By Dean Takahashi for VentureBeat
We’ve got smartphones and smart homes. Why not smart insurance? Hippo has raised $14 million to disrupt the home insurance market with smarter online service.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said it is taking a fresh approach to home insurance, which it says has seen little change in half a century. Home insurance isn’t easy to buy online, but Hippo hopes to change that with online home insurance that offers more transparent coverage.
Horizons Ventures led the round for Hippo, and other investors include RPM Ventures, Propel Venture Partners, GGV Capital, and Pipeline Capital, as well as a number of high-profile financial tech investors and entrepreneurs.
“The insurance ecosystem has been overdue for innovation and disruption. In the days of technology, convenience, and accountability, home insurance still isn’t easily available online, is overly complicated, and requires people to go through agents,” said Frances Kang of Horizons Ventures, in a statement. “We believe Hippo will be a force to reconstruct the home insurance market, providing more transparency, efficiency, and cost-savings and more importantly, peace of mind to consumers.”
Hippos said it is suited to modern lifestyles and is able to offer lower prices by going direct to consumers and removing expensive commissioned agents.
“We took everything that’s wrong with the current state of home insurance — the confusing forms, the outdated policy terms, the agent as middleman — and fixed it,” said Assaf Wand, CEO of Hippo, in a statement. “The home insurance industry hasn’t changed in decades and no longer reflects modern lifestyles.”
Today, many homeowners do not fully understand what their policies entail or what coverage they really need, the company said. Policies still cover old school items like pewter bowls, stock certificates, and furs, but may only provide $2,000 worth of coverage for home electronics.
“At Hippo, we make sure modern homeowners are fully covered through our online, transparent, and affordable policies,” Wand said.
Hippo plans to launch in early 2017. The company has already received regulatory approval by the California Department of Insurance to begin selling in California and is currently in the middle of a closed beta program. The company was founded in 2015 and has 15 employees.
First appeared at VB