Consumers can turn to agency for assistance on insurance questions
NASHVILLE – In honor of National Insurance Awareness Day (Sunday, June 28), the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) reminds Tennesseans of the importance of conducting an annual review of their insurance policies and assess their risks to ensure their coverages fit their current needs.
“This year’s two deadly tornadoes, the devastating derecho windstorm and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have challenged insurance consumers and insurance carriers across Tennessee like never before,” said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “I am proud of our team’s response in assisting consumers and our state’s insurance professionals during these challenging times. If consumers have questions about their policies or their coverage, they should remember that our team is ready to assist them in answering questions so consumers can make informed choices.”
Tennessee insurance consumers who were unfairly denied a claim or who have questions about their policies should contact TDCI Consumer Insurance Services team at (615) 741-2218 or 800-342-4029 or visit tn.gov/ commerce.
“An annual assessment of your insurance coverage is a valuable way for consumers to determine if they have enough coverage or not,” said Jrade-Rice. “Looking ahead to the remainder of 2020, we are committed to ensuring that claims are being adjusted, paid appropriately and quickly. Consumers who feel as if they have been unfairly denied a claim should contact our team and file a complaint immediately.”
Through the first part of 2020, Tennessee consumers have been repaid over $2.2 million through TDCI’s mediation efforts that resulted in denied claims being overturned for policyholders.
To help consumers review their insurance needs, TDCI shares the following tips:
- Some insurance companies charge different rates for the same coverage. Shop around to ensure the best coverage for your needs at the best price.
- Conduct an annual inventory of your home’s content. Take pictures and video of your contents and update the list when you buy new items. Store the inventory list, pictures and videos in a secure place like a safe deposit box, a relative’s house or online.
- Ensure your dwelling coverage has not dropped below the cost to replace your home.
- If you rent, never assume your landlord’s insurance policy covers your belongings. More often than not, you will have to acquire renter’s insurance to protect your belongings.
- Determine if your current coverage is best for your vehicle and finances.
- Regularly review your policy to make sure the basis for your premium is as accurate as possible. Several things can affect your premium like adding/removing a vehicle or a teen driver graduating high school or reaching age 18.
- While raising deductibles can lower premiums, it can also mean you’ll owe more if you have an accident. Evaluate deductibles to determine whether you can afford to absorb your portion of a loss in the event of an accident.
- Ensure each vehicle is equipped with proper and valid proof of coverage.
- While reevaluating your coverage, check to see if new products such as usage-based insurance (UBI) may be a good fit for your family. With UBI, the auto insurer monitors your driving behavior and uses that information to determine your rates. NAIC’s DriveCheck tool helps consumers deter-mine if they could benefit from UBI.
- Life changes, like the birth of a child or an income variation, justify a policy review. Conducting an annual review of your coverages ensure they match your current needs.
- There are several types of life insurance. Talk with your agent to ensure your policy is the best fit for your life stage.
- Ensure life insurance documentation is stored in a secure location and that close family members are familiar with the policy and coverages.
- Are you one of the thousands of Tennesseans who drive for a ridesharing company, also known as a Transportation Networking Company? Or do you rent your home through a home sharing company? Be sure to talk to your agent/company about benefits and exclusions to ensure you are protected.
- Additionally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers a free life insurance policy and annuity contract locator service for those who are handling the affairs of a deceased family member. Last year, over $27 million was located for Tennesseans. This service aids family members in finding lost or forgotten about life insurance policies for a loved one who has passed away.