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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!

Insuring Condos is Just Like Insuring Any Other Home – Right?

Owning a condominium is a big investment, and it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect it. And while condos do have many of the same risks as houses, there are also other risks you need to be aware of – and coverages that can protect you. There may also be less that needs to be covered than a traditional house, but it’s important to understand what that really means. Let’s take a look!

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need?
As you might expect when insuring a condo, there are three common types of coverage: dwelling, liability, and personal property. Dwelling coverage typically covers any repairs or replacements needed due to fire, theft, or specific natural disasters. Liability coverage is to help protect you from lawsuits that may arise from an accident in or around your condominium. And finally, personal property coverage is used to cover items inside your condo if they are damaged or stolen.

However, condos are typically insured on an “HO6” policy. The main difference in that and a “regular house” policy (typically covered by an “HO3” policy) is that condo owners are not usually responsible for the “common areas” around their condo. As examples, the hallways, land, parking areas, etc. are usually the responsibility of the company that owns or manages the condo – or the condo owners’ association.

So, as a condo owner with an HO6 policy, you may have “less” to cover. But that doesn’t mean you have less to protect. HO6 policies don’t typically protect you against losses from earthquakes, sinkholes, floods, and municipal water/sewers.

What Other Coverages Do I Need?
To fully protect your condo, you should discuss additional coverage options with your insurance agent. Coverages for flood, water backup, earthquake, and umbrella policies for additional liability may make sense depending on your specific risks.

Another coverage to review is “unit assessment” insurance, which can reimburse you for your share of an assessment charged to all unit owners as a result of a covered loss. For instance, if there is a fire in the lobby and all the unit owners are charged the cost of repairing the loss.

Insuring condos, like most property, is often unique to the risks you face. Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and let him help you determine your risks and understand your coverage options!

Would You be Covered if Santa’s Sleigh Damaged Your Roof?

Have you ever thought of the possibility that Santa’s sleigh might cause damage to your roof? It’s hypothetical of course (or is it?), but if a large sleigh filled with gifts and a crew of flying reindeer landed on your roof, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t ever leave behind some damage. So, if some tiles were damaged – or worse, you have a Santa’s sleigh-shaped hole in your roof – what would you do?

Would Home Insurance Cover It? Maybe.

Homeowner’s insurance generally covers any damages caused by sudden and accidental events. This includes damages from storms, fires, theft, vandalism, accidents, and more. The key here is that the incident must be sudden and accidental. So, what does this mean for Santa’s sleigh? Well, if it suddenly crashes into your roof and causes damage then it would likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

It is important to note, however, that most policies have exclusions for any kind of intentional or expected damage. That means if Santa was aware of the potential for his sleigh to crash into your home but decided to risk it anyway then your insurer may not cover the damage costs as they are expecting him to take reasonable precautions when travelling around homes on Christmas Eve! In addition, some policies also exclude all kinds of “acts of god” type events so in that case even if Santa was unaware of the potential for crashing into your home your insurer could still choose not to cover the costs associated with repairing the damages.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The best way to protect yourself against any unexpected events like this is to make sure you have adequate coverage in place with a reliable insurer who will provide prompt service when needed. Make sure you are familiar with all of the exclusions listed in your policy so that there are no surprises should something happen. Additionally, always keep detailed records including photos and video footage just in case you need them down the line (Plus, we want to see the sleigh!).

Lastly don’t forget about preventive maintenance – if there are any issues with your roof make sure they get fixed before Christmas rolls around; after all it wouldn’t hurt for us all to do our part in helping out old Saint Nick!

Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and let us help you plan for any unexpected events.

Don’t Let ATV Risks Ruin Your ATV Fun

Fall is a great season to get those 4-wheelers, UTVs, and other specialty off-road vehicles out to explore. And while all these types of vehicles can be fun, they also have risks that you need to be prepared to face. Having the right insurance in place is a big part of that preparation.

Some of those risks and coverages may be obvious, like collision coverage for accidents and comprehensive coverage for incidents of theft, fire, animal collisions, etc. But what about some of the less thought of risks you may face? Let’s take a look at a few:

Accessory Coverage
Many people add accessories to their ATV/UTV like trailer hitches, hunting equipment, custom seats, etc. This non-manufacturer-standard equipment may not be covered on your current policy. It may, however, be an option to be added or included in a different policy option. Even helmets, riding gear, radios, etc. may have the option to be covered if used exclusively for the insured vehicle.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
Many people don’t insure their vehicles, especially if they are specialty vehicles like ATV/UTVs. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured vehicle, you may not have coverage on a “standard” ATV/UTV policy. Adding this coverage, and/or potentially extending coverage to your ATV/UTV on a personal umbrella policy, may protect you from this type of liability.

Transport/Trailer Damage
Do you transport your ATV/UTV to other locations to ride? What about locations like trails, state/public parks, or hunting properties? If you do, you may have coverage limits, or a lack of coverage, that you’re not aware of having. Some state and public parks require ATV/UTV insurance for riders, meaning that if your vehicle is included under your home/auto policy, you may have coverage in these parks. In addition, the limits for damage to your ATV/UTV while it is trailered may not be enough to coverage damages in case of a severe accident.

As you can see, there is more to think about when covering these specialty vehicles. Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and he’ll be happy to discuss it and provide you info on the coverage you need.

It’s Fall! Are There More Risks in Store this Season?

There is a large contingent of people that excitedly await the Fall season. In our region, the turning leaves, crisp weather, and seasonal décor make for a pretty sight. But this season also brings some risks for you and your property, and it’s a good time to prepare and avoid these potential issues.

Wild Animal Incidents
As the weather changes, the habitats for deer, bears, foxes, and more change. Their food may be scarcer, causing them to wander further than normal. This can lead to them walking on roadways and exploring more populated areas. In fact, statistics show that the majority of vehicle accidents involving animals occur between October and December. These are even more common at dawn and dusk, so be vigilant when you’re on the road this season.

Fire and Smoke-related Incident
We get it, a cozy fire can sound very nice when the evenings cool down. But fireplaces, candles, and wood stoves can lead to issues. Almost a third of smoke and fire claims occur during the Fall and Winter months, and stats show that over $7 billion per year of property is lost in house fires. Please make sure fireplaces and chimneys are clear, candles are kept in occupied areas, and wood stoves are monitored.

Leaves Can Be a Culprit
The colors of Fall can be beautiful, but they call it Fall for a reason. The leaves that collect on roofs, gutters, yards, sidewalks, and roads can cause damage – both directly and indirectly. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage, sidewalks and roads can be slick with wet leaves, and uncleared leaves on the ground can damage grass and landscaping. Be sure to clear your gutters, rake your yard, and be careful on those leaf-covered passages.

Have other questions about your seasonal risks? Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and he’ll be happy to discuss it and provide you info on the coverage you need.

Who Needs a Commercial Umbrella?

You can probably guess pretty quickly that the “commercial umbrella” we’re referring to isn’t some industrial strength rain shield. In the case of insurance, a commercial umbrella can extend the protection your business has from certain limits of liability on other coverages.

For example, if you your business had a large legal claim against it, your businessowners policy might not cover all of the legal expenses, medical costs, damages, and/or legal judgements imposed. Most commonly, this is seen with general liability policies and commercial auto policies. And there must be an “underlying” policy to extend – you can’t just buy a commercial umbrella without base coverages. The reason for that is these policies are triggered by specific policy language. Something must occur with your other policy(ies) for this policy to “kick in”.

So, who needs one? While most businesses could benefit from having one in place, a commercial umbrella is especially needed for businesses that frequently interact with their customers in-person. This is especially so if equipment/machinery is involved – think of pest control, dry cleaning, restaurants, landscapers, and hardware stores as good examples. The key is to understand where you have the highest risk for a claim. As further examples – landscapers may cause property damage more frequently by flying debris, and a hardware store may be operating a forklift around walking patrons in risk of bodily injury.

The limits and costs of these policies vary of course, but they can be a very wise investment. You may be able to increase the amount of your “total” coverage by $1 to $15 million (more in some cases), allowing you to “customize” your business’s insurance plan.

Have other questions about protecting your business with an umbrella? Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and he’ll be happy to discuss it and provide you info on the coverage you need.

Is Your Detached Garage Covered with the Right Insurance?

In today’s world, garages are for a lot more than parking cars. People across the country have turned their garages into gyms, bars, apartments, workshops, and more. The value of those garages can change completely with these upgrades. And if your garage is “detached” from your home, the limits of your coverage may not be we you need.

Buildings that are not attached directly to the primary structure (home or “dwelling”) on your property are typically covered on homeowners insurance policies. However, many policies cover detached structures with only a percentage of the value of your home. As an example, your home may be covered for $500,000, but your detached garage may only be covered for 10% of that value – or $50,000. That may seem like a significant amount, but consider a total loss claim scenario for your detached garage. If you’ve upgraded that structure with flooring, finishing, or maybe even a sink, wet bar, or full bathroom – $50,000 isn’t going to go very far with today’s cost of building materials and labor.

Additional coverage for “Other Structures” (also known as Coverage B) is typically available to add to homeowners policies. If not, sometimes standalone coverage called Detached Structure Insurance can be purchased. You should also keep in mind that if you store property for “business use” in your Other Structure (e.g. tools, inventory, shipping materials, etc.), it likely would not be covered on your personal policies if you had a loss.

Detached garages and other structures often have more coverage needs than their owners have considered. Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and he’ll be happy to discuss your property and provide you info on the coverage you need.