Heritage Home Insurance Review: Florida-Based Insurer Sells Basic Policies With Below-Standard Customer Service

Heritage Property & Casualty Co. is one of the biggest home insurers in Florida, but its policies do nothing to stand out.

Heritage

Editor's Rating

Heritage is one of the biggest home insurers in Florida, but its policies do nothing to stand out.

Heritage Property and Casualty Co. offers conventional home insurance policies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Heritage policies don't stand out from the competition. The company also doesn't have an online quote tool, so you'll have to talk to an agent to get prices. However, it’s one of the largest home insurers in Florida, so if you live there, you should get a quote to see if you can get a good deal.

Good for
  • Florida homeowners who want to comparison-shop with one of the state's major insurers
  • Those aged 55 or older who can take advantage of the senior or retiree discount
Bad for
  • Shoppers who want a quick quote, given the lack of an online quote tool
  • Homeowners looking for a policy that covers events beyond standard dwelling, personal property and liability coverages
  • Those with home replacement values above $750,000

Heritage Home Insurance: Our thoughts

Heritage offers home insurance in the southeastern United States, but its policies have almost no exceptional features. You can get all the standard home insurance coverage and protection for some risks to small farms. However, you can find most of the same coverage with most other insurance companies. Given its below-average customer service reputation, there is little reason to recommend Heritage Property and Casualty.

Bottom Line: Other home insurance companies offer all the features Heritage has, with better customer service and the option to get quotes online. However, it's still a good idea to get a quote from a Heritage agent because the company is one of the largest in Florida. Shoppers in other states should start their home insurance search elsewhere.

Heritage policy coverage and discounts

Heritage offers basic coverages you'll see with most HO-3 home insurance policies. But it doesn't have much in the way of additional features. Heritage also has few discounts, so there aren't many opportunities for additional savings.

The basic Heritage home insurance policy, called a Preferred HO-3 Policy, offers fairly standard features, including dwelling, personal property and liability coverages.

Coverage feature
Coverage details
Dwelling coverage (Coverage A)Pays for damage to the structure of your home in the event of a covered peril. Coverage includes replacement cost, but you can only get between $125,000 to $750,000 of coverage. You can get approval for higher-value homes upon request.
Other structuresCovers other structures on your property outside your primary dwelling like barns, sheds or patios. Coverage limits range from zero to 70% of Coverage A.
Personal belongingsCovers damage to or theft of the contents of your home. Your payouts for damaged items will factor in wear and tear. Total coverage will be limited to between 25% and 75% of your dwelling coverage. High-value items, like jewelry or business property, have separate limits.
Additional living expenses (ALE)Also called loss of use, this covers extra expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable. This means costs such as the price of a hotel room. The limit is 10% of your dwelling coverage.
Personal liabilityCovers you and your family from the costs of lawsuits for injuries or property damage to others. Customers can choose limits of $100,000, $250,000, $300,000 or $500,000.
Medical paymentsCovers medical costs if guests are injured on your property, regardless of who is at fault. Customers can choose limits of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000.

Heritage customers can get more than just the Preferred Policy's coverage with either a Pillar or Pillar Plus policy. For an additional cost, you can upgrade coverage for unique events, like identity theft, and increase limits for standard features. However, these endorsements are fairly typical in the home insurance market, and shoppers can get similar coverage elsewhere.

Feature
Preferred Policy
Pillar policy
Pillar Plus policy
Personal property replacement cost coverageNot included50% of Coverage A75% of Coverage A
Water backup and sump overflowNot included$5,000 per occurrence$5,000 per occurrence
Loss of use extendedNot includedIncludedIncluded
Identity theft coverageNot includedIncludedIncluded
Service line coverageNot includedIncludedIncluded
Coverage for high-value itemsLowest coverage levelsIncreased limits for some itemsHighest available limits
CostStandard policy costApproximately 15% more than a Preferred PolicyApproximately 20% more than a Preferred Policy

Heritage does offer one unique standalone coverage feature: its mini-farm endorsement. This feature will cover incidental farming operations (i.e., not working farms) on the covered property. You can only farm 20 acres or less and have annual gross receipts of less than $5,000. However, homeowners with small farming operations should look into Heritage as a way to cover this property.

Heritage homeowners insurance discounts

Heritage only offers a few home insurance discounts. The discounts reward safety, so homeowners who live in a secured community and install protective devices should take advantage. But the company doesn't offer additional discounts for claims-free histories or bundling auto and home insurance policies.

Heritage home insurance discounts:

  • Secured community or building: Receive a discount if your building or community has 24-hour security protection, manned gates or passkey gates.
  • Protective devices: Receive a discount for fire and burglar alarms—both local and central systems—and home sprinkler systems.
  • Senior or retiree: Receive a discount if a named insured is 55 or older.

As is standard in almost all home insurance policies, Heritage will lower your rates if you have a newer home or one built with stronger materials, like masonry veneer walls. The effect of all these discounts on your final rate will vary depending on multiple factors.

Heritage Insurance lacks a quote comparison tool

Heritage does not have an online quote tool, and rates are not available on state insurance regulator websites. That means shoppers interested in a Heritage home insurance policy will have to request a quote online or by phone and wait to hear back from an independent insurance agent. For that reason, it's hard to quickly compare the company's rates when shopping.

Considering Heritage is the fifth-largest Florida home insurance company, Florida homeowners should request a quote early in the shopping process. That way, you can later compare rates from Heritage Insurance to other insurers.

Heritage customer service reviews and financial strength ratings

Heritage does a large part of its business in Florida, but it has below-average customer service in the state. It ranks 14th of the largest 23 home insurance companies in Florida in terms of how many complaints it gets relative to its size.

Those complaint numbers are better than some large home insurance companies in Florida, like Universal Property and Citizens Property. But the numbers are poor compared to top performers like Chubb, USAA and AIG or larger companies like State Farm and Federated National.

Company
Market share
Complaint index
Chubb2.1%0.04
USAA4.2%0.07
AIG1.1%0.08
State Farm6.6%0.44
Federated National4.9%0.84
Heritage4.5%1.13
Universal Property8.9%1.26
Citizens Property4.9%2.65

A sample of the biggest home insurance companies in Florida and those with the best customer complaint ratios. Heritage Insurance has a customer complaint ratio of 1.13, higher than the state median of 1.0 and indicating poorer than average customer service.

Heritage Property and Casualty Co. got an "A" financial stability rating from Demotech, a credit agency focused on regional insurers. That indicates an exceptional ability to pay its claims regardless of economic conditions. The company did not receive an A.M. Best rating.

Heritage Insurance Co. information and claims process

Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co., which was founded in 2012, is owned by Heritage Insurance Holdings, a publicly traded company headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Heritage Insurance Holdings also owns Zephyr Insurance Co., which writes windstorm-hurricane policies in Hawaii, and Narragansett Bay Insurance Co., which covers homes in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Heritage Property & Casualty has a 24/7 claims department which you can reach at 855-415-7120. However, you cannot file a claim online, adding some inconvenience to the Heritage Insurance claims process.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author's opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.