Mountain View, Calif. (Apr. 28, 2017) – California homeowners are the first in the United States to gain access to the biggest change in home insurance in recent times, as Hippo Insurance launches its smarter home insurance product for the modern household. With a fundamental overhaul of policies and cost savings of up to $300, Hippo is set to address the needs of the 64% of Californian homeowners who are currently underinsured.
A statewide survey(1) by Hippo has revealed a startling mismatch between what Californians think is covered by their insurance and the grim reality, leaving many exposed to significant financial loss. Hippo will help avoid these costly errors with its new approach – changing policies to better cover what people actually own, and the way they actually live, today.
Assaf Wand, the company’s CEO explains that to make a real difference, “Hippo spent thousands of hours evaluating home insurance and fundamentally redesigned it.” They started with the policy itself, adding ten essential features not included in other standard policies. They leveraged new technologies to create what the company believes is the fastest purchase process online. And they worked hard to eliminate hidden or unnecessary costs. They also devised a strategy to help policyholders avoid loss in the first place, by relying on cutting edge smart home sensors.
Among the fascinating insights stemming from the company’s survey (scroll down for infographic summary) is that 73% of Californians miscalculate the ideal amount of home insurance coverage they require, falsely assuming coverage should be equal to the market value of their home. Moreover, two out of three believe home insurers will cover the full amount of any claim they submit, and the majority of Californians do not understand their policies and can ultimately end up not covered when issues arise.
The survey found an alarming range of other misunderstandings that could result in costly consequences:
- 47% of people incorrectly believe their standard home insurance covers earthquakes;
- 59% of people are unaware insurance does not cover fluctuations in the cost of repairs;
- 45% have home office equipment exceeding what most standard policies will cover;
- 75% have more computers and home electronics than the typical $2,000 coverage will protect;
- 1 in 3 have engaged in short-term renting of their property on platforms such as Airbnb, which would cause many typical home insurance policies to terminate;
- And over 60% believe standard home insurance covers sewage backup, which typically isn’t so.
“Simply put,” says Assaf Wand, “homeowners insurance has been broken for years and no longer reflects how people live their lives.”
Policies That Matter
In the last 50 years lifestyles have changed dramatically, yet most insurance policies are still rooted in the past, covering and charging for items most people no longer own. Hippo’s survey found 84% of people no longer own pewter bowls, 90% don’t own paper stock certificates and 94% have forgone furs, all of which are covered in most policies. Hippo has removed these antiquated items and increased coverage for things that today’s homeowners actually care about: computers, appliances, electronics, home office equipment and more.
Hippo used the savings its technology and business model delivers to cover scenarios not typically covered by standard policies. For example, Hippo pays the full cost of replacing items, not their depreciated value, and also includes standard coverage for generally uninsured issues such as repair cost fluctuations, service line protection, sewage backup and home equipment breakdowns.
Money, Money, Money
By reimagining how home insurance policies are designed and sold, Hippo has saved a lot of money. This savings is largely passed on to the consumer in the form of better prices and greater protection. Hippo boasts that its enhanced policy protections could cost as much as $300 more at other carriers, and that’s when such protections are offered as optional coverages (which, in many cases, they aren’t).
The Hippo survey also discovered people find dealing with home insurance companies more frustrating than interacting with banks (50%), cable companies (46%) and health insurance providers (45%) and over half report they would rather visit the dentist than deal with their insurance company.
Hippo believes its greatest innovation will be its service. The company acknowledges that its customers rely on Hippo to protect their largest assets, and that insurance claims often derive from stressful experiences. In light of this, Hippo offers comprehensive, compassionate concierge services to help home owners find hotels when a home becomes unlivable and to supervise repair contractors when damage occurs. As Assaf Wand says, “Hippo is about people first and claims second. Our policy holders will speak to humans who will be as helpful and compassionate as the best service reps out there.”
Hippo opens for business across California on April 26, 2017. For further information, see the results of Hippo’s launch survey in the infographic below. More information about the company can be found at myhippo.com.
Hippo Insurance Survey Infographic
What you don’t know about home insurance is putting you at risk (Hippo)
Hippo provides home insurance for the modern household. Founded in 2015 by Assaf Wand and Eyal Navon, Hippo is a first-of-its kind, entirely online home insurance product designed around the needs of the modern household. Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Hippo manages product design, pricing, underwriting, marketing and support, as well as the technology and data platforms that power its service.
1. Methodology: This study was conducted via an online survey among US homeowners age 21 to 65 living in California and currently having home insurance. A total of n=1250 surveys were completed between January 20 and 28, 2017.