If you don’t know how to evaluate insurance companies, shopping for the right life insurance policy in Tennessee may prove challenging. The most important thing is to identify a company with affordable rates and policies that fit your specific situation.
Luckily for you, we’ve already done most of the heavy lifting.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like AM Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
Here are the best life insurance companies in Tennessee, along with the average cost of a policy and the state laws that protect you as a policyholder.
Best life insurance companies in Tennessee
Best overall: Banner Life
Cheapest: Banner Life
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best no-medical-exam: Brighthouse Financial
Best whole life insurance: MassMutual
Best for seniors: Prudential
Best for young adults: Brighthouse Financial
Best for people with pre-existing conditions: Lincoln Financial
Best for marijuana users: Lincoln Financial
Best for smokers: Banner Life
Best overall life insurance
Most Tennesseeans will find an affordable policy that meets their coverage needs with Banner Life, our pick for the best overall life insurance company in Tennessee. With competitive rates for a variety of applicants including people with pre-existing health conditions, Banner Life is an all-around solid choice.
Banner Life also stacks up well against competing carriers, with strong financial security and a NAIC complaint rating at 0.35, well below the nationwide average of 1.00.
Cheapest life insurance
Banner Life also offers some of the most competitive life insurance rates in Tennessee, with affordable policies for a range of residents including shoppers with certain pre-existing conditions and lifestyles.
Best term life insurance
Term life insurance covers the policyholder for a set number of years, with coverage expiring at the end of its term. Because of its affordability, term life is the most suitable option for most life insurance shoppers. Banner Life offers term length policies that cover you for up to 40 years, and competitive rates for most Tennessee residents.
Best no-medical-exam life insurance
No-medical-exam policies allow applicants to skip the medical exam and qualify for life insurance using their existing medical history. While no-medical-exam policies are generally more expensive, they offer quick application turnarounds and may be available to some Tennessee applicants that otherwise wouldn’t qualify for life insurance. Brighthouse Financial’s no-medical-exam insurance can provide up to $2 million in coverage, with applications turned around in as little as a day.
Best whole life insurance
Whole life insurance policies cover the policyholder for their entire lifetime at five to 15 times the cost of term life. They also feature a cash value component that lets you save and invest, and they may even pay dividends based on the company’s financial performance. MassMutual pays greater dividends than competing companies.
Best for seniors
Tennessee seniors who are just now shopping for life insurance will pay more for coverage because of their age, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find a great policy. Prudential offers competitive rates to seniors age 60 and over, even when they have certain pre-existing conditions that are associated with old age.
Best for young adults
The younger a life insurance applicant is, the less they’ll pay for life insurance. While young adults in Tennessee can find affordable coverage in many places, Brighthouse Financial offers some of the most competitive rates, with quick application processing and lower income requirements for college students.
Best for people with pre-existing conditions
Certain pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease can make a big difference in how much policyholders will have to pay for coverage. Lincoln Financial offers better rates than most life insurance companies for applicants with many types of health conditions.
Best for marijuana users
Many life insurance companies automatically assign smoker rates to marijuana users, which means the premiums are two to three times higher than they would be for a non-smoker. But marijuana users can still access lower non-smoker rates with Lincoln Financial.
Best for smokers
The health risks associated with smoking mean that smokers will have to pay a lot more for life insurance than non-smokers. But Banner Life offers lower rates to Tennessee smokers than the competition, and policyholders who quit can apply to reduce their rates after just one year, compared to the two-year waiting period that comes standard with many other insurers.
Comparing the best life insurance companies in Tennessee
Types of policies
5.0 / 5
No-medical-exam life, young adults
Term life, no-medical-exam life, whole life, short-term life, universal life
4.9 / 5
Overall, cheapest, term life, smokers
Term life, no-medical-exam life, universal life
4.9 / 5
Term life, no-medical-exam life, whole life, universal life, variable universal life
4.8 / 5
Marijuana users, people with pre-existing conditions
Term life, no-medical-exam life, indexed universal life, variable universal life
4.1 / 5
Term life, no-medical-exam life, short-term life, universal life, indexed universal life
What is the average cost of life insurance in Tennessee?
The factors that go into determining life insurance premiums include the applicant’s age, health history, the length of the term, and the coverage amount. Based on Policygenius data from 2023, the average monthly premium for a healthy 35-year old in Tennessee buying a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy is $30.79 for men and $25.76 for women.
What happens if a life insurance company goes bankrupt in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover Tennessee residents in the rare case that a life insurance company becomes insolvent and is no longer able to meet its financial obligations to policyholders. As long as the policyholder continues to pay for their policy, the guaranty association will cover up to $300,000 in death benefits and $100,000 in cash surrender value.
How to find a lost life insurance policy in Tennessee
Individuals who believe they may be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy issued in Tennessee, or the executor or legal representative of a deceased individual who may have purchased life insurance in Tennessee, can search the the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service to look for life insurance policies and annuity contracts in the decedent’s name.
Tennessee life insurance laws
Life insurance policyholders enjoy state protections that dictate how policies must operate in the state of Tennessee.
Free look period
Tennessee residents get a free look period of 10 days after a new life insurance policy takes effect. During this time, the policyholder can review the policy and return it for a full refund from the insurance company.
Guaranty Fund protection
The Tennessee Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association covers life insurance death benefits for up to $300,000 and cash surrender value for up to $100,000 for Tennessee residents affected by a life insurance company’s liquidation.
During the contestable period, life insurance companies can deny a claim if they can prove that the applicant lied or made misstatements on their life insurance application. In Tennessee, the contestable period lasts for two years starting from the date that the life insurance policy takes effect.
Time allowable to settle a claim
Life insurance companies must settle claims in Tennessee within 60 days. Unpaid death benefits begin to accrue interest starting after 15 days from the date of death.
Grace period for missed payments
Tennessee residents have a 30-day grace period to make up for a missed payment to their insurance company without losing coverage. As long as they make up for the missed payment within 30 days, the life insurance company cannot terminate the policy.