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Branch is a relatively new insurance company founded in 2017. It sells its policies from various providers but also underwrites personal insurance under the Branch Insurance Exchange.
Many consumers laud Branch for its relatively affordable prices. However, the providers offer limited homeowners insurance coverage only available in some states. Branch is unique in taking advantage of both sides as a broker and insurer. In an ideal world, this would open the door to better solutions for homeowners. Read on to find out how it all shakes out.
Types of Homeowners Insurance from Branch
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Branch sells insurance in 36 states. However, Branch offers coverage through the General Security National Insurance Company and the Everspan Insurance Company (both ranking well in financial strength) in some states, but these remain Branch insurance policies. A few familiar aspects of its homeowners insurance policies include:
- Dwelling coverage: This coverage protects your home’s foundation and structure, including detached structures like a shed or a fence. This is the foundation of your policy, and it sets your other structures (for things like tree houses if you have a building permit, sheds, and more).
- Personal Property coverage: Branch’s standard policy protects your home’s contents up to your coverage limits. You may need additional insurance for items high in value. Experts often recommend at least $100,000 for condos and $300,000 for single-family residences. This may seem like a lot but costs increase quickly once you start valuing furniture, clothing, electronics, kitchenware, etc.
- Personal liability coverage: If a guest gets injured on your property, insurance pays for their medical expenses and any legal fees. Trampolines and pools put your property at higher risk. But many insurers have strict restrictions based on your dog’s breed. Make sure you understand the rules before you need to file a claim.
- Loss of Use: Branch will cover the cost of temporary housing while your home is undergoing repairs. Keep in mind this applies when your home is uninhabitable. This can happen immediately following the loss or during the construction process. But it does not apply to every claim.
Additional Coverage Options (Riders)
The standard coverages cover the most common risks homeowners face. But informed homeowners also work with Branch insurance agents to determine which riders suit their homeowners insurance. A few examples include:
- Water backup coverage: This additional insurance will cover any water damage caused by a clogged water source. Burst pipes due to the wrong things being flushed, faulty pipes, and sewer backup are common examples. Just keep in mind negligence and routine maintenance are not covered. So if you notice a leak or you haven’t checked your plumbing system and washer in a while, you should have a professional take a look to prevent claims.
- Homeshare coverage: If you decide to rent out all or part of your home, home share coverage will pay for any covered damages or losses caused by renters. Whether or not you have this coverage, operating in line with your state laws is essential.
- Scheduled coverage: If you have expensive jewelry and your personal property coverage isn’t enough, purchase this rider for more coverage. Scheduled coverage can also cover baseball cards, other collectibles, art, computer systems, and more.
- Incremental coverage: This rider covers the cost of replacing and rebuilding your home and additional funds to offset the cost of inflation. It is also known as extended replacement cost coverage.
How Much Does Branch Cost?
Branch homeowners insurance products appear to cost less than the industry average. However, as the company works with multiple insurers, agents can compare options to find the most competitive pricing, coverage, and more.
PR Newswire doesn’t specify average rates. However, it does report an average bundling savings of $535 with Branch homeowners insurance. Whatever your homeowners insurance goals, the best way to compare pricing is to get multiple quotes and compare coverage side-by-side. This way, you can be sure you’re saving money instead of giving up essential coverage.
How to File A Claim
You can file a claim with Branch via its mobile app, website, or by calling 833-427-2624. You should have pictures and videos of the incident, receipts of the damaged item, and specific details of the accident when you file your claim to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Remember that you may have to pay a deductible before the company pays your claim. So make sure you can comfortably afford to come out-of-pocket with any deductible. Unfortunately, we often file claims at the most inconvenient times.
Branch Homeowners Insurance FAQs
How long has Branch insurance been around?
Branch is a younger insurance company entering the scene in 2017. It expanded to offer condo insurance as recently as early 2023.
Is Branch Insurance a public company?
Branch is a public benefit corporation. While the company is profit-generating, it also seeks to benefit its community positively.
Is Branch Insurance financially stable and reliable?
Branch Insurance Exchange received an A (Exceptional) from Demotech. General Security National Insurance Company and Everspan Insurance Company received an A (Excellent) and A- (Excellent) from AM Best, respectively. These three organizations are willing to certify the company is financially stable and likely to be around to pay and service claims in the future.
Who is the CEO of Branch Insurance?
Steve Lekas is the CEO and co-founder of Branch Insurance.
Methodology: What Went into Our Branch Homeowners Insurance Review
Insider values transparency and delivers updated and unbiased commentary so you can make the most informed decisions. We evaluate a company’s policies based on affordability, the extensiveness of coverages, its availability nationwide, and exclusions.
Ultimately, some companies may be the best solution for niche customers while not catering to the general public. Our reviews dig into some details, but these personalizing factors should be considered when choosing an insurance provider.
We also assess the quality of a company using third-party rating agencies to determine its financial strength and customer service. These ratings indicate the likelihood of a company being around to renew your policy and service your claims 10-20 years from now. For more information, check out our insurance rating methodology.
Chubb Homeowners Insurance
Travelers Homeowners Insurance
Erie Homeowners Insurance
Compare Branch vs. Chubb
Chubb Homeowners Insurance is known to have prices significantly higher than the industry average. However, outside its business policies, it also focuses on niche products for difficult-to-insure properties. So, if you’re looking for an affordable policy, Branch may have Chubb beat. However, Chubb may be worth the price if you’re trying to insure multi-unit, beachfront, and other similar properties.
Chubb’s Masterpolicy offers a long list of insurance coverage, such as cyberbullying and identity theft. On the other hand, Branch focuses on standard homeowners insurance that makes sense for the average homeowner. Branch will likely get you a lower price for a policy with dwelling, additional structures, and personal property coverage with riders like water backup and replacement cost coverage. However, Chubb is uniquely qualified if you’re looking for coverage in different countries or specialized plans. Neither state covers all 50 states at the time of this review.
Compare Branch vs. Travelers
Travelers Homeowners Insurance and Branch homeowners insurance are known to be relatively cost-effective. However, Travelers has more discounts to bring homeowners insurance costs down. In addition, Branch’s services are limited to 36 states, while Travelers does business in 42 states. Both companies promise bundling options for auto, home, and other personal insurance products.
However, Branch has one key benefit. Travelers sells policies through independent insurance agents. So, agents can quote policies from different insurance companies. However, Branch offers both broker services and Branch insurance, depending on your preferences. Some customers prefer to work with one agent connected to the insurer. Under the right circumstances, Branch Insurance can provide that extra assurance with policies underwritten by Branch Insurance Exchange.
Compare Branch vs. Erie Insurance
Erie Homeowners Insurance offers affordable homeowners insurance if you live in one of its licensed states. It ranks exceptionally high in JD Power’s customer service survey, while Branch doesn’t rank at all. However, Erie exclusively underwrites products. So any other quotes independent insurance agents run are not directly connected.
This said Erie was founded in 1925, giving it an extensive history compared to Branch Insurance. Unsurprisingly, it has also earned an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. In short, whether you file a claim in your first year or further down the road, the company will likely be around to renew your policy and pay your claims. While it may be new to the game, Branch earned an A+ rating from AM Best.
Neither company operates in all 50 states. But Branch sells insurance in 26 states at the time of this review, while Erie only operates in 12 states and Washington, DC. Combined with the history of the companies, this tells us Erie is unlikely to expand operations while Branch may eventually be available in all 50 states. Regardless, both companies offer popular items that should be compared as applicable in overlapping states.