Insurance is one of those areas of homeownership that we prefer not to think about, much less spend time analyzing. However, the latest generation of innovative technology impacting the Insurance industry, referred to as Insurtech, is reinvigorating this historically staid industry by delivering new offerings and capabilities to homeowners.
Some new players in the insurance industry have especially piqued our interest. We are learning how much better the experience can be when smartly applying technology, like artificial intelligence (AI), to deliver seamless onboarding, customized plans, affordable coverage and a convenient claims process.
In this article, we look at one such insurtech player, Hippo, that is disrupting the home/condo/renters marketplace, to see if this modern competitor to Allstate, State Farm, GEICO and Mercury, may be worth the switch.
In particular, Hippo is worth consideration by homeowners who may have any of the following living situations, possessions or needs: home office; high-end electronics and computer-devices; domestic workers; home warranty policy; or proactive protection against water damage.
Hippo Insurance Services
Hippo, formed in 2015, is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and has raised over $400 million of venture funding to date. Contrary to belief, Hippo is NOT a quote aggregator or an insurance carrier, but rather an MGA (Managed General Agency) that provides “smart” coverage with more modernized policies for today’s homeowners to meet their emerging needs and preferences.
An MGA controls the branding, pricing, and claims experience of a homeowner policy, but another company, a reinsurance carrier, is responsible for the capital requirements set by regulators. Hippo partners with, Swiss Re (Topa) and Munich Re (Spinnaker), as their reinsurance carriers. Both of these reinsurance carriers have long, successful operating histories (156 years and 140 years, respectively) and are well capitalized.
Illustrative of this new approach to insurance, Hippo offers enhanced or bonus coverage, such as home office equipment, high-end electronics and entertainment systems. The company also allows homeowners the ability to customize a policy to provide a package that meets the individual’s specific needs at competitive prices.
Not only does the company offer a full suite of home insurance policies for homes, condos and renters, but it also offers protections that other major carriers often fail to mention until AFTER you have filed a claim.
Getting Started with Hippo
As an insurtech company, Hippo utilizes artificial intelligence to provide a higher quality of service to customers. To get an instant quote in “60 seconds”, simply go to Hippo.com and hit the “Buy Online” button to begin the process.
You need only review three screens before Hippo can return a response as to whether they can offer you an insurance product. If, by chance, you are in a high brush fire or heavy flood zone, for example, you will be offered choices of other insurers who might meet your needs that Hippo cannot.
Unlike traditional insurance companies, Hippo offers a modern digital experience for most of your transactions. Unfortunately, all claims must be handled by calling a dedicated line and requires interaction with an associate.
Hippo Insurance Tiers
Hippo’s online quoting process is simple and straightforward, allowing customers to choose from three clearly-defined levels of coverage. The process allows you to tailor your policy to your financial preferences by allowing you to raise or lower limits and deductibles. Even with basic coverage, a customer can add a la carte items and still pay competitive premiums relative to those at traditional insurance companies.
Hippo offers a basic home insurance policy which includes standard coverage for the structure of the home, personal property, liability, and loss of use. The website allows potential customers to navigate and choose from three tiers of coverage:
- The Essentials
- Excludes coverage for equipment breakdown and service line coverage
- Best Value
- Provides replacement cost for personal property, increased coverage for liability, personal property, and water backup
- Expanded Protection
- Provides replacement cost for personal property, increased coverage for liability, home office, and water backup
A La Carte Add-Ins
- $100,000 coverage, with a $500 deductible
- Covers loss due to mechanical or electrical breakdown of HVAC equipment in your home
- Similar to a Home Warranty contract
- $8,000 coverage
- Most homeowners policies are limited to either $1,500 or $3,000 of coverage on computers and electronics
- Contemporary homeowners now average over $5,000 worth of computer equipment, from iPads running their lights and HVAC systems to expensive cell phones for all family members
Home Office Coverage
- $8,000 coverage
- Most homeowners policies will not cover any in-home business
- Hippo will cover you for a home office business or work from home, as long as you don’t have any customers visiting the home
Water Backup Coverage
- $20,000 coverage
- Hippo will cover damage up to $20,000 from the backup of drains or sewers that overflow into your home
Service Line Coverage
- $10,000 coverage, with a $500 deductible
- If a utility line (sewer, water, Internet, or electric, etc.) breaks under your property, you are responsible for repairs, as you own the land
- Hippo insurance policies cover the costs of repairing any damage to these utility lines connecting your property to the street
- In-home service people, who help you maintain your home, including nannies, cooks, gardeners, and housecleaners, are covered by your policy, should they have an accident in your home or on your property
Home Leak Detector
- Smart Home Device
- Hippo includes a monitoring device in their welcome package to new customers to help monitor any leaks in the home
- The water detector is a great, proactive way to reduce the risk of water claims and you can apply a discount to your premium once it is installed and active in your home.
Geographic Coverage Areas
As of this writing, Hippo coverage is available in the following geographic locations:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Filing a Claim with Hippo
The worse part of any insurance company is filing a claim. However, according to Hippo’s customers, the company has taken the pain out of the process by offering a phone number which will connect you with a dedicated claims concierge. The claims concierge will walk you through the process and be your contact assisting you with housing, if necessary, and insuring your comfort and safety.
More Information on Hippo
Hippo Instant Quote
Hippo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Hippo Available Areas
Hippo Customer Feedback Ratings
Hippo Clearsurance Customer Reviews
Hippo Better Business Bureau Profile
Home Warranties: Do You Need One? Options & Alternatives
Homeowner Liability With DIY Projects
Protection And Safety For Your Home Renovation Project
Security And Safety Products For Your Home Renovation Project
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