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Heritage Insurance Summary
Heritage Insurance has been in business since 2012, along with several other new insurance companies, in response to changes in the Florida insurance market that followed several major hurricanes. As larger insurance companies backed out of the market, many homegrown companies moved in to fill the void, especially as the market started to improve – among them was Heritage Insurance.
In 2013, Heritage made a deal with Citizens to take over 60,000 policies as part of the takeout plan designed to reduce the policy load on the state’s last-resort insurer. The deal raised some controversy over the large payout to Heritage for taking over the policies and the speed with which the deal was pushed through. This takeout involved many insurance companies, often new ones, and the insured could choose whether or not to move to one of the new insurance companies.
Heritage writes only property & casualty policies, including several types of homeowner’s insurance and commercial residential policies. The company headquarters is in Clearwater, Florida, and they write policies across the state. Policies are sold through a network of independent agents.
The focus of the Heritage Insurance lineup is homeowner’s, and they write several forms designed to cover multiple types of dwellings.
Homeowner’s Insurance (HO3)
Heritage writes standard HO3 homeowner’s insurance package policies, designed for attached or detached single-family homes. These policies coverage replacement cost for the home itself, personal property insurance, and personal liability coverage. Options available include:
- Replacement cost coverage for personal property
- High-value item riders for jewelry, art, and more
- Dog Liability
- Identity Theft Coverage
- Personal Injury Protection
Condominium Insurance (HO6)
Heritage writes policies for condo owners that are designed with the specific needs of condos in mind. This coverage includes:
- Personal liability
- Personal property with available replacement cost coverage
- Coverage for permanently attached parts of the structure from the walls in
- Loss assessment coverage
- Options to add dog liability identity theft, and more
Dwelling Fire (DP3)
Heritage writes DP3 policies to cover homes that are not owner-occupied such as rental houses, duplexes, and townhouses. These policies cover the structure and liability first and foremost, with added coverage for landlords that include loss of rent. Because these are for non-owner-occupied homes, they have limited personal property coverage.
Heritage writes policies to cover a variety of multiple-dwelling residences, including:
- Apartment complexes
- Retirement and assisted living homes
- Homeowner’s Associations
- Condo Owner’s Associations
This coverage is designed for the specific needs of multi-unit buildings, including structure coverage and liability.
Heritage Insurance does not provide the option for online quoting, although there is an online form that allows you to request a quote, but it does not return instant results – rather you will be contacted via phone or email with the quote information.
Quotes are also available by contacting an agent directly. This makes it more difficult to compare the rates to other insurance companies, but is not uncommon for property & casualty insurers of this size.
Heritage is a small insurer with a somewhat specific market, so they are unlikely to compete well with large insurance companies. They may, however, be competitive with similar insurance companies – small, Florida-based companies.
Since they write only property insurance, there is no option to obtain multi-policy discounts with Heritage, something that is likely to make their premiums appear a little higher in price. Additionally, they are sold through agents, which means commissions can raise prices as well.
Heritage customers can report claims by calling a 24-hour toll-free claims reporting line, 1-855-415-7120, where a customer service representative will take the claim information over the phone and get the claim started.
Heritage also offers the Platinum Preferred Savings Program, a free membership program that comes with several perks, including:
- 10% off the deductible in a claim
- 24/7 Concierge service
- A 3-year warranty on all work performed by the Contracted Alliance Network
- No upfront deductible payments
There is little information on the claims process available, other than what is given regarding the Platinum program procedures.
As a very new insurance company, Heritage has not had much time to build a reputation, and there is not a large amount of feedback available from customers in general.
Although the company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, the currently hold an A+ rating on the site. There have been a total of 28 complaints in the last three years, eight of which have been closed in the past 12 months.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation offers a company complaints database that compiles the number of complaints against insurance companies on a yearly basis. The most recent data available is the complaints listed in the fourth quarter of 2016. During this time, Heritage had 67 complaints in total, a ratio of 1:3555. That means that there was one complaint for every 3555 policies in force that year.
In spite of the concern over the Citizens takeout policy transfer mentioned earlier in this review, there doesn’t seem to be much of concern when it comes to the company’s reputation.
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Heritage Insurance is a very new company, but so far seems to be holding a relatively good reputation in the Florida market. They are likely to be worth investigating for anyone who is part of the Citizens takeout or for anyone who has had trouble finding coverage with national-level insurers.
As a local insurer, they are unlikely to provide rates that can compete with bigger companies, especially because they have no multi-policy discounts to offer, but for those who are considering the smaller, local insurance company market, Heritage is worth a look.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.