Comcast, Hippo Team on IoT-Focused Home Insurance Pilot

Comcast has teamed with “smart” home insurance provider Hippo on a trial in Houston that, they claim, will help consumers there save up to 25% of their annual home insurance premiums via a program that leans on integrated IoT home safety devices.

For this stage of the test, which will have some linkages to Comcast’s Xfinity Home service, Comcast said it has made Hippo’s home insurance offering available to all interested residential customers in the greater Houston area. Comcast and Hippo plan to expand the offer to other Comcast service areas later this year.

Hippo currently is officially licensed and operating in California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

The trial announcement comes about five weeks after Comcast Ventures helped to lead a $25 million “B” round in Hippo, which was founded in 2015 and has raised about $36 million so far.

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Hippo’s aim is to focus on a large base of underinsured homes with an approach that, it claims, is both cheaper and more modern.

As part of its plan to serve what it sees as a market of underinsured homes, Hippo uses smart home technology, such as water leak sensors, to help detect problems early and, when possible, prevent damage from taking place.

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Per the site dedicated to the Houston pilot, Comcast Xfinity Home customers are also in line for additional “smart home discounts” for having certain home safety devices – such as monitored smoke detectors -- installed with their system and lower risks that “typically lead to insurance claims – like theft and fire.”

“This new offering can provide customers with meaningful savings on their annual home insurance premiums and enhanced home insurance coverage,” Jon Kaplowitz, managing director and GM of new businesses at Comcast, said in a statement. “By bringing together smart home devices like monitored smoke and water leak detectors with home insurance, we’re able to help customers lower their annual home insurance cost and, at the same time, help to provide protection and peace of mind for our customers’ most important assets – their home and family.”

“We’ve modernized traditional home policies to go beyond just providing coverage in the event of fire, theft, or water damage,” added Assaf Wand, CEO and co-founder of Hippo. “We’ve added equipment breakdown coverage into our policies so customers have repair and replacement protection on the things that ‘run’ their home - things like heating and air conditioning systems, hot water heaters, major appliances, electronics and more.”