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ByTaylor Moore Finance & Insurance Writer

Taylor Moore is a finance writer for Reviews.com. Her work has been published in Chicago magazine, the Chicago Reader, and elsewhere.

The Hartford Homeowners Insurance Review

Even if you’re a first-time homeowner, you’d probably recognize The Hartford's iconic deer mascot — a design choice that lends the insurance provider national renown. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, since 1913, The Hartford is the only insurance provider officially endorsed by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), providing underwriting for both its auto insurance and home insurance policies. It’s a great choice for those who are already AARP members, but it’s also worth considering when picking a policy through an agent or broker.

We awarded The Hartford “Best Homeowners Insurance for Green Homes” in our list of the best homeowners insurance providers for its unique eco-friendly benefits. The Hartford will raise its policy limits up to 10% if you use “green, environmentally friendly materials or processes for repairs and rebuilds” after experiencing a loss. This policy also includes repainting with low-VOC paint, using renewable resources, or adopting environmentally friendly demolition techniques.

Keep in mind that The Hartford does not advertise a wide variety of discounts, limiting options to home and auto insurance bundling, credits for home security or protective devices (such as burglar alarms and sprinkler systems), and credits for retirees and those who work less than 24 hours a week. However, the number of discounts offered doesn’t always correlate to price, so we recommend comparing quotes from multiple providers to figure out what plans work for your lifestyle and your budget.

The Claim

The Hartford promises that its insurance can be “customized to protect the investment you’ve made in your home at a price that fits your budget,” offering a variety of benefits and coverage options to suit your needs.

Is it true?

The Hartford does offer a good baseline level of coverage for homeowners, with add-on options for valuable items like jewelry, furs, and fine china and for equipment breakdown (essentially, a home warranty attached to your insurance). These add-on options allow you to customize your policy for exactly the coverage you need.

On the other hand, The Hartford may not offer the budget-friendly prices it promises. The provider doesn’t advertise as wide an array of discounts as competitors like Allstate and Amica, so there are few ways to bring down the price of your initial quote. That said, it will give you a break if you bundle your home and auto insurance, purchase home security or protective devices, or are retired or work fewer than 24 hours a week.

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1913
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: A+
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: A2
  • J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study score: 3/5
  • Policy types: Homeowners, renters, condo
  • Pros: Benefits for rebuilding green, AARP-endorsed, coverage add-ons
  • Cons: Limited discounts, average ratings

Features

Homeowners Insurance
Condo Insurance
Renters Insurance
Standard coverage options
• Dwelling coverage and other structures
• Personal property
• Personal liability
• Medical payments
• Loss of use
• Dwelling coverage
• Personal property
• Personal liability
• Medical payments
• Loss of use
• Personal property
• Personal liability
• Medical payments
• Property damage to others
• Loss of use
Add-on coverage options
•Full replacement cost
• Zero Deductible Benefit
• Wind and hail deductible
• Identity fraud
• Actual replacement cost
• Personal injury liability (libel/slander)
•Reimbursement for lock replacement
• Disappearing property deductible
• Equipment breakdown
• Valuable items blanket
• Green rebuilding
• Increased water backup
• Assisted living
• Scheduled personal property
• Earthquake
• Refrigerated products
• Actual replacement cost
• Valuable items blanket
• Scheduled personal property
• Zero Deductible Benefit
• Personal injury liability (libel/slander)
• Disappearing property deductible
• Equipment breakdown
• Identity fraud
• Equipment breakdown
• Valuable items blanket
• Green rebuilding
• Assisted living
• Scheduled personal property
• Zero Deductible Benefit
• Personal injury liability (libel/slander)
• Item replacement cost
• Earthquake
• Valuable items blanket
• Equipment breakdown
• Identity fraud expenses
• Increased water backup
• Assisted living
• Scheduled personal property
• Earthquake
• Refrigerated products
• Open peril contents
Available discounts
Home and auto insurance bundling, purchase of home security or protective devices, retirees, people who work fewer than 24 hours a week
Home and auto insurance bundling, purchase of home security or protective devices, retirees, people who work fewer than 24 hours a week
Home and auto insurance bundling, 24-hour security service, rental insurance renewal
States available
50
50
50

Benefits for rebuilding green

If you experience a covered loss, The Hartford will increase your policy limits up to 10% for using “green, environmentally friendly materials or processes for repairs and rebuilds.” This benefits homeowners who already use green materials or processes, because those claims would likely qualify by default, but it’s also a great perk for owners of older homes. If you repaint your home using low-VOC paint, replace your flooring with a renewable resource, or use eco-friendly demotion techniques, you should still be able to take advantage of this policy. While these are not discounts, per se, they are a unique way of incentivizing actions that are good for the environment.

AARP-endorsed

As the only home insurance provider officially endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), The Hartford is the choice insurer of the country’s elderly. If you’re considering becoming an AARP member, it makes sense to strongly consider The Hartford for its auto and homeowners insurance plans. Beyond insurance, you also get travel and health benefits as part of AARP membership.

Coverage add-ons

On top of your base plan, you can take advantage of add-ons to expand your coverage. For example, with the Disappearing Property Deductible, you can get your deductible reduced by $50 for every three years you go without an insurance loss. You can also extend coverage to valuables (such as jewelry, furs, and fine china) or repairs and replacements of appliances and systems in your home (essentially a home warranty).

Possible drawbacks

Limited discounts

As far as discounts go, The Hartford only offers a few options: home and auto insurance bundling, credits for home security or protective devices (such as burglar alarms and sprinkler systems), and credits for retirees and those who work less than 24 hours a week. However, we always recommend comparing quotes between providers, rather than just looking at the number of discounts available; not everyone will qualify for every discount, and it's possible that The Hartford could offer you a competitive base quote.

Average ratings

In terms of third-party scores, The Hartford scores a three out of five (“about average”) in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study, which measures customer satisfaction among the top insurance providers in the country. That score is on par with some of the largest insurers, like Allstate, State Farm, and Nationwide, but it's not the greatest indicator of quality if you’re considering the holistic strength of each company.

The Competition

  The Hartford State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual
Our review Our review Our review
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A+ A++ A+ A
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study score
3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
24/7 claims support
Compare rates Compare rates Compare rates Compare rates

The Hartford vs. State Farm

Catchy advertising campaigns aside, State Farm is the No. 1 insurance provider by market share, according to 2018 revenue data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In comparison, The Hartford is No. 13. State Farm and The Hartford are similar in many ways, from their standard HO-3 policies to their minimal number of advertised discounts. Neither provider offers discounts for new homeowners or for homeowners who have recently completed renovations — something that both Allstate and Amica offer. However, The Hartford does offer a credit on your insurance policy if you’re retired or work less than 24 a week, which we think is a great deal. If you're on the fence, we recommend getting quotes from both companies to see how coverage and price stack up.

The Hartford vs. Allstate

Both The Hartford and Allstate have a score of three out of five (“about average”) in J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study. However, we think that Allstate does a much better job serving its customers and anticipating their needs. Allstate's valuable website tools let you really dig into the data: The Common and Costly Claims Tool, for instance, lets you plug in your ZIP code to find the most common claims in your area, and the GoodHome report tool pulls a Google Street View video to show you can mitigate risks in your area.

Allstate also offers superior discounts. While The Hartford only advertises savings for auto and home insurance bundling and credits for retirees and home security purchases, Allstate will slash your price for being a first-time customer and for renewing your policy before your current one has expired.

The Hartford vs. Liberty Mutual

In our experience, Liberty Mutual goes further to help you save money, though both are willing to offer discounts if you insure your house for 100% of its value. The Hartford is limited in its discount offerings, but Liberty Mutual will cut you a deal if you’re a first-time insurance buyer, if you have a new home or have installed a new roof, if you’ve set up autopay or paid online, and more. On the other hand, if you plan on using environmentally friendly building materials and practices, you may want to go to The Hartford, which will credit you for it.

Liberty Mutual is also one of the few providers to offer inflation protection for homeowners — meaning your coverage limits will automatically adjust each year to keep up with inflation, ensuring that the higher cost of building materials and labor won’t encroach on the coverage you’d originally bought. Both companies are worth considering, but we recommend starting with Liberty Mutual if you're looking for more ways to save.

The Hartford Homeowners Insurance FAQ

What is the difference between AARP and The Hartford?

The Hartford has been in the insurance industry since 1912, but for more than 25 years, it’s been the underwriter for AARP’s auto and homeowners insurance policies. The Hartford is also sold through agents and brokers.

In what states can I get a homeowners insurance policy from The Hartford?

The Hartford operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. However, your price and policy will depend on where you live, so make sure to compare your quote from The Hartford with those from other leading providers.

The Bottom Line

The Hartford is a great choice for AARP members or those thinking about joining AARP. If you strive to be environmentally friendly, it’s also worth considering The Hartford, because it incentivizes green materials and techniques when it comes to repairs and rebuilds. However, the insurance provider doesn’t offer the widest selection of discounts, and it’s also rated “average” in customer satisfaction — so make sure to weigh your priorities as you start comparing providers.

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