California Homeowners: It’s Time for Better Insurance

Wed Sep 30 2020

In recent years, the California insurance market has changed drastically in response to the state’s severe wildfires. And climate change is only making the problem worse.

Why California Homeowners Need Better Insurance

Now California’s wildfire seasons are year round, and the ongoing drought has only created more dry brush – fuel for severe fires. At the time of this publication, the August Complex Fire is only 43 percent contained, a continuation of the wildfires that have raged since early August, and the Glass and Zogg Fires are still burning in Northern California.

Some early estimates put the 2020 wildfire season at more than $20 billion in direct costs, far more than the $12 billion 2018 season. Beyond the devastation it caused, the 2018 Camp Fire also set a precedent for insurance companies to drop policyholders for their wildfire risk.

Many Californians weren’t eligible to renew their policies with their existing insurance company before the insurance commissioner put a one-year cancelation ban in place. Last year, an estimated 350,000 California home and business owners couldn’t get property and casualty insurance at all.

That changes now.

“Kin is entering the California market because of its wildfire risk, not in spite of it.”

Kin Brings Easy, Affordable Home Insurance to California

Our co-founder and CEO Sean Harper summarizes it perfectly: “Kin is entering the California market because of its wildfire risk, not in spite of it.” We’re not shying away from catastrophes – we see it as an opportunity to serve homeowners who need our solution the most.

When we saw insurance companies abandoning homeowners right when they needed insurance the most, we made plans to enter California. We wanted to offer an affordable private market solution for homeowners who would otherwise be left to get coverage through the California FAIR Plan, a state-funded insurance option of last resort.

The California FAIR Plan covers damage caused by fire, lightning, internal explosion, and smoke damage. That’s it. For coverage for windstorm, water damage, or theft, you’d have to find an insurer that would issue a policy for just those coverages. To top it off, FAIR policies are very expensive.

Our California home insurance policies cover damage to the home from all events except those explicitly excluded, and include coverage for other structures, your belongings, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments. Wildfire insurance is included, and you can easily add on earthquake insurance, too.

Thanks to our easy online platform, homeowners can get a quote in seconds and be insured in minutes. Our technology takes the guesswork out of getting the right coverage – we make smart recommendations and you can adjust your coverage in real time to see how it impacts your price.

We’re 3 percent cheaper on average than other private insurance companies in California, but often the savings are much higher. For example, on average, we’re 10 percent cheaper than Allstate.

You can see our average premiums by county below.

How We Keep California Home Insurance Affordable

We put our technology to work to price risk on a granular level. That means we pull thousands of data points about your home so we get an accurate look at your risk. So while other insurers may charge you for your whole ZIP code’s risk, we price your policy for you, not everyone else.

That helps us price policies super competitively. The average premium of a Kin policy is $1,188 a year in California. That’s lower than the state average and includes wildfire risk. Our rates are filed and approved by the California Department of Insurance, so what you see is what you get. No surprises down the road.

Of course, your rates are based on your home’s unique data points – its age, exact location, construction, and safety features. The best way to see how much we can save you? Get a quote today!