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Editor's note: Hippo temporarily paused writing new policies across the country in mid-August 2023.
Hippo was founded in 2015 as part of a wave of startups focused on “insurtech,” or insurance technology. These companies try to make insurance more affordable for consumers and more profitable for insurers by handling many processes almost entirely online.
To that end, getting a quote from Hippo can take as little as about 60 seconds, and it provides high-tech perks like a smart-home monitoring system in many states. The company also provides support if you have questions about home repairs.
Hippo offers policies through Spinnaker Insurance, a carrier it acquired in 2020, and other partners.
Hippo home insurance star rating
Hippo homeowners insurance earned 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The homeowners insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.
Based on these ratings, Hippo is among NerdWallet’s best homeowners insurance companies for 2023.
Hippo currently offers homeowners policies in these 40 states. Florida policies are available only through Hippo's builder and lender partners.
Hippo home insurance coverage
You can customize your homeowners policy with numerous add-ons, but below are the types of coverage that generally come standard:
Type of coverage
What it does
Pays to repair or rebuild the structure of your home.
Covers damage to unattached structures such as sheds or fences.
Pays to repair or replace personal belongings such as furniture or clothing.
Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
Covers legal expenses and damages if you're responsible for injuries to other people or their property.
Covers injuries to guests in your home, regardless of fault.
For more details, see What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
All Hippo homeowners insurance offers the standard coverage above. Additionally, Hippo includes these other types of coverage as part of its standard package:
Ordinance or law, in case updated building codes drive up repair costs.
Domestic workers, if someone working at your home is injured on the property.
Home office, for damage to work equipment such as a cell phone or printer.
Computers, for damage to personal computers or storage devices.
Water backup, for damage caused by backup or overflow of water from drains or sewers.
Jewelry and watches/valuables, for the theft of high-value items.
Extended replacement cost on dwelling coverage, which offers a little extra coverage in case the dwelling limit on your policy isn’t enough to rebuild your home after a disaster.
Depending on where you live and which home insurance package you choose, your policy may also include:
Equipment breakdown coverage, to help pay the costs of repairing or replacing appliances or home systems.
Service line coverage, to help cover repair costs for lines such as electrical or sewer that come into your house from the street.
Mortgage payment protection, which pays up to $1,500 a month toward your mortgage if you can’t live in your home after a covered claim.
Replacement cost coverage for personal property, which is a more generous type of personal property coverage than the standard actual cash value. Say a candle falls over and destroys your 40-year-old piano. With actual cash value, the insurance company would pay only what the instrument was worth at the time of the fire, which likely wouldn’t be enough to buy a brand-new piano. Replacement cost coverage would pay out enough to replace your piano with a new one.
Hippo home insurance discounts
Hippo offers homeowners insurance discounts for:
Signing up for insurance at least eight days before your policy starts.
Buying a new home.
Activating smart-home devices.
Having a hail-resistant roof.
Going without a claim for at least three to five years.
Not having a mortgage.
Buying a policy through an affinity group.
Belonging to a qualifying homeowners association.
Having a fire extinguisher.
Living in a gated community.
Buying multiple policies through Hippo.
Having a burglar alarm.
Not all discounts apply in all states.
One of Hippo’s main underwriters, Spinnaker, received fewer than the expected number of home insurance complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.) Hippo also sells policies from other partners.
Website: Hippo’s website can provide you with home insurance quotes. It also has articles outlining the basics of homeowners insurance and how it works.
App: You can use the Hippo app to contact customer service, review coverage and manage your policy. It also offers advice and checklists to help you with home maintenance. You can even have a video call with a Hippo Home Care expert.
Claims: To file a claim, you can contact Hippo by phone or email. A representative will walk you through the claims process, including booking temporary housing if needed. Learn more about how to file a home insurance claim.
Customer service: Hippo provides customer support through live chat, email and telephone.
Where Hippo stands out
Preventing claims. By offering free smart-home technology to many customers, Hippo aims to prevent claims before they happen — an ideal outcome for both the homeowner and the insurer.
Coverage. Hippo provides a strong range of coverage in its standard policy. Water backup and extended replacement coverage are useful perks that typically cost extra from other companies.
Where Hippo falls short
Range of policies available. If you need other types of insurance, such as coverage for cars or boats, you'll need to buy them somewhere else.
Hippo vs. competitors
Hippo vs. Lemonade home insurance
The primary difference between Hippo and Lemonade is that Hippo focuses solely on home insurance, while Lemonade also sells life, pet, renters and car insurance. Both companies are relatively new insurers founded within the past 10 years.
Hippo and Lemonade were built for the digital age, with quick online quotes and highly rated apps, but each company has high-tech features that make it unique. Lemonade says it processes about 30% of claims instantly after they’re submitted within the company’s app. Meanwhile, Hippo provides free smart-home devices, plus home care advice and video consultations through its app.
Learn more in our Lemonade home insurance review.
Hippo vs. State Farm home insurance
The biggest difference between Hippo and State Farm is how long the companies have been in business. Hippo is a relative newcomer, founded in 2015, while State Farm celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022. State Farm is the country’s largest insurer, selling a wide range of policies including auto, life, health, business and disability insurance. Meanwhile, Hippo focuses on homeowners and condo insurance.
Both State Farm and Hippo offer extended replacement cost coverage for your dwelling as part of their standard policies. This gives you a little extra coverage above your dwelling limit in case it costs more than expected to rebuild your home after a covered disaster.
And though the type of device may be different, both companies provide smart technology to their policyholders for free to help prevent claims. State Farm offers a service called Ting that monitors your home’s electrical network, while Hippo’s devices detect smoke, carbon monoxide and water leaks.
Check out our State Farm home insurance review to learn more.
Is Hippo home insurance right for you?
Hippo insurance is best suited for homeowners who will take advantage of its unique perks — for example, by activating and installing the free smart-home devices the company sends, or by using the Hippo app to get home maintenance advice.
Other home insurance companies to consider
Not ready to make a decision? You may be interested in these other homeowners insurance companies:
Homeowners insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s homeowners insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverage, discounts and online experience. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our full ratings methodology for home insurance.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.