Founded in Boston, MA, Homesite quickly became a popular insurance company. After its beginnings in 1997, Homesite became the only property and casualty insurance company to provide home insurance online. As a result, they’ve become the embodiment of tech-forward home insurance options.
Homesite claims to be among the most rapidly growing home insurance companies in the country. Their goals are simply to be easy to work with and provide a massive catalog of insurance products.
This Millennial insurance company takes pride in its ability to work exclusively online. Does this interfere with their ability to thoroughly take care of their customers’ needs?
We’re here to answer all of these questions and more. Keep reading as we dive into Homesite and see just what kind of example their setting for the future of home insurance. We’ll get insight straight from the horse’s mouth and tell you all about what they offer.
In 1997, Homesite Insurance was founded and since then it has started to expand across the country, offering home insurance coverage in most states. It was one of the first companies to provide homeowners and renters insurance online.
In 2014, the company was acquired by American Family Insurance and today, Homesite offers not just homeowners and renters insurance but auto, term life, and commercial insurance as well. These additional insurance policies are underwritten by American Family Insurance, while the renters and homeowners insurance are still underwritten by Homesite.
They still have their own website; however, most of their operations are under their parent company already. Policies may be underwritten by other companies also, depending on where you live, because Homesite Insurance Group has several member companies. For instance, they are partnered with GEICO and Progressive’s auto insurance policies to create a bundle for their customers.
Homesite homeowners insurance coverages & premiums
We wanted to see just what kind of homeowners insurance coverage they offered, and at what cost. We found several online reviews from Homesite’s customers claiming that their premiums are on the expensive side. Using their online quote tool, we wanted to find out for ourselves.
According to the NAIC, Homesite home insurance is available in all 50 states. We used an address in Aurora, Colorado. Note that Colorado currently has among the highest home insurance rates in the country. In the process of getting a quote, we were prompted for potential benefits. For example, it asked if there were sprinkler, burglar, or fire systems in the home. We’ll get into those details later.
We found our 2,700-square-foot test home for sale for $600,000. It was built in 1972. After plugging it into the quote tool, we were met with $483,000 worth of dwelling coverage for $4,850 per year. This was after a $416 discount for being a responsible motorist (thanks to yours, truly).
Even with an automatic discount applied, this rate is very high for Colorado. The average yearly home insurance premium in this state for $483,000 worth of dwelling coverage should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500. That would make this cozy Aurora home insurance rate nearly double the cost it would be elsewhere.
Then we consider the coverages we were presented with. Take a look:
- The ability to toggle dwelling coverage all the way up to $724,500.
- This came with a $400 premium increase.
- 10% other structures coverage ($48,300)
- 50% personal property coverage ($241,500)
- With the ability to go up to 70% ($338,100)
- $300,000 in personal liability coverage
- With the ability to change to $100,000 or $500,000
- Each liability level has a $24 difference or so.
- 12 months worth of loss of use coverage
- With the ability to go up to 24 months.
- $3,000 in medical payments coverage
- With the ability to change to $1,000 or $5,000
- Each medical payment level has a $6 difference or so.
- 1% wind and hail deductible
- With the ability to go as high as 10% ($48,300)
- A standard $1,000 deductible
- With the ability to change to $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,500, and $5,000
- Wildfire Defense Services
Plus, here are all of the optional coverages and endorsements we could add to our policy:
- Water backup/sump overflow protection: pays to replace or repair damage caused by an overflow or backup.
- Increased roof wind and hail: this add-on upgrades your policy from actual cash value to replacement cost coverage.
- Earthquake protection: covers your property and belongings from damage caused by an earthquake.
- Equipment breakdown: protects your household systems and appliances from damage caused by mechanical or electrical malfunctions.
- Service line: protects you from the costs of repairing or replacing the pipes or wiring underneath your home.
- Additional belongings coverage: tacks on more coverage for your personal property.
- Computers: tacks on more coverage to cover the cost of your computer systems.
- Defamation liability: helps pay for legal fees related to defamation lawsuits against you.
- Identity theft: helps pay for the costs related to recovering your stolen identity.
Homesite homeowners insurance discounts
It’s worth mentioning that we were given the option to scan a current policy to see if Homesite could provide a comparison. We’re not sure how this tool works, considering their rates are nearly double their competition.
Still, it was nice to see that our discounts were applied after checking certain boxes during our quote. Initially, we saved $511 total for:
- Responsible motorists: $402
- Welcome home: A reward for buying a new home. $90
- Secure home discount: A reward for having safety devices installed on the home (sprinklers, burglar alarms, and fire alarms). $19
Other potential discounts include:
- Moving in: receive a discount for switching to a Homesite home insurance policy from a Homesite renters or condos policy.
- Retired occupants: a discount is provided for homeowners above a certain age range.
- Better together: these are two endorsement packages that cost less money when bundled together.
- Drive home: 10% discount for those who bundle their home and auto with Homesite
- New construction: receive a discount for owning a newer home.
- Roof it over: receive a discount for owning a newer roof.
Homesite homeowners insurance claims
Homesite gives you two options to submit a claim. You can log into your account and submit a claim, or you can call their claims line at 1-866-621-4823. If you prefer to handle your business online, this will require you to create an account.
Either option may not be useful in any manner, unfortunately. Many Homesite customers have a trending complaint: an aggravating claims process. Their insured homeowners recall very slow claims payments and terrible solutions.
As of 2022, the NAIC hasn’t recorded many complaints regarding Homesite home insurance. Of the 5 on record for homeowners, 3 of them were due to delays, and 2 of them were because of adjuster handling.
Homesite’s customer reviews
One of the worst caveats of working with a tech-forward business is the lack of personability. So many Homesite-insured homeowners are frustrated with the lack of communication between them and their adjusters.
We didn’t have to scavenge much to find out that Homesite has an issue providing quality customer service. Regardless of the issue at hand, Homesite has a bad reputation for sluggish responses, painfully expensive premiums, and confusing solutions.
Regardless of what their customers say, the NAIC has placed Homesite below the scale for the national average for complaints, which means they get less than the average amount of complaints. The scale is normally set at 1, and Homesite scores just under that, with 0.45 in 2022.
Homesite’s financial strength
Despite what their customers say, Homesite has made a statement among insurance rating agencies. For starters, they’ve received an A (excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best since 2014. The same company issued Homesite an A+ long-term issuer credit rating.
The BBB, while not associating Homesite as an accredited company, has also provided them with an A+ rating. This is despite their ugly 1.2-star rating among 56 customers.
Weiss Ratings wasn’t this impressed. They rated Homesite with a solid C insurance safety rating. This means they believe Homesite offers fair financial security, but in the event of financial pressures, they may have problems maintaining stability.
Homesite has an incredible yearly premium that nearly doubles our expected average. They make up for it by giving us an inventory of coverages to add if we feel so moved. They’re very transparent with how much each piece of your insurance puzzle costs.
They do have discounts available, but the dent created by these incentives is quite small. We were greeted with automatic discounts with the option to add more as we needed, which was pleasant.
Where they provide transparency in their outrageous prices, they should put the same effort into their customer service. Thousands of homeowners simply wish for quicker responses and better outcomes.
Overall, if you don’t mind high prices for extensive coverage, this may be the company for you. Especially if you don’t plan on filing any claims or speaking to anybody. If you prefer a hands-on experience with an insurance professional, you might need to seek out home insurance elsewhere.