A Guide to Life Insurance in Tennessee (TN)

When looking to explore getting the best Tennessee Life Insurance Quotes it is important to consider both the state specific requirements for life insurance in Tennessee, and also the more general requirements of simply trying to get the best possible policy.

In this article I am going to explore both of those goals, and in addition am going to look at exactly how life insurance fits into the Tennessee economy as a whole.

(If you would like to get a Tennessee Life Insurance Quote right now, then simply put your zipcode in the box above, click Start, and then take a look at the specially selected companies websites to get a FREE quote right now.)

Let’s get going by looking at a little background information about Tennessee.

Tennessee – A Little Background

Tennessee is the 36th largest state in terms of physical size at 42,143 square meters (approximately 440 miles wide by 120 miles long); but has a much larger population than its size might indicate, ranking 17th out of the states with 6,356,105 people in 2010.

The Capital of Tennessee is Nashville, made famous down the years for a rich musical heritage that has seen it as the center of the Country Music scene in the United States with the Grand Ole Opry, and also as a popular destination for Christian Pop and Rock Music.

The largest city in Tennessee is Memphis, with a city population of 646,889 and a metropolitan population of 1,280,533 in 2010. Memphis shares the rich musical heritage of Nashville and Beale Street is considered by many Blues fans to be sacred ground that played a pivotal role in the development of early blues music. In addition Sun Records saw musicians such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and the King Himself, Elvis Presley start their recording careers.

Tennessee is a big agricultural economy and soybeans, poultry and cattle are big business. Additionally, manufacturing and tourism have grown in importance over the years, along with electrical equipment manufacturing and chemical production.

Tennessee also has the accolade of having the nations most visited national park, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Memphis Mansion is also a big tourist draw, attracting 600,000 visitors a year, the second most visited private home in the United States, second only to the White House (though at some stage Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California could also contend for the title if it is ever opened up to the public).

Tennessee Life Insurance – The Facts About TN Life Insurance

There are 488 Tennessee Life Insurance Companies who are licensed to sell life insurance in Tennessee, and of these 12 are actually domiciled in the state.

The financial sector is an important employer for Tennesseans, and the life insurance industry employs around 16,000 people directly in Tennessee, and a further 20,000 non-insurance jobs are supported by the sector in the state.

The sums of money involved are immense, and the residents of Tennessee have $540 billion worth of death benefit cover and 4 million individual life insurance policies, with an average amount of $79,000 worth of cover for each policy holder.

If you break these figures down on a yearly basis then you can see for example that $35 billion worth of cover was purchased in 2009 in Tennessee according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

The cumulative benefits that are paid out each year to policyholders are also huge, with an estimated $6 billion paid out in 2009 in the form of surrender values, policy dividend payments, matured endowments and death benefit payments. With a further $1 billion paid out in annuity payments each year.

Tennessee had a state GDP of $250.3 billion in 2010, which is considerable, and it is clear that life insurance is an important industry for the state’s economy.

The Top Ten Largest Tennessee Life Insurance Companies

Here is a list of the top ten largest life insurance companies in Tennessee in 2010 based on the amount of life insurance premiums written in Tennessee during 2010.

1/ Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company - $141,142,577
2/ Tennessee Farmers Life Insurance Company - $117,314,142
3/ State Farm Life Insurance Company - $93,397,893
4/ John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA) - $88,412,614
5/ Lincoln National Life Insurance Company - $69,879,814
6/ American General Life & Accident Insurance Company - $63,215,897
7/ Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company - $55,252,821
8/ Transamerica Life Insurance Company - $51,681,483
9/ Pacific Life Insurance Company - $43,042,781
10/ Metropolitan Life Insurance Company - $37,750,994


Specific Tennessee Life Insurance for State Employees

The State of Tennessee provides $20,000 of basic life term life insurance and $40,000 of basic special accident coverage to state employees at no cost.

If the employees also opt to get health cover then these amounts can optionally be increased to $50,000 worth of term life insurance and $100,000 for accidental death and dismemberment cover, for an additional cost.

Additionally, spouses and children of those employees who are also enrolled for health cover are also covered by $3,000 of basic dependant term life cover.

It is important to note that life cover on the Tennessee state policy can only be taken out in the first month of employment.

You can find out more details about the Tennessee State Life Insurance Policy from the Tennessee Department of Insurance whose website I have listed below.

Note – These levels of cover are still quite low. The average life insurance policyholder in Tennessee has $79,000 worth of life cover. So you should still get some other Tennessee Life Insurance Quotes to either top up the state policy, or alternatively to replace it with one that you find is better value for the top-up amount (the first amount, being free, is ALWAYS going to be the right price :-)).


Three Key Considerations Before Buying Life Insurance

1/ Choose the type of Life Insurance that you need carefully

The State policy for Tennessee Government employees is for Term Life Insurance only. Where as an individual choosing to get life insurance for themselves has the option of getting term life insurance or a whole life insurance policy (most commonly, there are other types such as variable life insurance which include and investment portion).

Term Life Insurance is cheaper and pays out a death benefit upon death, but it has no savings element, and you may have to renew it in years to come, when it will cost considerably more.

Whole Life Insurance is more expensive, but it does have a savings element, and covers you for your whole life.

It is worth weighing up your options, seeing how the investment performance of the insurance companies you are choosing between has been down the years, and seeing how much the insurance premium will cost you before finally deciding on a policy.

But do rememebr that an insurance companies 'projections' of investment growth tend to be on the optimistic side, so do weigh-up what has ACTUALLY happened in past years, rather then simply relying on those figures to make decisions.

2/ Examine your finances and bills and decide how much life insurance you really need

Life Insurance is a safety net policy that can potentially protect your family from financial meltdown in the event that your wage was not available to them. So it is well worth sitting down and calmly working out what the real-world effect of you not being around would be.

This will impact on your family in an emotional sense anyway, and so you should certainly wish to mitigate the financial impacts.

Ask yourself how much money they would need to be able to mourn you without worrying about money for at least a couple of years, and then plan accordingly.

3/ Then get some TN Life Insurance Quotes and compare how much that level of cover will cost from the different Tennessee Life Insurance Companies

It is important to realise that Life Insurance is an incredibly competitive sector in Tennessee, and that increased competition has driven prices down (especially for Term Life Insurance). Hence it is now possible to get levels of cover for much lower than in previous times.

Clearly this will always be dependent on such factors as your age, where you live, your sex (women live quite a few years longer than men on average), and your overall health risk factors such as whether you smoke. But overall you can still get better deals if you shop around and see what is on offer from a variety of different companies.

Don’t accept the first deal that you see.

Shop around and compare quotes (you can do that above for example); and really hone in on the terms and conditions of the different policies.

All life insurance policies are not created equal, and you need to factor in exclusions and the different benefits of individual policies and the reputation of the companies offering them, as well as the price.


Tennessee Life Insurance – The Details…

With regard to the legal and regulatory framework that surrounds how life insurance in Tennessee is administered, you need to look at The State Insurance Code of Tennessee.

This is the rules and regulations that the state lays down as to how Tennessee Insurance is administered.

You can find a copy of these rules here:



Tennessee Life Insurance Resources

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

It is the Tennessee Insurance Department that handles how the above rules are administered, both for Tennessee residents and also for insurance professionals and insurance companies in 'The Volunteer State'.


Tennessee Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association

In the event that a Tennessee Life Insurance Company becomes insolvent, it is the Tennessee Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association who will step in to support Tennessee Policy Holders.



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