Startup Hippo Insurance launches in California with a tech-enabled home insurance

Offering a more complete home insurance package for less money than traditional insurance sellers, startup insurance broker Hippo Insurance launched its first service this week in California.

According to chief executive Assaf Wand, the company intends to be available to 60% of all U.S. homeowners by the end of the year. To that end, the company had previously raised $14.5 million last October to finance its nationwide expansion.

Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs alike are drawn to the insurance industry for its trillion-dollar size, entrenched incumbents operating with business practices that haven’t changed in decades, and terrible customer reputation.

Indeed, companies like Lemonade, Jetty and Quilt have all launched (and raised tens of millions of dollars) to “fix” the insurance industry.

Hippo, the latest of these, is going after a slightly different market. Most of the new insurance companies have pitched services to renters and city dwellers made up of the mostly millennial demographic, while Hippo is aiming its services squarely at homeowners for whom the industry is no less broken, but whose demographics are more likely to be Gen X and Gen Y than their millennial progeny.

Hippo not only uses its technology to optimize pricing for potential policyholders, but offers tech-enabled devices like leak detectors and other IOT tools to monitor homes and ensure their upkeep, so policy payouts don’t get out of hand.

“When you look at home insurance you see that 60% of US homeowners are underinsured, many believe they have coverage that isn’t actually in their policies, and the majority spend too much time and money purchasing the product, due to outdated commissioned agents and various hidden fees,” says Wand in a statement.