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Kin Insurance Review 2021: Home Insurance in Risky Places

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If you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, it can be tough to find an affordable homeowners policy. Kin Insurance, founded in 2016, seeks to lower costs for high-risk homes by relying on technology and selling directly to consumers instead of through agents.

Kin home insurance is currently sold only in Florida and Louisiana, but if you live in one of those states, it’s worth considering. Kin’s policies come with coverage and perks that cost extra from other companies.

Kin home insurance pros and cons

How Kin home insurance rates

Kin homeowners insurance earned 5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The homeowners insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Based on these ratings, Kin is among NerdWallet’s best home insurance companies for 2021.

Kin home insurance state availability

Kin currently offers new homeowners policies only in Florida and Louisiana.

Kin home insurance coverage

You can customize your homeowners policy with numerous add-ons, but below are the types of coverage that generally come standard:

For more details, see Homeowners Insurance: What It Is and What It Covers.

In addition to the basic coverage above, Kin includes the following features with its standard policies:

Replacement cost coverage for personal property. Many insurance companies cover your belongings on an “actual cash value” basis unless you choose otherwise. For example, if a fire destroys your 15-year-old sofa and you have actual cash value coverage, your insurer will pay out only enough to buy another 15-year-old sofa. With replacement cost coverage, you’d receive enough money to buy a brand-new sofa.

Ordinance or law coverage. This pays expenses associated with rebuilding your home to comply with the latest building codes.

Managed repair program. When you file a claim, Kin will recommend a local contractor who’s licensed, insured and vetted with background checks.

You may also want to add the following optional types of coverage:

Extended dwelling coverage. If you select this option, Kin will pay up to 25% more than your dwelling coverage limit if rebuilding your home after a disaster costs more than expected.

Scheduled personal property. This provides extra coverage for valuable items such as jewelry, fine art, furs or silverware. An appraisal may be required.

Identity fraud insurance. This coverage pays for fees and lost income associated with recovering your identity.

Animal liability coverage. If your dog bites someone outside your household, many insurance companies would pay for ensuing medical or legal expenses as part of their standard liability coverage. But with Kin, you have to add this coverage to your policy as an endorsement if you need it. No breed restrictions apply.

Water backup coverage. This type of insurance pays for damage due to backed-up drains or sump pump failures.

Hurricane screen enclosure coverage. This endorsement provides coverage for the screen enclosure around your swimming pool.

» MORE: Home insurance calculator: Estimate your rate

Kin home insurance discounts

In Florida, Kin Insurance offers the following ways to save:

  • Protective device discount for security and fire alarms.
  • Discount for wind mitigation.
  • Claims-free discount.
  • Paperless billing discount.
  • Water detection discount.
  • “Responsible repair” discount for those who don’t entrust their claims benefits to contractors.
  • Secured community discount for people who live in a neighborhood with a security guard.

In Louisiana, you can save money by:

  • Having smart home protective devices.
  • Being 50 or older.
  • Going without a claim for at least three years.
  • Being a new homebuyer.
  • Having continuous insurance coverage.
  • Choosing an electronic policy.

If you use Kin’s Managed Repair Network for repairs after a claim, you can save 10% on your deductible.

» MORE: The best cheap home insurance

Kin home insurance consumer complaints

Kin received significantly fewer than the expected number of home insurance complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.)

Kin home insurance consumer experience

Website: It only takes a couple of minutes to get a quote on the Kin website. Its FAQ section offers useful information on homeowners coverage, though it can be tricky to figure out exactly which options apply to you.

Claims: You can file a homeowners claim online, by phone or by email. If you choose the online option, you can upload damage photos and other documentation.

Homeowners insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing quotes, identify how much home insurance coverage you need. Is a standard policy sufficient, or do you want to add extra insurance for situations like identity theft or sewer backups? Check whether each company you’re considering has the options you need.

To ensure you have sufficient personal property coverage, take a quick inventory of your belongings. How much would it cost you to replace them? Include all furniture, electronic devices, clothing, jewelry and household items. This total is the minimum amount of personal property insurance you should have.

When comparing rates between insurers, make sure they’re offering the same limits and deductibles. Although it may seem tempting simply to choose the cheapest option, consider looking at how many consumer complaints each insurer has before choosing a policy. Poor customer service could have a significant impact on your experience if you ever need to file a claim.

You can get home insurance quotes online, over the phone or through an agent.

Kin home insurance FAQ

Does Kin offer flood insurance?

Yes, Kin sells flood insurance as an add-on to its homeowners policies. Most flood insurance policies in the U.S. are underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program, but Kin offers its own private flood insurance. Unlike NFIP coverage, which generally requires a 30-day waiting period, Kin’s flood insurance takes effect as soon as you purchase it.

What other types of insurance does Kin offer?

Kin sells mobile home, landlord and second home policies in both Florida and Louisiana. It also offers condo insurance in Florida.

» MORE: The complete guide to manufactured and mobile home insurance

What is Kin’s roof surface payment schedule?

The roof surface payment schedule endorsement could help you save money on your Kin homeowners insurance policy — if you’re willing to take a little risk.

Say a hailstorm destroys your roof. Without the roof surface payment schedule endorsement, Kin would pay enough for you to buy a brand-new roof made of similar materials to the old one. But if you’ve chosen the endorsement, your home’s roof will be covered only for its actual cash value — which, on an older roof, could be significantly less than what it would cost to replace it.

Adding a roof surface payment schedule endorsement to your policy could lower your premium, or even help you get coverage when you might otherwise be denied for having too old a roof. But you’ll want to weigh the chance of not having enough coverage for your roof after a disaster.

Homeowners insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s homeowners insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverages, discounts, online experience and more. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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