Kin Insurance Review: Our Rating of a Cheap Online-Only Insurer
Kin uses technology to offer cheap home insurance premiums, but has limited regional availability and bundling opportunities.
Kin Insurance is an agency that provides homeowners, condo and mobile home insurance, as well as flood, hurricane and landlord policies. Founded in 2016 by Sean Harper, Lucas Ward and Stephen Wooten, Chicago-based Kin Insurance sets itself apart from traditional providers by skipping brick-and-mortar locations in favor of technology. Its business is conducted entirely online and over the phone in order to save overhead costs and provide cheaper policies. However, Kin comes with its drawbacks, such as limited availability and few insurance products. Here’s our take on Kin Insurance, including:
- Kin Insurance basics
- Consumer reviews
- Kin Insurance costs and discounts
- What Kin Insurance policies cover
What to know about Kin Insurance
Offering insurance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Texas, Kin Insurance originally made a name for itself with its fast, online quoting process. An online quote from Kin only required your address and a few follow-up questions, however it appears that this feature of the business recently changed – now you need to speak with an agent to get a quote. Yet the process is still substantially quicker than at larger insurance providers, based on our experience getting a quote and the consumer reviews we’ve read.
Kin’s technology enables it to provide fast quotes by utilizing everything from satellite imagery, real estate listings, and public and private data sources to streamline the rating process. This is great news if you need coverage quickly and don’t want to go through a long process of filling out forms and holding on the phone. The quoting process is untraditional, but the policies are not. Kin provides easy-to-understand, standardized home insurance policies.
Kin is technically a Managing General Agent (MGA), which just means that Kin policies are backed by other companies. Kin does not disclose which underwriters it uses, but our research suggests that they often use Velocity Risk Underwriters. Kin is merely the policy administrator; the pool of money reserved to pay for claims comes from various underwriters.
Customer reviews for Kin are generally positive. A common sentiment is that the folks at Kin are friendly and pleasant to interact with. A few commenters say that their online quote was inaccurate, which is the danger of quick quotes – they are not binding. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau gave Kin an A+ rating, which means Kin has good business practices.
Below is a summary of what people tend to like, and dislike, about Kin Insurance:
|Fast quoting process||Only available in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Texas|
|Uses standardized, transparent policies||No savings or convenience from bundling|
|Discounts available||No brick-and-mortar locations|
How much does Kin cost?
These were the average home insurance premiums in 2016 in the states Kin serves:
As you can see, rates vary widely between states, with the Texas average at almost $2,000 per year. Rates also depend greatly on where you live within the state. According to Kin's website, their data says that homeowners in Texas pay a median of $1,310 per year, and folks in Florida pay a median of $1,172. This is substantially lower than the averages from NAIC, suggesting that Kin offers below-average premiums. However, this could also mean that Kin only insures lower-risk homes.
Kin currently does not offer auto insurance, and you won't be able to save with a multi-policy discount as Kin doesn't have bundling options. On the bright side, Kin does offer numerous discounts for safety improvements to your home, such as adding a burglary or fire alarm, or living in a secured community. Additionally, Kin partners with three companies that can make your home safer: FLO, LiveWatch and MyStrongHome.
FLO installs a device in your main water line which can detect irregularities in your water system. Then, if you are at risk of a burst pipe, FLO can limit damage or prevent flooding by shutting off your water. Kin’s website says that all customers can get the $499 system for free, along with a $50 annual premium discount.
LiveWatch is a home security system that also monitors fire and carbon monoxide. Like FLO, Kin customers can get LiveWatch for free, although it is normally $99. Customers with LiveWatch can expect to save about $100 annually on their premium.
MyStrongHome is a company that helps reinforce roofs in areas at risk of wind, hurricane or storm damage. According to Kin, their customers who quality can strengthen their home through MyStrongHome and save an average of $1,000 a year on their premium.
Kin's standard deductibles are $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000+. Increasing your deductible will lower your annual premium, however you would be responsible for more of the upfront costs if you filed a claim.
Kin Insurance uses standard Insurance Services Office (ISO) homeowners policies. This means Kin policies cover:
Dwelling: Dwelling coverage pays for the repair or replacement of your home if it is damaged by a covered peril. For example, it can cover your foundation, roof and windows. Covered perils usually include fire, wind, lightning and theft. Note that your home insurance won’t protect against damage from floods or earthquakes.
Other structures: Other structures insurance protects buildings or features that are on your property, but not attached to your dwelling. This includes detached garages, fences or in-ground swimming pools.
Personal property: Personal property coverage protects your possessions, up to a certain amount. This coverage can help replace items like your furniture and silverware.
Loss of use: If you are unable to remain in your home for a period, loss of use coverage helps pay for your increased cost of living, including hotel and food costs.
Personal liability: If you are found responsible for injury to somebody else, or if you accidentally damage somebody else’s property, personal liability insurance can help pay for the costs.
Medical payments: If a guest is injured in your home, your insurance can help pay the medical expenses associated with the injury.
In addition to residential insurance policies for homes, condos and mobile/manufactured homes, Kin offers flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private providers.
If you live in Alabama, Florida, Georgia or Texas, value a technology-forward experience and want discounts for making your home safer, then Kin may be a good option for you.
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