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Hippo homeowners insurance review 2021

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    Founded in 2015, Hippo is the new kid on the block in the home insurance market. Currently, it sells homeowners policies in 30 states. Hippo’s online process makes it fast and easy to buy home insurance and its standard policies come packed with the basic coverages most homeowners need, plus a nice collection of protections that most carriers only offer at an additional price.

    Hippo offers homeowners several coverage plans to choose from, allowing you to buy the right amount of protection for personal belongings, with a deductible that fits your budget. But unlike many of its competitors, Hippo doesn’t provide the wide range of other insurance products.

    • Annual rate: $1,464
    • 2020 J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: NA
    • AM Best rating (underwriting partners): Topa Insurance Company A- (Excellent), Spinnaker Insurance Company A- (Excellent)
    • Bundle option with auto: No 

    Hippo home insurance coverage options  

    Hippo offers three home insurance plans, which it calls Essentials, Best Value and Expanded Protection. Its homeowners policies include all the coverages you expect, including dwelling, other structures, loss of use, personal property, medical payments and personal liability coverages. But Hippo’s standard policies also include several coverages that most carriers only offer as add-ons, including:

    • Equipment breakdown coverage: All Hippo home insurance policies provide coverage for appliances and electronics that use electric power, including air conditioning and heating equipment, kitchen appliances, smart home devices, TVs and water heaters. The coverage provides up to $100,000 in coverage, with a low, $500 deductible.
    • Computer and home office equipment coverage: All Hippo policies offer up to $8,000 in coverage to protect home office equipment such as computers and printers. If you don’t operate a home office, a Hippo homeowners policy still provides up to $8,000 in coverage to repair or replace equipment such as laptop or desktop computers and data storage devices following a covered loss.
    • Enhanced building coverage: Regardless of which plan you choose, a Hippo homeowners policy will include extended replacement cost dwelling coverage, which increases your standard dwelling coverage by up to 25%. The enhanced building coverage feature applies to labor and materials costs.
    • Replacement cost personal belongings coverage: The Best Value and Expanded Protection plans include replacement cost personal belongings coverage, which pays to replace your possessions at current market prices, rather than a depreciated value.
    • Domestic workers coverage: All Hippo home insurance policies include medical payments to others and personal liability coverages. These coverages can help pay your legal and medical expenses if someone outside your household sustains an injury on your property. All Hippo policies also cover injuries or mishaps that befall or are caused by domestic workers such as a babysitter or housekeeper.
    • Ordinance of law coverage: Most standard homeowners policies will pay to repair or rebuild your home following a covered loss, up to the dwelling coverage limit, but won’t pay the extra costs associated with bringing your home up to current building codes. All Hippo policies include ordinance of law coverage, which pays up to 10% of your policy’s dwelling coverage to cover these additional building code expenses.
    • Service line coverage: Included in all Hippo home insurance plans, service line coverage pays the excavation and repair costs associated with damaged service lines that connect to your home’s infrastructure. This protection covers service lines such as electrical and sewer systems and pays for damages caused by everyday wear and tear or an accident. 
    • Water backup coverage: All Hippo homeowners insurance plans include water backup coverage, which can help repair damages caused by disasters such as backed up sewers or overflowing drains. The level of water backup coverage varies by home insurance plan.

    Hippo home insurance discounts 

    • Early bird: Qualify by starting your policy within eight days of receiving a quote.
    • Existing smart home devices: Available for houses equipped with professionally monitored burglar, fire or water leak alarm systems. Hippo also offers complimentary smart home monitoring systems for its policyholders.
    • Fire extinguisher: Available for houses equipped with at least one fire extinguisher.
    • Hail resistant roof
    • Homeowner’s association: For homeowners who belong to a homeowner’s association.
    • Interior sprinkler system
    • No mortgage: Available for homeowners who pay off their mortgage or pay cash for a home.
    • Recent home purchase: For homeowners who have owned their home for one year or less.
    • Storm shutters 

    Hippo customer satisfaction and complaints

    Hippo’s underwriters, Topa Insurance Company and Spinnaker Insurance Company, have both earned A- (Excellent) financial strength ratings from AM Best. A carrier’s financial strength rating is an indicator of how well it can meet its claims responsibilities.

    Each year, market research company J.D. Power produces a survey of homeowners insurance companies, which rates insurers based on their performance in areas such as claims handling, customer service, policy offerings and price and ranks them based on a 1,000-point overall customer satisfaction index score. Hippo and its underwriters didn’t receive a rank in the 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. Providers that achieved the highest overall customer satisfaction index rankings included USAA, Amica, Auto-Owners, Erie and The Hartford.

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) produces an annual national complaint index report, which tracks consumer complaints it receives about insurance providers and on the insurance lines offered. A score of 1.0 indicates an average number of complaints, scores below 1.0 represent below average complaints and scores above the baseline indicate more than average complaints. In 2019 Topa Insurance Company earned an NAIC complaint index score of 0.70, while Spinnaker Insurance Company scored 0.16, which falls well below the national average for insurance complaints.

    Hippo vs. other insurance companies 

    Company2020 J.D. Power overall home satisfaction ratingNAIC ratingAM Best rating
    HippoNATopa Insurance Company – 0.70Spinnaker Insurance Company – 0.16Topa Insurance CompanyA- (Excellent)Spinnaker Insurance CompanyA- (Excellent)
    Allstate8290.60A+ (Superior)
    American Family8210.38A+ (Superior)
    Amica8530.23A+ (Superior)
    Auto-Owners8430.19A++ (Superior)
    Chubb7780.24A++ (Superior)
    Erie8390.20A+ (Superior)
    Farmers8140.26A (Excellent)
    GeicoNA0.00A++ (Superior)
    Liberty Mutual8055.63A (Excellent)
    MetLife8240.45A (Excellent)
    Nationwide8080.16A+ (Superior)
    Progressive7971.66A+ (Superior)
    State Farm8290.27A++ (Superior)
    The Hartford8322.77A+ (Superior)
    Travelers8030.00A++ (Superior)
    USAA8890.41A++ (Superior)

    Hippo vs. Chubb

    Like Hippo, Chubb’s standard home insurance policies include several extra coverages that most providers only offer as addons. For instance, Chubb includes extended dwelling replacement cost, ordinance of law and water backup coverages in all its homeowners policies. However, Chubb offers a few more home insurance features and several insurance products that Hippo doesn’t.

    • All Chubb standard homeowners policies include personal belongings replacement cost coverage.
    • Chubb offers a broader insurance portfolio, including auto, boat, cyber, personal umbrella, valuable items and travel insurance.
    • Hippo sells home insurance online and over the phone, while Chubb offers policies through independent agents who operate local offices.
    • Chubb underwrites its homeowners policies, while Hippo policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and Topa Insurance Company. 

    Hippo vs. USAA

    USAA home insurance policies include all standard coverages, plus home sharing and earthquake coverages, but don’t provide the comprehensive protection provided by Hippo policies. And while Hippo offers homeowners insurance to the general public, USAA only sells policies to members of the U.S. Military, pre commissioned officers, veterans and their children and spouses. But for those who qualify, USAA offers a wealth of benefits and financial products that Hippo doesn’t.

    • USAA policyholders can save up to 10% on premiums when they bundle auto and home policies and an additional 10% if they don’t file a claim over a five-year period, discounts not offered by Hippo.
    • Hippo offers personal belongings replacement cost coverage for its upper tier homeowners plans, but USAA provides the feature in all its standard policies, subject to deductible and policy limits.
    • USAA sells auto, health, life and renters insurance, coverages not offered by Hippo.
    • Hippo doesn’t offer banking products, while USAA’s portfolio features auto loans, certificates of deposit, checking and savings accounts, credit cards and home mortgages.
    • USAA provides a range of investment products, including education 529 plans, individual retirement accounts and mutual funds, while Hippo offers no investment products.

    Additional insurance policies offered by Hippo 

    Besides home insurance, Hippo offers a few other property coverages, including:

    • Condominium insurance
    • Earthquake insurance
    • Flood insurance
    • Rental property insurance
    • Vacation home insurance 

    The takeaway 

    • Hippo offers feature-rich home insurance policies that include several coverages that many other insurers only offer as addons.
    • Hippo’s underwriters have earned good financial strength ratings and outstanding NAIC complaint index scores.
    • Hippo’s quote process gives home insurance shoppers several plans to choose from and makes it easy to purchase a homeowners policy online.
    • Hippo doesn’t have a wide range of insurance products, only offering policies for condominiums and homes.

    Hippo is changing the way homeowners can buy an insurance policy for their home. Its feature-rich home insurance plans include more coverages than many providers offer in standard policies, like equipment breakdown, service line and water backup coverages, which can substantially increase your premium if you add them as endorsements. Hippo’s online quote process makes it quick and easy to find out how much a homeowners policy will cost and enables you to buy a policy if you like the price you receive. Overall, Hippo provides outstanding homeowners insurance, backed by underwriting companies with sound financial strength and customer care ratings. 

    Methodology

    Coverage utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:

    • Coverage A, Dwelling: $200,000
    • Coverage B, Other Structures: $20,000
    • Coverage C, Personal Property: $100,000
    • Coverage D, Loss of Use: $40,000
    • Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
    • Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000

    The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).

    These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different. 

    Rates are determined based on 2020 Quadrant Information Services data.

    Michael Evans

    Michael is an insurance writer for Coverage.com. He began writing professionally in the 1990s while working for the world’s first online mortgage broker, and today specializes in education, finance and retiring abroad. Michael has contributed to numerous digital and print publications, including Bankrate, Fox Business, International Living and Yahoo Finance, and is the author of Escape to Colombia, 1st Edition, a comprehensive guide to retiring to Colombia.

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