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Who is Hippo Insurance and Why Should I Consider Having My Home Insured by Them?

Who is Hippo Insurance? They are a newer insurance market for the Texas area that our agency is appointed to write through. Their underwriting company is Spinnaker Insurance Company (A- Rated (Excellent) A.M. Best.

And? Well…they have a very sophisticated quoting platform similar to, Swyfft, another market we began writing through in 2018. We plug in your name, address, and just a few other pieces of info and they generate a quote within seconds.

Unlike Swyfft, their policy has endorsements that would be considered ‘bells and whistles’ by some while being considered ‘no doubters’ by others.

For example, they offer ‘Foundation and Water Coverage.’ This provides coverage for damage to the foundation as well as wet/dry rot due to water damage caused by seepage or leakage. The average, unendorsed homeowners policy, only provides coverage for sudden & accidental water damage.

They also offer ‘Service Line’ coverage. This is a feature that more and more of our markets are starting to offer and it provides coverage for excavation, repair, and damaged property costs with the service line (electric, sewer, etc.) running from your home to the street, whether caused by an accident or wear and tear.

A cool feature we haven’t seen available with our other markets is their ‘Mortgage Payment Protection’ endorsement. This provides up to $1,500 a month, for up to 12 months, to apply to your mortgage payments in the event your home becomes uninhabitable. The average homeowners policy provides ‘Loss of Use’ coverage. While still a ‘must,’ it only provides coverage for additional living expenses you incur (hotel, etc.) should your home become uninhabitable. So…the ‘Mortgage Payment Protection’ endorsement is pretty slick.

All these endorsements along with the ‘extra’ discounts for ‘Homeowners Association, Early Quote, New Mortgage, Paperless, Water Leak Detection, etc.’ and it’s easy to see why they refer to their policy as ‘smart home insurance.’

I’d like to provide a little more detail on their ‘Water Leak Detection’ discount. Hippo automatically includes this discount unless you would like to opt out. Here’s what that means – they send you a complimentary Smart Device Kit which includes sensors and a hub that would need to be set up within 60 days of receiving them. There is not service fee for having this in your home and it’s simply a safety feature they offer. You download the ‘Notion – Home Awareness’ app on your smartphone where you’ll be notified if the sensors detect water leaks, movement, temperature and smoke in your home.

All in all, it seems they are doing their best to make insurance ‘cool’ and ‘tech.’

They won’t be the most competitive option for everyone – the pricing will be hit or miss. Their replacement calculation can run higher than others which can push them out of being competitive. They also won’t make sense for homeowners with older roofs. Roofs older than 15 years are paid out at their ‘actual cash value’ versus ‘replacement value.’ There are also areas where they’ll have a minimum wind/hail/hurricane deductible of 5% while lower deductibles may be available with other markets.

At the same time, their underwriting can be more lenient on certain exposures that other markets won’t allow – galvanized plumbing, certain older electrical panels, trampolines (liability excluded), pools with diving boards or slides, certain “vicious” dog breeds (acceptable with liability excluded), burglar bars, etc.

Either way…they will be a great option for some! Feel free to reach out if interested in a quote for your home! One of our agents would be happy to assess your needs and quote around with our markets to find you the most value in terms of both coverage and price.

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