While most insurance companies are for anyone who wants to pay, The Hartford caters to a specific audience. In fact, if you’re under the age of 50, you’ll have to go through an independent insurance agent to get a policy with this provider. The Hartford targets a fairly specific demographic: AARP members.
With the AARP® Home Insurance Program from The Hartford, policyholders get discounts to keep their cost of coverage down while protecting their home through the later seasons of life. The Hartford even offers credits for retirees. If you’re an AARP member or are thinking about signing up, consider this coverage. If not, you might be better off shopping elsewhere.
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|Price||Varies by location, home and other factors|
|Best for||People over the age of 50|
|Not for||People under 50 who don’t want to work with an independent insurance agent|
|States served||All, although features and benefits may vary|
|AM Best Rating||A+|
The Hartford claims that they can give AARP members the best, most affordable home insurance available on the market today. It says it wants to “deliver the customer service you expect.”
Is it true?
If you’re a card-carrying AARP member, you’ll get special treatment when you choose The Hartford homeowners insurance. In fact, you’re the type of person the provider is trying to attract. Expect a discount for flashing your AARP card.
As far as customer service, The Hartford’s performance is about average — at best. In the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Home Insurance Study, it scored three out of five in overall satisfaction, policy offering, price and billing process and policy information. More concerningly, The Hartford scored just two out of five for interaction and claims. The perks you get as an AARP member may balance out the less-than-stellar service, but if you’re looking for an easy claims process, look elsewhere.
Our deep dive
- Bundling discounts: If you have other policies, like auto insurance, with The Hartford, you can bundle them to lower your premiums.
- Home discounts: You can get policy discounts if your house has a home security system or protective devices or fire protection (e.g., smoke detectors, sprinklers). You can also score a discount if you live in California or New York and your house is new.
- Older individual discounts: The Hartford home insurance offers discounts for AARP members yet and gives credits to retirees.
- Reward discounts: If you’re an ideal customer for The Hartford, you’ll get some perks. Specifically, you can get a claims-free discount that grows the longer you go without a claim and a discount if you renew your homeowners policy for four years or more.
- Online quotes: The Hartford offers instant online quotes to AARP members.
- Standard coverage: The Hartford home insurance covers everything you’d expect, including dwellings, other structures, personal property, loss of use, personal liability and medical payments. Remember, standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover earthquakes or floods.
- Additional coverage options: You can opt for full replacement cost coverage, ProtectorPLUS Zero Deductible Benefit for severe damage and green rebuilding coverage.
- Home Advantage Package: This package bundles standard protections with “new for old” personal property coverage, personal injury liability coverage, lock replacement reimbursements and identity fraud expense coverage.
- Home Advantage Plus Package: This package adds disappearing property deductible benefits, equipment breakdown coverage and valuable items blanket coverage to the Home Advantage Package.
When you choose The Hartford homeowners insurance, your agent will customize your premium (how much you pay for your policy) for you. Some of the factors The Harford considers to determine how much you’ll pay include:
- The cost to rebuild or repair your house
- The age of your house
- The number and type of dogs you own, if any (dogs increase your liability)
- Your home’s location
- Your claims history
- The age of your roof
- Your credit score (in some states)
- The deductible you choose
The only way to know how much The Hartford home insurance will cost for your specific house is to get a quote.
Cheaper (or free!) alternatives
If you own your home outright, you can go without home insurance and hope you have enough in savings to cover you if disaster strikes. But all mortgage lenders require home insurance, so most homeowners will need to shell out for a policy.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to keep your cost low:
- Become an AARP member
- Fit your home with disaster prevention devices like a home security system and smoke alarms
- Stay with The Hartford for four years to score the renewal discount
- Work on your credit score
- Avoid filing a claim unless it’s necessary
- Bundle your home insurance policy with other coverage like auto insurance
- Increase your deductible if you could comfortably cover it
The Hartford might not be the ideal provider for you, especially if you’re not an AARP member or over 50. One of the best ways to determine the right choice for you is to compare rates and the strengths of weaknesses of your options. Here are some of The Hartford’s top competitors and how they compare.
- Allstate: Allstate balances relatively high rates with plenty of discounts and claim forgiveness. The customer satisfaction is average; it scored threes across the board in the J.D. Power study. Still, with an agent to guide you to the right policy for you, it’s worth checking out.
- Farmers: With plenty of policy customization options and an emphasis on customer service, Farmers seems like a solid choice. It also scored all threes in the J.D. Power study, so don’t expect jaw-dropping service, but you’ll likely be satisfied with the results.
- Geico: Rather than underwriting its own policies, Geico connects you to a provider. The model’s a little bit odd, but it works well. Geico offers reasonable rates and decent customer service. Get a quote to figure out which partner would be underwriting your policy so you can do your homework to make sure the underwriter will serve you well.
- State Farm: The largest home insurance provider, State Farm offers a fairly broad range of coverage for a fairly good price with slightly above-average customer service (it scored threes and fours out of five in the 2019 J.D. Power Home Insurance Study). It’s worth getting a quote to see if it can offer you more affordable coverage than the competition.
What others are saying
Forbes reports that The Hartford has seen “strong, steady growth” in recent years. Judging from happy The Hartford reviews, it seems that this provider will be around for a long time.
Yahoo! Finance recently shared The Hartford’s release of its 2020 Home Fire Index, highlighting cities with the highest home fire risk. The article also outlines The Hartford’s plan to direct $3 million to its public education program called Junior Fire Marshal.
The Sacramento Bee reports that The Hartford wrote homeowners insurance policies for Californians in high-risk fire areas, although at a cost.
The Better Business Bureau gives The Hartford an A+, but it averaged just one star out of five in the reviews.
The bottom line
If you’re an AARP member, The Hartford wants to work with you. It’s worth getting an online quote, considering it should only take you a few minutes. But if you’re not over the age of 50, you might want to check out your other home insurance options.