(Image source: Sheltr homepage.)
Hippo Insurance, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Insurtech distributor that applies emerging data sources and processing approaches to homeowners’ insurance, has announced that it has acquired Sheltr (San Francisco), a platform designed to make it easy for homeowners to care for their homes. Hippo will leverage the acquisition to expand its services to include protective home maintenance, starting with home wellness checkups.
Hippo reports that during its initial pilot of Sheltr’s home wellness checkups for its customers, more than 50 percent of items discovered could lead to major claims, signaling the need for more routine home maintenance support.
Hippo’s acquisition of Sheltr and expansion of its services can be understood as part of an inexorable shift in the value proposition of homeowners insurance from indemnity to loss control, loss mitigation and loss avoidance, according to Donald Light, Director in Celent’s (Boston) North America Property/Casualty Insurance Practice. “By offering Sheltr’s home wellness check-ups, Hippo is leap-frogging the by-now standard offers of premium and/or purchase discounts for security systems, smoke and CO detectors, moisture detectors, etc,” Light comments. “The questions now are: whether Hippo and Sheltr can scale this service in response to demand; and how the established homeowner insurers will respond.”
Stitch in Time
Sheltr connects customers with trained maintenance professionals who provide its home wellness checkups to prevent small issues from becoming expensive repairs and costly claims. Each service consists of close to 30 household items, including changing HVAC filters, replacing smoke alarm batteries, and checking for issues like leaking pipes and clogged vents. Following the wellness checkup, homeowners receive a summary of all the tasks performed during the checkup and a list of recommended actions to ensure that their home runs smoothly.
“We’re excited to take the next step in developing the best home insurance product available by helping our homeowners identify and reduce risk with protective home maintenance,” comments Daniel Blanaru, VP, Growth Initiatives, Hippo. “We knew we found the right partner in Sheltr to help us do this. They share our dedication to a customer-first experience along with a high standard for service and close attention to loss prevention. Together with the Sheltr team, we’re creating long-term value for our customers that brings home insurance into a new era.”
Home maintenance has traditionally been reactive, resulting in unnecessary and often costly emergency repairs, according to Andrew Wynn, Co-Founder of Sheltr and Director of Home Services at Hippo. “Much like Hippo’s focus on proactive insurance to help customers avoid claims, Sheltr’s goal of helping customers better maintain their homes has already led to happier homeowners and loss mitigation,” Wynn says. “We couldn’t be more excited to join Hippo and finally tie home wellness together with industry-shifting home insurance.”
Sheltr’s services are currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Dallas, Texas metro area and are expected to expand across these states and into new states in 2020.