Hippo is a relatively new insurance carrier who sold its first insurance policy in 2017. Hippo partners with larger insurance companies to be able to offer a wide variety of coverage and to guarantee their policies. And while Hippo itself caters to smart home owners, its underwriting partners have years of experience in the traditional home insurance market.
Hippo’s standard homeowners policies include all the protection you need for your home and personal belongings, plus a handful of additional coverages that you can add to your policy for extra protection. And, to help you save some cash, Hippo comes through again with a wide selection of excellent discounts.
But what about the company’s unusual name? Well, they just like it.
Hippo home insurance:
As the new kid on the block, Hippo has tough competition in the home insurance market. The provider delivers outstanding standard coverages and loads of discounts to reduce your premium.
Types of coverage:
We requested a quote for a standard homeowners policy for a property in Nashville, Tennessee, and were pleasantly surprised to find that the $986 annual policy included all the standard coverages you’d expect, including:
- Dwelling coverage: This is to repair or rebuild your home following a covered peril such as a fire or storm.
- Extended replacement cost coverage: This will help you rebuild your home at current market prices. This extra feature calculates the replacement cost at 25% of your dwelling coverage, which should provide ample protection for most homes.
- Liability coverage: This is to help pay your legal expenses if someone sues you following an accident that occurs on your property.
- Loss of use coverage: This will pay your living expenses if you and your family are displaced from your home due to a covered loss.
- Ordinance coverage: This pays the additional cost of rebuilding your home to current building code following a covered loss.
- Other structures coverage: This pays to repair or rebuild detached structures, like detached garages, fences and gazebos.
- Medical payments coverage: This coverage is to pay the medical expenses of someone who sustains an injury while visiting your home.
- Personal property coverage: This will replace items such as clothing, furniture and electronics following a covered disaster.
- $8,000 in desktop and laptop computer coverage: Standard policies offered by most providers limit computer coverage to $1,500 to $2,500. While you can often increase coverage, or add a rider for expensive computer gear, Hippo’s default coverage provides the level of protection many households need.
- $8,000 in home office coverage: Again, many carriers provide minimal home office coverage and offer more extensive protection through optional riders, but Hippo includes a generous home office limit standard.
- $5,000 in sump pump and water backup coverage: This valuable coverage covers damages caused by disasters such as sewer and drain backups. Many carriers only offer water backup coverage as an option.
- All Hippo home insurance policies also include a smart home monitoring system at no additional cost, available only in eligible states.
These coverages are a critical part of all homeowners policies, but Hippo goes the extra mile by including enhanced coverages that you can add to your policy, including:
- Optional equipment breakdown coverage: The quote we received offered up to $100,000 in coverage to pay for electrical and mechanical breakdowns of home appliances up to 15 years old. Hippo offers the coverage for as little as $5.63 per month.
- Optional service line coverage: This helps pay for repairs to service lines such as gas pipes, home network wiring, water lines and sewer connections. With Hippo, you can purchase this optional coverage starting at $2.17 per month.
Hippo’s multiple policy tiers
Most insurers under Hippo subscribe to the HO-3 insurance policy. However, Hippo offers multiple policy tiers. The three tiers each provide unique coverage types and levels for your needs:
- HO-2 insurance: Hippo’s HO-2 insurance policy offers insurance to protect dwelling and personal property. This is usually found with a named peril policy. HO-2 insurance is very limited and does not offer liability, so it is not usually accepted by lenders.
- HO-3 insurance: The HO-3 insurance offers protection for dwelling, personal property, and liability with more perils covered than HO-2. It would be a better choice for you if you’re looking for something slightly more than the HO-2 tier.
- HO-5 insurance: The HO-5 tier offers more peril coverage than the HO-2 and HO-3 policies, It protects all of the coverages of the two mentioned above, in addition to an open peril policy. If you recently purchased a brand new home, this may be a good option to consider.
Hippo home insurance discounts
Hippo offers numerous ways for you to reduce your premium. And to help you achieve the best rate possible, Hippo calculates the discounts you qualify for during the online quote process. Discounts include:
- Affinity group discount: Hippo extends homeowners discounts to employees who work for certain companies, as well as members of specified organizations, like fraternities and sororities.
- Bundled policy discount: When you bundle your homeowners insurance with a policy for a rental property or second home, you can earn a discount.
- Early signing discount: If you purchase a Hippo home insurance policy at least eight days before it goes into effect, you can earn a discount.
- Fire extinguisher discount: You may qualify for a Hippo homeowners discount if you purchase and install a fire extinguisher in your home.
- Gated community discount: Purchase a home in a gated community and Hippo may reward you with a discount.
- HOA discount: Communities governed by a homeowners association often pose lower insurance risk, because they impose strict community standards and often operate a neighborhood watch program. If your home falls under the governance of an HOA, you may qualify for a discount on your home insurance policy.
- New home discount: New homes don’t pose as much risk for insurance companies, because electrical, heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems are less likely to break down and cause a disaster. That’s why Hippo offers a discount for policies that cover newly constructed dwellings.
- No-claims discount: If you don’t file a homeowners insurance claim for a specified period, Hippo will reward you with a discount on your premium.
- No mortgage discount: If you pay cash for your home, or after you’ve made your last mortgage payment, you may qualify for a Hippo home insurance discount.
- Smart home discount: Hippo has designed its homeowners policies with smart homes in mind. The carrier provides discounts for homes with smart home devices such as smart alarm systems and smoke detectors. Hippo has partnered with Xfinity to offer even greater savings for its customers. Xfinity customers qualify for a special homeowners rate with Hippo and can earn discounts up to 25%, depending on the number of Xfinity smart home devices they install in their home.
Discounts may vary by location.
Where does Hippo offer home insurance?
Hippo doesn’t sell home insurance nationwide. Currently, Hippo sells homeowners policies in:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
In June 2020, Hippo acquired Spinnaker Insurance Company, a nationwide property insurance company licensed in all 50 states. Although Spinnaker will continue to operate independently, the insurer will underwrite some of Hippo’s policies, enabling Hippo to expand its market.
Hippo ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints
Hippo doesn’t underwrite its home insurance policies. Underwriting partners include Canopius U.S. Insurance, Spinnaker Insurance Company and Topa Insurance Company. Both Spinnaker and Topa have earned an A- (Excellent) financial rating with AM Best.
The Better Business Bureau gives Hippo an A+ rating. Only two customers have filed complaints against Hippo with the BBB, both related to product or service issues.
Hippo’s online quote process is easy to navigate and produces quick results. The online app asks pertinent questions about you and your home and guides you through a series of discount options. Within minutes, you can review your quote, adjust limits and select optional coverages. If you like the quote you receive, you can apply for the policy directly from the quote page.
Hippo doesn’t have a mobile app and only gives you one option for filing a claim, by calling a toll-free number. Hippo provides you with a dedicated claims agent who can guide you through the process and help you find temporary housing if a covered loss renders your home uninhabitable.
Who is Hippo Insurance a good option for:
Hippo home insurance is a great choice for people who own a smart home and for folks who operate a home office. The provider’s standard computer and home office coverages greatly exceed the limits most carriers offer, enabling you to avoid adding a rider to your policy. Hippo’s Xfinity partnership offers great savings by providing reduced rates for Xfinity customers and discounts for expanded smart home systems.
Frequently asked questions
Is Hippo insurance expensive?
Hippo offers affordable homeowners insurance, packed with exceptional coverages. We requested a quote for a 1,700-square-foot home in Nashville, Tennessee, with a market value of $330,000 and were offered a standard homeowners policy for $986 per year. All standard policies include higher than average limits for computer equipment and home offices, along with ordinance of law and water backup coverages, which many insurers only offer as options.
Who is Hippo insurance underwritten by?
Hippo doesn’t underwrite its own policies. Underwriting partners include Canopius U.S. Insurance, Spinnaker Insurance Company and Topa Insurance Company.
How do you file a claim with Hippo insurance?
You can only file a claim by calling Hippo’s claims center. Hippo provides you with a dedicated claims representative, to guide you through every step of the claims process.