Hippo Insurance Review 2020
Founded in 2015, Hippo hit the ground running to modernize the way consumers shop for and purchase homeowners insurance. Like Lemonade, Hippo forgoes the traditional use of insurance agents and agencies in favor of a sleek and seamless online experience. Unlike Lemonade, Hippo has not yet transitioned to an online claims process, requiring policyholders to call to file insurance claims.
Hippo has some robust coverage options — even with a base policy — with more modern perks, in the form of additional coverage for home electronics and extended replacement cost coverage included with every policy. Hippo home coverage is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. Policies are underwritten by insurance partners Topa and Spinnaker.
Continue reading to explore coverage options and discounts in our Hippo homeowners insurance review.
Hippo home insurance review
Standard coverages for the structure of the home, personal property, liability, and loss of use are all offered in a basic home insurance policy from Hippo. Potential customers are given a choice between three tiers of coverage. Hippo has a wide breadth of coverage even for the most “basic” tier, which includes quite a few extras — detailed below. Keep in mind that not all coverages may be available in your state, and coverage details for each tier can be customized according to your needs.
Notable highlights for each of Hippo’s home insurance tiers include:
- The Essentials: Excludes coverage for equipment breakdown and service line coverage.
- Best Value: Replacement cost for personal property, increased coverage for liability, personal property, and water backup.
- Expanded Protection: Replacement cost for personal property, increased coverage for liability, home office, and water backup.
Extended replacement costs
The cost of rebuilding can be higher than expected — especially after a catastrophic event that may result in an increase in labor and materials costs due to demand. Extended replacement costs are automatically included in each tier; get an extra ~25% in extended replacement costs by opting for the Essentials or Best Value tier, and ~50% if you purchase the pricier Expanded Protection option. This is commonly an extra endorsement you’ll need to add to your policy but is automatically included as part of Hippo’s coverage.
Replacement cost coverage
Upgrade from actual cash value to replacement cost for personal property by enrolling in Hippo’s middle or upper-tier coverage. This means you’ll receive the full amount required to replace lost property without deducting for depreciation.
Get up to $100,000 in coverage (subject to a $500 deductible) for the repair or replacement of anything that uses electric power in the event of an electrical or mechanical breakdown. This includes washers, dryers, HVAC, kitchen appliances, water heaters, and personal electronics.
Hippo will repair or replace damaged property if an accident occurs to service lines that run beneath your home. It comes with a $10,000 coverage limit and a $500 deductible.
Domestic workers such as gardeners, nannies, and babysitters are eligible for workers' compensation if injured while working on your property.
Every Hippo policy comes with at least $8,000 in coverage for home office equipment like desktop computers and printers.
A separate, but similar, option from Hippo’s home office coverage — also with an $8,000 limit — this will cover laptops, desktop computers, and corresponding storage devices if they are damaged or stolen.
A common endorsement to a homeowners policy, Hippo’s water backup coverage is included with every policy and starts with a $5,000 limit. It covers damage from water backup and overflows from drains and sewers.
If you live in a condo, damage caused to condo buildings or common areas has limited insurance coverage through the HOA. The cost of claims that exceed coverage limits is typically split between all condo owners. Loss assessment coverage will cover these out-of-pocket costs for condo owners.
Jewelry and watches
Valuables, like jewelry, fine art, and silverware, come with their own sub-limits that cap how much you can be reimbursed — unless you add a scheduled property endorsement that specifically extends coverage for your item(s). Hippo automatically includes $2,000 worth of coverage for damaged or lost jewelry and watches, with the option of adding more coverage for higher-value items.
Mortgage payment protection
Reserved for the middle and upper tiers of Hippo coverage, this covers up to $1,500 per month (up to 12 months) toward mortgage payments if your home becomes uninhabitable following a covered loss.
Hippo home insurance discounts
Hippo makes available a few discounts that can be commonly found at other insurance companies. Insurance discounts tend to be quite small, but qualifying for these cost-cutting measures can chip away at the full cost of your home insurance premium so you can avoid paying full price. Learn more about popular home insurance discounts.
Detailed below are some discounts to look into if you’re interested in getting the best rate for Hippo’s home insurance. Discount availability may vary due to your location.
- Auto insurance: If you or your spouse have active auto insurance with any company, you can qualify for a Hippo discount.
- Recent home purchase: Get this discount if you’re buying a new home or have owned your home for less than a year.
- Gated community: Fenced-in communities are considered less risky to reside in by insurance companies. Qualify for this discount if your home or condo is part of a gated community.
- Homeowners association: Is there an HOA managing the community? See some savings with an HOA membership discount.
- Early bird: Be rewarded for your early planning. If you start your Hippo policy in eight or more days, you may be eligible for an early bird discount.
- No mortgage: Whether you’ve paid off your home or inherited it from family, Hippo offers a discount if there is no mortgage on the insured property.
- Preventive safety and smart home devices: Equip your home with fire or theft alarm systems, water leak detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems to qualify for a safety systems discount.
- Storm shutters: Protect your home against hurricanes and other weather hazards with storm shutters installed on windows.
- Hail-resistant roof: Your roof must be certified as hail-resistant during the initial installation to be eligible for this discount.
Is Hippo right for you?
Hippo could be a strong contender if you’re searching for home insurance with better-than-average coverage options. Their online quoting process is quick and easy, allowing customers to choose from three clearly-defined levels of coverage. Even if you elect for the base tier of coverage, you can tailor the details of your policy by lowering or raising limits or deductibles, and adding or opting out of specific coverages. In addition, the variety of discounts available may be just as competitive as those found at more traditional insurance companies.
Strong financial backing from two well-regarded insurers provides stable fiscal footing in Hippo’s capacity to pay claims. However, they are not yet rated by reputable organizations like J.D. Power, and customer reviews elsewhere may be mixed.