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What Does a “High Net Worth” Client Look Like in Insurance?

You may have seen the term “high net worth” somewhere and thought, “That’s not me, we’re not ‘rich’ we’re just upper middle class.” But when it comes to insurance, high net worth is more about value than wealth.

Consider homes as an example. A high value home is typically one that is valued at $750,000 or higher. With inflation and today’s property values, your home may fall in that range now, even if you didn’t pay that much to buy it. But if the size, location, and/or values of homes around you have increased – your home likely is worth more too.

In addition, do you have a more expensive vehicle? What about multiple vehicles? Do you have a boat, RV, ATV, or other additional vehicles? Do you have a gun collection, jewelry, or other personal property that might be worth more than your current policy’s limits. All these things add up, and they may need more coverage than is offered by “standard” home and auto policies.

Property isn’t the only place you face risk; you have personal liability as well. And the more you have, the more you may be sued for if someone feels you are responsible for some type of “damage” to them. Lawsuits are more common now, as are larger court judgments and settlements. Having more coverage for personal liability can help protect you and your assets.

So, do you need “special” coverage?

Maybe not “special” coverage, but you very well might need “different” coverage. Important things to check include:

  • Property limits on your policy – are they high enough for the value?
  • Coverage language like Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value – would you want to pay the difference if you had a claim?
  • Liability limits on your policy – lawsuits can be costly and adding more may not be as expensive as you’d think.

Things you should consider to better protect yourself:

  • Get the current property value of your home assessed and match your policy limits closer to that value
  • Take precautions to protect your property like home security systems, protection devices, home & roof inspections, and discussing safety with your family
  • Discuss valuable items like jewelry, firearms, and collections with your insurance agent to see if they need to scheduled on your policy
  • Consider a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) for additional protection

Make sure you understand your current policies, coverages, and limits. Review what you have and what you may need on a regular basis to make sure changes have been accounted for properly. It can make a huge difference in your protection whether you’re high net worth or not!

Want more tips to help better protect yourself and your family? Need a policy review? Contact Brandon from our team at or 865-453-1414 today.

No Coverage for Earthquakes? Don’t be at Fault!

As you likely know, there are two fault lines that run through Tennessee. The first is the New Madrid Fault, which runs approximately 120 miles south from Charleston, Missouri, and part of West Tennessee, near Reelfoot Lake, extending southeast into Dyersburg, Tennessee. The second is the East Tennessee fault line, which runs from Chattanooga through Knoxville and on to North Carolina.

What you may not know is that most property insurance policies exclude damage from earthquakes. And while we haven’t had a major earthquake in Tennessee in the last 100 years, that doesn’t mean they can’t occur. So, what would you need for coverage, and how do these policies work? Let’s discuss it.

How Earthquake Insurance Works

Earthquake (EQ) insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. And while there are certainly scenarios where major damage can occur, one of the more common issues is the damage earthquakes can cause to foundations and walls of a building. This shifting, cracking, and movement can be very costly and may also damage the structural integrity of your building(s).

If a fire, electrical damage, or water line damage occurs as a result of an earthquake, there is a good chance your current property policy may provide coverage for those losses. But direct damages from the earthquake, whether to your building, auto, or personal property, are unlikely to be covered by non-EQ policies.

It’s important to know that EQ insurance carries a deductible, and this is generally in the form of a percentage rather than a dollar amount. That is somewhat unique compared to other coverages and could be an unpleasant surprise if you don’t understand it in a claims scenario. As an example, an EQ policy may have a 10% deductible, meaning that if the home is replaced at a cost of $250,000, the homeowner would have a $25,000 deductible. These deductibles may be as high as 20%, which can mean a very significant cost to the homeowner.

The cost of EQ insurance can also vary a lot, depending on location, how your structure is built, and the materials used. These policies are provided by private insurance companies, and not the government like many flood insurance policies. As such, EQ insurance needs to be reviewed and compared to understand the coverages and costs.

Does your home or business property need EQ insurance? It’s likely a good idea to have a policy in place for it. While we don’t expect an earthquake anytime soon, the science to predict them is not advanced enough to detect them in advance and one could occur at any time.

Contact Brandon Patterson on our team at or call 865.453.1414 and he’ll help you review your options.

Steps for Better Personal Risk Management

You could probably guess that companies need to take steps to reduce their risks, including safety programs, cybersecurity, and more. But should you be taking risk management steps for yourself? Do you have ways you can lower your own risks and potentially reduce the chances you have a loss or an insurance claim? The answer to both these questions is “yes” of course!

Driving Risks

Over 36,000 automobile accidents occur every day1 in the U.S. Many of these accidents are caused by distracted driving. One of the simplest steps you can take for better personal risk management is to avoid using your devices while driving. And while texting may be the most obvious, many people are using their phones for searches, looking up directions, or even watching videos! Avoid these while you aren’t parked in your vehicle whenever possible.

In addition, keeping your car in good working order is also a way to reduce your risk. Keep your tires properly inflated, have brakes and safety mechanisms checked, change windshield wiper blades as needed, and keep up regular maintenance to prevent mechanical issues that could cause an accident.

Cyber Risks

The average American accesses the internet for around seven hours of their day!2 Much of that may be for work, but many Americans also work from home. If you’re using your personal devices, take steps to protect your data:

  1. Protect your passwords and create stronger passwords whenever possible.
  2. Use multifactor authentication when it is an option for logins.
  3. Avoid using “open” or unsecured internet network connections.
  4. Be careful visiting websites and especially entering data on sites that do not have SSL encryption (https://).

Liability Risks

Lawsuits are on the rise in our country, and larger verdicts and judgments are more common. You can protect your own liability at home by taking steps that include:

  1. Fence in your yard, especially if you have a trampoline, pool, treehouse, etc.
  2. Avoid “overserving” alcohol to adults at your home – even friends and neighbors.
  3. Monitor and control your dog and/or other pets, even if they haven’t been known to bite.
  4. Talk with your family about being careful in their interactions with others, and the importance of safety.

These are just a few of the examples of ways you can be safer and also lower your risks. But accidents can still happen, and you need to have the right coverages in place in case they do. Contact Brandon Patterson from our team to better understand what those coverage options may be for you – or 865.453.1414.

1-per Progressive Insurance data

2-per Forbes data

Risk Management and Your Team’s Role in Lowering Risk

Risk Management and Your Team’s Role in Lowering Risk

Workers’ compensation rates have been steadily dropping for the last decade in Tennessee and other states. And while factors like market competition and legal system improvements are factors, one of the biggest impacts has come from a reduction in claims frequency and claims severity. How has this been achieved? Safety and risk management programs. When better procedures are in place to protect employees, fewer accidents – or less damaging accidents – occur. So, could this be applied elsewhere to lower your businesses risks?

Preparing Your Team for Success

Onboarding, training, screening, and testing of employees and potential hires can help you lower risk. And this isn’t just for jobs with physical risks. Training your employees on cyber risks, onboarding them for customer interaction, screening them for past loss history, and intermittently testing them on what they’ve learned can all help with your risk management. Let’s review some examples of how this approach can be impactful.

Cyber Liability Prevention

Most businesses store customer data or personal info in some fashion. Whether it be loyalty info like names and birthdays or financial info like credit cards stored for recurring payments, this data is sensitive and must be protected. If you train and test your employees on avoiding cyber risks like phishing, hacking, and human error, you’ll be helping lower your cyber risk.

Third Party Liability Prevention

How does your team interact with customers? If there is a physical location that customers visit for goods, services, or transactions, is it well-maintained? Does your team know to clean up spills, report malfunctioning equipment, or notify management of unsafe conditions? Quickly acting on these concerns not only makes for a better customer experience, it may also reduce your risk.

Property Damage Prevention

If you work on or interact with customer property, having your employees properly trained is critical. Whether it be a $20,000 car or a $1,000,000 piece of equipment, the work your employees do shouldn’t put position you for a claim. And while accidents happen, the better the training, the less likely they are to occur.

Good risk management leads to better options for your insurance, especially as your business’s loss history continues to be good or improves from prior claims. Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email to discuss how it could help your business.

Is Increasing Your Deductible a Good Idea?

Is Increasing Your Deductible a Good Idea?
We’d all love to save more money, and insurance isn’t something people typically enjoy spending money to purchase. There are ways to decrease the cost of your insurance premiums, and one that is often mentioned is increasing the deductible of the policies. But is this a good idea? That depends on your specific situation.

What is a Deductible?
As you probably know, your deductible is the amount you’ll be responsible for if you have a claim paid by the company that insures you. For example, on a home insurance policy, “cheaper” insurance often has higher deductibles, meaning a claim resulting in $10,000 of damages might cost you $5,000 out of pocket on that cheaper policy, while a “more expensive” policy may only result in only $1,000 out of pocket expense.

So, I Can Save That Money Now, Right?
If you purchase a less expensive policy with a higher deductible, you may indeed save money on the front end. But what about if you have a claim? Since none of us knows when a claim will occur, a plan to save on the front end until you have a claim may not work out for you. Let’s take a look at why with an example of premium and deductible differences on a home with $350,000 in dwelling coverage:

Average Annual Home Insurance Premium1                  Deductible

$1,595                                                                                                    $1,000

$1,522                                                                                                    $1,500

$1,441                                                                                                    $2,000

With these averages in mind, raising your deductible from $1,000 to $2,000 would save you $154 per year. But if you have a claim in the first twelve years of your policy term, you haven’t saved any money once you pay your deductible. And what if you have another claim soon after? Your deductible is typically paid at each claim occurrence, so that means another $2,000 out of your pocket.

Does it ever make sense to increase your deductible. Yes, there are instances where it would based on the premium differences and the individual’s financial situation. But that is something you’d want to review carefully with your insurance agent.

Our agents can discuss your options and help you find the coverage that’s best for you. Let us help you find the insurance policy terms that are right for you!

1 – Quadrant Information Services. Averages are for $350,000 worth of dwelling coverage.

What to Expect This Year in Insurance

Over the last 18 months, the insurance market has been “hardening” up. A hard market in insurance means that insurance companies are increasing their premiums and reducing the amount of risks they cover. This has been especially apparent on property (i.e., homes, buildings, rentals, etc.) and auto risks.

Catastrophic events are often the driver for this in the property marketplace. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and more can bring large losses and frequently in concentrated geographic areas. In the auto insurance marketplace, higher cost for parts, slower repair completion, more expensive replacements for electronics (e.g., hybrids, EV, microchips, etc.) have resulted in a similar increase in rates. Many companies have also reduced their offerings in the market as well.

When insurance companies pay out these larger claims, their profitability takes a hit. In fact, the property and casualty insurance industry as a whole experienced unprofitable years in 2022 and 2023, having a combined ratio of over 100% (under 100% traditionally means profit).1 While many expect a return to industry profitability sometime this year, the impacts are still taking place. Companies are charging more to insure property, whether it is a home, business building, or otherwise.

So, why should you care if insurance companies make a profit? Certainly, these are large corporations, some of which are worth billions. But they still support millions (almost 3 million in 20222) of people and provide safeguards for almost every individual and business in this country. The insurance industry is needed for our economy to function.

In 2024, it is likely that rates will continue to climb, but possibly at a slower rate. Then we anticipate that things may begin to “soften” as the year progresses. But you do have options as a consumer. Independent insurance agencies – like we are at Ownby Insurance Service – can shop your coverage for you with other insurance companies. Those that directly write insurance for national companies can’t offer that.

Our agents can discuss your options and help you find the coverage that’s best for you. Let us help you weather the hard market!

1 – Per

2 – Per

What Does Your Small or Hobby Farm Need for Coverage?

If you have land on your property that you use for farming, you may think that you don’t need additional coverage if you don’t farm commercially. But the answer to that depends on your specific situation. Let’s take a look at what may be some common risks for small and hobby farms.


The coverage you need for farm property is typically based on how much land you use for it, and what those activities encompass. If you have a farm that is used primarily for enjoyment and not as a profit source, you likely have a “hobby” farm. It is unlikely that your home insurance policy properly covers your hobby farm, and you should discuss the additional options for your coverage. A farm insurance policy may be the best option, and


If you do any farming, you probably have equipment that you utilize for the work. If you have a “blanket” farm policy, your equipment may be covered. But not all farm policies offer blanket coverage, and even if they do, the limits may not be high enough for what you need.


Even with one cow or just a few chickens, you’re adding to your risk by having livestock. And while you may not need expanded coverage like a Livestock Risk Policy, you may be able to add an endorsement for livestock coverage onto your farm policy.


Have a pumpkin patch, corn maze, apple picking, etc. as activities on your farm? If you allow visitors onto your property – even for a small window of time – you should consider the liability you may incur should someone get injured. And although you may take the necessary precautions for safety, accidents happen. Small Farm Insurance may be the answer here, and the parameters of your use will determine the coverages you need.

Let us help you review the risks of your farm and help you understand the options you have for coverage. Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or

Are Your Valuable Items and Collections Covered?

If you have jewelry, firearms, or art in your home – or if you have collections like coins, stamps, or other valuable items – you may assume that you have coverage for those items in your insurance policies. And you may be right, up to a point. The key is understanding the limits of your current insurance, and what other options you may have for coverage. Let’s take a look at how these items might be covered.

In Your Homeowners Policy

If you have home or renters insurance, you likely have coverage in your policy for specific valuable items up to a certain amount. For most policies, this limit is as low as $1,500. The question for you is, are the items covered worth more than your limit? Jewelry, fine silverware, furs, art, and other luxury items are likely worth more than that $1,500 limit (or other such low limits).

On a “Scheduled” Addition

You may have heard this term before, but scheduling your valuable items may be one way to increase the coverage for them on your current policy. Typically, this will require specific info about the item(s), including appraisals, serial numbers, photos, and other “proof” depending on what the item(s) is. This method will also likely require additional premium for your coverage. This is often a solution when you have a few items like engagement and wedding rings.

Valuable Items Insurance

There are policies available that may provide you more coverage if your valuable items are lost, stolen, or damaged. These “standalone” options can typically offer “blanket” coverage up to $10,000 – possibly more in certain policies. However, they typically do require valuations and details about the items so that amounts can be determined and agreed upon. This is often a solution when you have several specific items you’d like covered.

Specialty Insurance

If you have a collection, or very specific valuable items like firearms or art, you may want to consider a specialty insurance policy. Much like the standalone coverage of valuable items, these policies will require valuations, appraisals, details, and other verification of the items being covered. However, the difference here is that more specialized coverage – and possibly against broader causes on loss – may be available. Flooding, other natural disasters, and possibly even losses in shipping may be covered. If you have a large, unique, or more valuable collection, this may be the best path for you.

Let us help you review these options and determine the coverages that are best for your valuable items! Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and let us help you get started.

Insurance for Your RV: Home or Vehicle?

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an RV full-timer, insurance is an important part of owning a recreational vehicle. But when it comes to insuring your RV, should it be treated as a home or a vehicle? The right RV insurance for you will blend aspects of each type of policy together and give you the coverage you need for your specific situation.

The “Vehicle” Aspects of RV Insurance

If you use your RV as a motor home and drive it on public roads under its own power, state laws require you to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. The required minimum amounts of liability insurance that motorists must carry in Tennessee are:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

The “Home” Aspects of RV Insurance

RV insurance is generally divided into two categories: recreational and full-timer. If you don’t live in your RV full time, recreational insurance will likely cover your RV inside and out when you’re on the road or parked at a campsite.

A full-time RV insurance policy is for those who use a motor home or travel trailer as their primary residence. It may include higher personal liability coverage, medical payments coverage, personal property/contents coverage, and possibly loss assessment coverage that could help cover RV park or association fees for common areas where your RV is parked.

Additional RV Coverages to Consider

Your unique RV use may also benefit from having specialty coverages added to or endorsed on your policy. Some examples would be:

  • Attached accessories coverage – May coverage damages from antennas, awnings, or other added accessories
  • International travel coverage – May cover you for traveling with your RV into other countries such as Canada or Mexico
  • Personal property coverage – May cover your personal property including tools, equipment, electronics, and more

Get in touch with Brandon Patterson at our agency by calling 865.453.1414 or emailing to discuss your RV’s coverage before you hit the road!

Spring is in the Air! What Coverages will Prepare You?

For those that don’t enjoy cold weather, springtime is a welcome relief! As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s an exciting time to be outdoors more and enjoy nature. But there are some risks that seem to “return” more heavily in the Spring, and we want you to be prepared!

Flood Risks
As the weather changes, storms are more common. Heavy, and more frequent, rains often lead to flash flooding or even overflowing creeks, lakes, and rivers. Every building is in a Flood Zone, and anywhere can flood if the worst conditions occur. Flood insurance is typically not included in your homeowners coverage, and our building and contents are also covered separately when it comes to Flood insurance. Make sure you’re aware of what you do – and don’t – have covered if a flood impacts your property.

Boats and Recreational Vehicles
Getting that boat, RV, ATV, or other vehicle ready for the season? Do you have it covered properly? Damage to these vehicles can often occur during their storage, preparation, and/or transportation – not just during regular use! Does your policy have coverage for when this other damage occurs?

Road conditions often “show up” more frequently during weather changes. Potholes may open as road coverings warm up, leading to sometimes dangerous hazards. If you only have collision coverage on your vehicle, pothole damage is unlikely to be covered by your policy.

Vacation Rental Coverage
Americans begin to take more and more trips as the weather improves, with Spring Breaks a common “kickoff” to this heavier travel season. Is your rental property prepared? Often, the Winter season has impacts that lead to necessary Spring maintenance. If you’re properly maintaining your properties, you may be avoiding risks that can lead to damage or liability. Even so, heavier use of your properties also comes with increased risks. Having the right policies in place for high traffic seasonal use is a critical part of protecting your property.

To help ensure you have that right coverages in place for seasonal risks, contact Brandon Patterson in our agency at 865.453.1414 or email to get started!