house. You can do this either on your own, or the lender can pay your insurance premiums out of your escrow account.

The Insurance Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance regulates and licenses companies and individuals selling insurance in the State. It is divided into seven sections:

  • Consumer Insurance Services educates consumers about their policies and mediates complaints between consumers and their insurance companies.
  • Policy Analysis reviews policy rates, rules and forms filed by insurance companies. Policies sold in Tennessee must have prior approval by this section.
  • Agent Licensing licenses insurance producers, business entities, public adjusters, brokers and investment agents and others.
  • Financial Affairs oversees the financial condition of insurance companies and other organizations.
  • Examinations performs in-person examinations of insurance companies based in Tennessee by looking at company records.
  • Receiverships oversees insurance companies that are failing and the rehabilitation and liquidation of those companies.
  • Captives oversees groups underwriting their own insurance to manage risks.

The cost of insurance differs for each plan based on several variables, including what you want covered, your age, your location and more.

Verify the insurance company’s and/or agent’s license. Get quotes from multiple companies. Understand what is covered and not covered before purchasing the policy.

Often, you can call the number provided on your insurance card to ask for clarification or discuss any disputes. If you believe the company is denying a claim for something your policy covers, or if you have another issue with your insurance company or agent, file a complaint.