Tennessee Life Insurance

In this article...
  • Choosing a life insurance provider and plan can be challenging. Explore your rights as a Tennessee life insurance consumer and learn where to turn for help.

With more than 440 companies licensed to sell life insurance in Tennessee, choosing the ideal provider and plan can be challenging, but understanding your rights as a consumer can help you make smarter decisions. Learn what you can expect as a Tennessee policyholder or beneficiary, including the protections guaranteed under state law and who to reach out to when you need information or help.

Tennessee Life Insurance Rules and Specifics

Oversight for life insurance business conducted in Tennessee is provided by the state's Department of Commerce and Insurance, which licenses and regulates life insurance entities under Title 56 of the Tennessee Code. These laws were created to ensure fair practices and to protect the rights of state policyholders and beneficiaries. Tennessee's consumer protections include:

  • A free look: Tennessee life insurance policies must include a free look period of 10 days or more. During this time, policyholders are encouraged to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of their coverage. If a policyholder isn't satisfied with their plan, they may cancel their coverage during this period and receive a full refund.
  • Grace periods for late payments: Tennessee law mandates a late payment grace period of at least 30 days before a company may legally cancel a policy or reduce the death benefit. As long as the policyholder makes up the missed payment during this time period, coverage remains active. 
  • Interest accrual on untimely payments: Tennessee insurers have 60 days to pay out a death benefit once a beneficiary files a claim. If the company fails to settle the claim within that time period, they must pay interest on the amount.
  • Death benefit and cash surrender value guarantees: If a state-licensed company becomes insolvent, the state's guaranty association must continue coverage up to the legal per-person limits of $300,000 for death benefits and $100,000 for cash surrender value. 

Life Insurance Resources in Tennessee

As the state's regulatory agency for life insurance, Tennessee's Department of Commerce and Insurance provides various consumer resources. Tennessee residents who visit the department's website can:

  • Access educational materials
  • Verify a provider's license
  • View a list of state-licensed companies
  • Explore Tennessee's insurance laws
  • Request a fraud investigation
  • File a complaint against an agent or company
  • Request mediation for an insurance-related dispute 
  • Stay up to date on insurance regulations through bulletins and news

Policyholders and beneficiaries who need additional assistance may also contact:

  • The Tennessee Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association: State residents who have been impacted by a provider's bankruptcy may contact Tennessee's guaranty association for information and assistance.
  • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners: NAIC's consumer division offers guidance for life insurance shoppers and helps interested parties locate lost policies and uncover information about company complaints.
  • AM Best: AM Best provides consumers with financial information, creditworthiness ratings and industry analysis, empowering them to make smarter policy decisions.
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