Kin delivers a fast experience to quote and buy home insurance. But what does that mean for you, the customer?
The company recently raised a $13.1 million round of venture funding to offer a new home insurance product. Their quoting process is a HUGE improvement over industry giants like State Farm, which can require 126 questions for their home insurance application. So how does Kin make it so easy?
Kin pulls data from satellite imagery, MLS datafeeds, and other third party providers. Kin is similar to Swyfft when it comes to using data to accelerate the quoting process. With just your address, Kin gives you a full policy quote on your home. Keep in mind, this quote is only indicative and some users have reported it changing throughout the application. You won't know the final premium for certain until you click through and buy the policy. That being said, Kin is pretty competitive on price, so let's look at what you are buying if you buy a Kin policy...
The good news is Kin uses the same ISO standard home insurance form used by most of the industry. So you can compare their home insurance coverages to others on an apples-to-apples basis.
One item to look for with Kin is the hurricane deductible or wind/hail deductible. As Kin mostly sells in high-risk hurricane states, they quote with a high hurricane deductible. If Kin quotes you a home policy with a a 5%/10% hurricane deductible, this means if a hurricane causes damage to your home, your deductible will jump to a percentage of your total dwelling coverage. Let's look at an example:
You have $350,000 of dwelling coverage on your home and a 10% hurricane deductible. Hurricane Irma spits out wind of 110 mph and does $50,000 of damage to the roof and siding of your home. Your deductible jumps from $1,000 to $35,000 because the damage was caused by a hurricane. Your insurance company only pays you $15,000 of the $50,000 in repair costs.
A $35,000 deductible is crazy high, so try to avoid the 5%/10% hurricane deductibles if you can. While Kin does have some of the best prices in many areas they sell, make sure you are not just sacrificing coverage for price.
Now Kin is not technically an insurance carrier. They are what is called an MGA (managing general agency). This means they control the branding, pricing, and claims experience of the policy, but someone else puts up the capital needed to write your policy (the insurance carrier). Kin uses Velocity Risk Underwriters as their primary carrier, but also has other carriers as well. Velocity Risk Underwriters is rated with an AM Best rating of A.
So here is the tricky part, and not just for Kin but for all new MGA entrants. How is the new claims experience? Claims are always a sticky subject, for both new and old carriers. You could say larger carriers like State Farm have more experience in claims, so when it comes time to file a claim, they will be more equipped to help. Of course, you will pay for this in higher premiums and funding their expensive ad budgets (in 2016, GEICO spent $1.35B on ads, State Farm spent $629M).
At your service,
Disclosure: Young Alfred did not receive any compensation or direction from Kin in writing this review.