Hippo Insurance Review: From an Industry Expert on Home Insurance - YA

Hippo Insurance Review

Hippo believes that homeowners deserve better, cheaper, modern home insurance. They deliver a fast experience to quote and buy online, but what does that mean for you, the customer?

The company recently raised a $100 million round of venture funding to offer a new home insurance product. Their 60-second quoting application is a HUGE improvement over industry giants like State Farm, which can require 126 questions to get a quote. But what other benefits does Hippo provide?

The Protection

Hippo offers a more comprehensive package than most standard home insurance policies. Some added bonuses normally included in your Hippo policy:

  • Equipment Breakdown ($100,000) - This covers loss due to mechanical or electrical breakdown of HVAC equipment in your home. 
  • Water Backup Coverage ($10,000) - This will cover damage from the backup of a drain that overflows into your home. 
  • Service Line Coverage ($10,000) - If a utility line breaks under your lawn, you are technically responsible to fix it, as you own the land. This coverage will step in to help with those costs.
  • Computers ($8,000) - Most homeowners policies have a limit of either $1,500 or $3,000 on computers and electronics. Hippo knows the modern home is only adding the number of computers, so this coverage has been set to a level more appropriate for the 21st century.
  • Home Office Coverage ($8,000) - Most homeowners policies will not cover any in-home business and many carriers deny even quoting a policy if any business activity is on the property. Hippo will cover you for a home office business as long as you don't have any customers visiting the house.
  • Domestic Workers (included) - nanny, babysitter, cook, maid. Nice to have if you can get it. Most people probably won't be using this coverage, but hey, it's included.
  • Home Leak Detector (smart device) - Hippo includes this in their welcome package to new customers to help monitor any leaks in the home. Great way to reduce the risk of a water claim, which provides value for both the customer and carrier. 

It's safe to say a Hippo policy brings you an extra layer of protection


The Carrier

Hippo is not an insurance carrier, but an MGA (managing general agency). This means they control the branding, pricing, and claims experience of your home policy, but someone else puts up the capital requirements required by the regulators (the reinsurance carrier). Hippo primarily uses three carriers:

  • TOPA Insurance (Swiss Re) - carrier in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, and UT. TOPA Insurance is rated with an AM Best Rating: A-
  • Spinnaker Insurance (Munich Re) - carrier in AL, AZ, CA, GA, IL, IN, MD, MN, MO, MS, NV, OH, PA, SC, TX, TN, and WI. Spinnaker Insurance Company also has an AM Best Rating: A-
  • Canopius Insurance - surplus lines in CA and TX, with an AM Best Rating: A

The Claims

To file a claim, simply call Hippo's claim concierge line: 855-999-9746

Claims are especially hard for all new MGA-style entrants. Claims have always been a tricky part of the industry, and often are the reason so many homeowners have a bad experience with home insurance. So far, it seems Hippo is doing well with a strong focus on customer service. We would put them ahead of the pack when it comes to new entrants. Older carriers like State Farm have paid out a lot of claims over the years so likely will be better equipped to help when disaster strikes. Of course, you will pay more for that and also have to fund their expensive ad budgets (in 2016, GEICO spent $1.35B on ads, State Farm spent $629M - we know who gets the bill...)

Where is Hippo Available?

The good news is Hippo uses the same ISO standard form as the rest of the industry. So you can compare Hippo side-by-side with the established carriers out there. You might find that they are better suited option for you. 

Congrats Hippo on your great new product and modern design. Welcome to the home insurance market!

Check your Hippo quotes and so much more:

Get Hippo Quotes

At your service,
Young Alfred

Disclosure: Hippo is one of the many options Young Alfred offers for home insurance. Young Alfred did not receive any compensation or direction from Hippo in writing this review.