Hartford Insurance Review – Good Enough for Babe Ruth and Abraham Lincoln
Some insurance companies use advertising gimmicks and funny commercials to lure customers. The Hartford Insurance has a simpler way to entice potential customers: their age. Its home and auto insurance policies can be bought by people of all ages, but The Hartford targets consumers 50 and older.
- What is The Hartford Insurance?
- How does The Hartford work?
- Umbrella insurance
- The bottom line
What is The Hartford Insurance?
Simply called The Hartford, its insurance products are aimed at people 50 and older, primarily through a partnership with AARP. It is the only nationally endorsed direct auto and home insurance program for the retirement group’s nearly 37 million members.
People who aren’t AARP members can buy auto and home insurance through independent insurance agents. The company also sells employee benefits, business insurance, and mutual funds.
The Hartford was founded in 1810. It is headquartered in, of course, Hartford, Conn. Three fun facts about The Hartford:
- It provided insurance for the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned.
- Babe Ruth bought a policy from The Hartford in 1920 to protect against disability.
- The Hartford bonded the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, which opened in 1937.
How does The Hartford work?
Requesting a quote from The Hartford for an insurance policy is easy. On its home page, you enter your Zip code and click on what type of insurance you’re interested in, home, renters, or auto insurance. You then click the green “Start Quote” button in the box near the top of the screen.
That will take you to a page asking for some basic information about you, depending on the type of insurance you want to buy. It may ask for such information as your:
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Type of vehicle
- If you own your home or rent
- Driver information
- Property details
- Home insurance history
When done, you’ll either be given an online quote immediately or will be emailed a quote for a policy. You can then choose if you want to purchase it.
A phone number is listed at the top of each page to call for help. The online form can be saved with the information you’ve entered so far, and you can retrieve it later online to finish it.
How much does The Hartford cost?
Getting a price quote on your coverage options is free. But that probably isn’t your main question about how much The Hartford costs.
Auto insurance prices
The AARP auto insurance program prices vary based on many factors. Along with your age, which must be at least 50 for an auto insurance policy from The Hartford, factors that can affect the price of an auto policy include:
- Where you live
- Marital status
- Credit score
- Car’s year, make, and model
- Vehicle use
- Claims and insurance history
- Driving record
Car insurance prices also depend on how much coverage you need and want, and what types of coverage you buy. Living in one state may require having more insurance than in another one.
There isn’t one-size-fits-all car insurance. Your needs are unique to you, and many insurers calculate rates differently.
As a point of reference, The Hartford says that drivers in the United States spend an average of $1,251 per year on auto insurance, putting the monthly cost at $104. The average rate is based on full coverage for a drive under 65 who has more than six years of driving experience and a clean record.
Home insurance prices
Homeowners' insurance rates can also vary widely and are based on several factors. They can include:
- Home’s location
- Type of construction
- Home’s condition and age
- Claim history
- Replacement cost of home
- If you own a dog and what type of dog it is
- Wood-burning stove in the home
- Home-based business
- Recently remodeled
- Home liability limits
- Marital status
- Swimming pool
- Roof condition
- Nearest fire department
- Credit history
The average annual homeowners' insurance premium is around $1,200, though costs can vary widely from state to state and even house to house, according to one estimate. A one-year policy can cost as little as $659 in Oregon to $1,967 in Louisiana.
The Hartford features
There are many popular and unique features that The Hartford offers. Here are some of them, broken down by auto and home insurance policies. Not every state allows every feature.
Auto insurance features
New car replacement
If you total your new car within the first 15 months or 15,000 miles after you buy it, whichever comes first, your auto insurance policy will help you replace it. The car will be replaced with a new vehicle of the same make, model and equipment. There will be no deduction for depreciation.
A benefit called RecoverCare provides up to $2,500 to pay for transportation, cooking, cleaning, and other help you may need if you’re injured in a car accident.
First accident forgiveness
Your rates won’t go up after your first accident, provided you had a clean record for the past five years.
If you have to file a claim for the loss of two of your insured vehicles, you’ll pay only one deductible. The higher deductible must be paid for the covered damages to the vehicles. This also applies to home and auto insurance if one event causes damage to both your home and vehicle.
Your collision deductible could drop to $0 each year in most states if you maintain a clean driving record.
$100 collision deductible reduction
If you choose a Hartford-authorized repair shop after a claim, your collision deductible may be reduced by $100, depending on if it’s available in your state.
Homeowners insurance features
The Hartford has two types of homeowners insurance packages. The basic one is called Home Advantage. The second one is called Home Advantage Plus, which doubles the identity fraud expense coverage to $50,000.
The Hartford’s Home Advantage Plus program also includes equipment breakdown coverage that helps pay to repair or replace appliances and electronics. It will pay up to 125% of your cost to replace covered equipment with environmentally friendly or efficient upgrades. The Home Advantage program doesn’t offer this service.
Here are some of the standard features of both programs, followed by some optional add-ons for both:
Save up to 5% on car insurance and 20% on renters, condo or home insurance by bundling policies from The Hartford.
If you and your spouse are retired or work less than 24 hours a week, you can get a credit on your home insurance premium.
‘New for old’ protection
Old possessions are replaced with new items, regardless of age or condition. This is usually known as contents replacement cost coverage.
After a $100 deductible, The Hartford pays up to $500 to replace your locks if a key is lost or stolen.
Disappearing property deductible
For every three years you don’t file a claim, your deductible falls by $50.
Extra casualty insurance
The Hartford’s personal injury liability coverage extends to pay for damages from a libel or slander claim. Standard liability coverage normally doesn’t.
Identity fraud reimbursement
Up to $25,000 is paid for your expenses in recovering after fraud or identity theft. These can include lost income and legal fees. The Home Advantage Plus program increases this limit to $50,000.
Some of the home insurance optional features that homeowners can buy for either policy include:
- Valuable items blanket coverage: Up to $10,000 per item, such as jewelry and silverware.
- Replacement plus coverage: Pays extra costs to rebuild a kitchen or bathroom with grab bars and other upgrades to make the home safer and easier to live in.
- Water overflow: Coverage for damage from backed-up water or sump pump overflow. Damage from flood or surface water isn’t covered.
- Assisted living: Extends contents, liability, and additional living expenses to a relative in an assisted living care facility.
- Zero deductible: Waives deductible up to $5,000 if a claim of $27,500 or more is made.
The Hartford also sells umbrella insurance for people with high assets that exceed the limits of their auto or homeowners insurance policies. It protects against certain liability claims and lawsuits if you don’t have enough coverage elsewhere.
For example, umbrella insurance can provide extra bodily injury liability coverage to cover another person’s medical bills. If someone is hurt on your property, this coverage protects you once your liability limit has been reached.
Who is The Hartford best for?
Age 50 and older
Anyone 50 and older who is a member of AARP will benefit the most from an insurance policy from The Hartford.
You don’t have to be an AARP member to buy an insurance policy from The Hartford, and you don’t have to be 50 or older. Policies don’t have to be bought through AARP and can be bought from independent insurance agents. But people who are at least 50 years old will likely benefit the most.
This doesn’t mean that The Hartford is the best insurer for everyone 50 and older. Everyone should shop for insurance coverage options and compare prices and terms.
Retirees get discounts from The Hartford if they or their spouse works less than 24 hours per week.
Who shouldn’t use The Hartford?
You file claims often
Insurance premiums can generally be kept low if you don’t file claims often. While insurance claims should be filed when needed, it’s worth weighing the amount you’ll get paid vs. your deductible and possible impact on future premiums.
The Hartford drops the auto collision deductible to $0 in most states if a clean driving record is maintained. It also won’t raise a policyholder’s rates after their first accident if they’ve had a clean driving record for the past five years.
For homeowners insurance customers who don’t file a claim in three years, the deductible falls by $50.
Under age 50
Customers who are at least 50 can benefit the most from an insurance policy through The Hartford. Younger people may want to shop elsewhere. They may also want to develop good driving habits and file few homeowners insurance claims while waiting to turn 50 and then shop at The Hartford.
Pros and cons
High customer satisfaction
The Hartford has received high customer satisfaction ratings from a number of organizations. A 2020 ranking by J.D. Power of auto insurance companies ranked The Hartford highest among mid-size auto insurance carriers when shopping for auto insurance. It received a score of 895 on a 1,000-point scale.
Other scores it received from J.D. Power in 2020 include:
- 896 in property claims satisfaction on homeowners insurance policies, ranking second behind Amica Mutual.
- 829 in U.S. auto insurance satisfaction study, ranking fourth in the Southwest.
In a measure of financial strength, The Hartford has a superior A+ financial rating from A.M. Best.
The Hartford sells many types of home and auto insurance. Along with basic car insurance and discounts for AARP members, it sells auto insurance for:
- Classic cars
- Commercial cars
- Golf carts
For homeowners, it sells two types of home insurance. It also sells insurance for condo owners, renters, and flood and umbrella insurance.
Unique and optional add-ons
The Hartford is creative in the types of homeowners insurance add-ons it offers, especially to customers 50 and older. Its home insurance add-ons include:
- $5,000 deductible is waived if a claim of $27,500 or more is made.
- Environmentally friendly materials or methods can be used to repair a home after a claim.
- Assisted living care coverage for a relative under contents and liability coverage.
- Lose the key to your house and The Hartford pays up to $500 to replace your locks, after a $100 deductible.
Some benefits don’t apply to young customers
Because The Hartford works with AARP and is targeted at consumers 50 and older, some of the benefits it offers in its insurance policies don’t apply to younger people.
Some things it offers you may not need until you’re retired anyway, so younger applicants may be better off shopping elsewhere first.
Filing claims could erase price benefits
As with many insurers, filing too many claims can lead to higher premiums somewhere down the road. One problem of doing this with a policy through The Hartford is that the price drops you can receive for not filing many claims could go away if you start filing some.
Homeowners insurance customers who don’t file a claim for three years will have their deductible drop by $50, which can be a benefit you can get used to enjoying if you haven’t filed a claim for years.
The Hartford also drops the auto collision deductible to $0 if a clean driving record is maintained, and it won’t raise rates after a first accident if the policyholder had a clean driving record for the past five years.
The Hartford vs. competitors
|Insurer||J.D. Power ratings||A.M. Best ratings||Multiple discounts|
The Hartford vs. Allstate
The Hartford ranks higher than Allstate in customer service, which may be all you need to know if you ever have to file a home insurance claim.
As for insurance options, Allstate meets The Hartford in some areas. Allstate also has accident forgiveness and won’t raise premiums after one accident, even if it’s your fault. If you total your car and it’s less than two years old, Allstate will give you a replacement instead of adjusting for the car’s lower value.
Allstate offers teen driver discounts, which is something The Hartford doesn’t do. However, The Hartford caters to older drivers, who can get plenty of benefits for being at least 50.
The Hartford vs. GEICO
GEICO is known for low rates and may be the cheapest insurance you’ll find, whether for your home or car.
Insurance from The Hartford may not be as low, but the perks that 50 and older customers get may make up for it. This is why it’s important for anyone, no matter their age, to shop for home and auto insurance with at least three insurers.
How much does insurance from The Hartford cost?
Like most insurance companies, The Hartford doesn’t post its rates online. Instead, you must fill out an online application with information about yourself, location, driving history, vehicle, and other information that’s used to set your rate.
The same goes for home insurance. You’ll be asked if you own or rent your home, what your home insurance history is, and other things to determine how much coverage you need and what it will cost.
You can also call an independent insurance agent or The Hartford to get a price quote.
How can I lower my premiums?
Once you get a price quote from The Hartford, there are many discounts it offers. The first is to be a member of AARP, which should get you an automatic 10% discount. After that, some discounts are one’s you’ll see at other insurers, and some are unique. They include discounts for:
- AARP Driver Safety Program graduate
- Multiple policies
- Home alarm installation
- Safe driving history
- Good credit score
- Credit on home insurance premium for retirees
- Home insurance falls $50 for every three years you don’t file a claim
Do I have to be 50 to be a customer?
No, The Hartford doesn’t require customers to be 50 or older. However, applicants in that age group, and more so for retirees, will get more discounts and benefits for their age.
Customers also don’t have to be a member of AARP, the organization for retired people. But AARP members get discounts from The Hartford that others don’t get.
The bottom line
The Hartford has been around since 1810 and insured Abraham Lincoln’s home. It’s likely to be around for many years to come.
For older Americans, meaning 50 and up, The Hartford offers discounts that are unique to that age group. It also offers insurance policy benefits that can help older customers much more than young ones, such as rebuilding a damaged kitchen or bathroom with upgrades that can make the rooms easier and safer for elderly people to use.
Retirees who may have more assets than their home or auto insurance provides, The Hartford sells umbrella insurance to meet that gap. This can be needed if you have a lot of investments, a healthy retirement fund, an expensive house, and other assets that could be lost in a lawsuit if someone was injured on your property or by your car.
When getting insurance quotes from The Hartford, be sure to shop for insurance at a few other companies so you can get the best rate. Though with all of the discounts and benefits for older policyholders, The Hartford may be all you need in an insurance company.