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This Hungry Hippo Wants You Covered

Hippo Enterprises Inc. is a "startup" that's been around for six years, supplying established insurers with data for their underwriting. Hippo is one of several "insuretech" firms, relying on data collection on the underwriting side and smart technology to assist insureds in risk mitigation.

Now, Hippo is going public with the help of a special-purpose acquisition company and wants to compete with its customers by selling its own insurance. Last year, it bought an existing insurance company, Spinnaker, and is building on that base.

Insurers will continue to use Big Data to save on the underwriting side and the claims side. Hippo isn't just splashing around--it wants in on the savings for itself. 

To size up risk in homes, Hippo’s online underwriting technology uses aerial imagery to assess roof conditions and uses building permits to provide details of home features, for instance. The firm seeks to distinguish itself by stressing proactive insurance services that can help homeowners avoid claims, such as free water-sensor devices to detect leaks and discounted burglar-alarm systems.