3.5 / 5

Openly Homeowners Insurance Review

Openly's low monthly premiums and customizable policies may be good for some, but the lack of tools and availability make them less accessible.

Haley Sprankle

By

Haley Sprankle

Haley Sprankle

Reviews Editor

Haley Sprankle is a reviews editor at Policygenius. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Wirecutter, and other outlets.

Published September 27, 2021|6 min read

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Openly

OVERALL

3.5

THE GOOD

    Low premiums

    Live chat available

    Customizable coverage

THE BAD

    Not widely available

    Not very tech savvy

    Minimal discounts

THE BOTTOM LINE

Openly is more affordable than many other homeowners insurance carriers, and they have lots of unique endorsement options. But there are few discounts available and the service offerings aren’t as technologically savvy as they claim.

Price

Average annual premium cost for a medium-sized home.

5.5

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.5

Third party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

7.0

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique homeowners insurance product tiers and availability of certain coverage endorsements.

9.0

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, and claims ratings.

5.9

The Bottom Line

Founded in 2017, Openly is a relative newcomer on the insurance scene that markets itself as a tech-driven company. While they seemingly seek to disrupt the industry with their a la carte coverage options and technology, we ultimately found the tech to be underwhelming. With no online payments, no phone application, and no instant quote tool, the services just aren’t as accessible or technologically advanced as you may find elsewhere. However, if you’re looking to pay less and have more options to protect your home, Openly is a solid option with their lower-than-average premiums.

The Details

The Good

Low monthly premiums. The average monthly premium ($1,125) is about 20% lower than those of most other homeowners insurance carriers.

Live chat available. The website features a live chat function that is quick and effective for curious customers in need of answers. 

Customizable coverage. Your coverage is customizable with plenty of unique endorsements options like personal property replacement and water backup coverage.

The Bad

Not widely available. Openly is only available in 12 states, but plans to expand into 10 more states in the near future.

Not very tech savvy. Openly doesn’t have an instant quote tool or app for your phone, making policy management and the claims process less accessible and navigable.

Minimal discounts. You can only get a multi-policy discount through Openly, unlike other carriers who tend to offer loyalty or claims-free discounts.

The Breakdown

Price

Average annual premium cost for a medium-sized home.

5.5

Insurance prices vary depending on factors such as your credit score, the age of your home, or even where you live. Openly is a premium insurance carrier, with the option to add specific a la carte coverage to your plan. 

That being said, Openly offers a pretty low average monthly premium of $1,125 (compared to the industry average of $1,713). This lower price is likely to encourage coverage customization with different, optional add-ons. Regardless, we still think this is a great option for customers looking for affordable homeowners insurance.

Discounts

Unfortunately, Openly doesn’t offer any discounts of note other than a fairly standard multi-policy discount.

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.5

CEO Ty Harris founded Openly in Boston, Massachusetts in 2017. Openly is backed by Rock Ridge Insurance Company, a part of the Clear Blue Insurance Group. This means that all of Openly’s financial obligations would be fulfilled by Rock Ridge. Neither Openly nor its backing companies have been around for that long. While Clear Blue is a tad older than Openly, they were only founded two years before that in 2015.

Meanwhile, Crawford & Company, which handles the claims for Openly, was founded in 1941, bringing 80 years of experience to the table. That gives the collective that makes up Openly a median age of 30 years—not as seasoned as your 100-year-old Amicas or your Farmers, but still offering some solid expertise.

  • Year founded: 2017

  • Standard & Poor's rating: N/A

  • Moody's rating: N/A

  • A.M. Best rating: A-

A.M. Best, a reliable credit rating firm used to gauge an insurance firm’s financial health, rates Rock Ridge Insurance Group (which backs Openly) an A-. This means, after analyzing the company’s assets, they believe Rock Ridge is likely to fulfil their financial obligation to you when a claim is filed.

Third party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

7.0

We don’t have much information on customers’ experiences with Openly. Because all companies involved (Openly, Rock Ridge, and Clear Blue) are fairly new on the scene, we plan to keep an eye on this for updates in the future.

Here are the ratings we got so far:

  • BBB: A+

  • Consumers Advocate: N/A

  • Consumer Affairs: N/A

  • J.D. Power: N/A

  • Trustpilot: N/A

  • NAIC complaint index: 0

The Better Business Bureau ranks and accredits companies based on how they work with customers. This includes everything from how they communicate with customers directly to how they market themselves. The BBB also leaves space for customers to rate and respond to the company directly. Openly is not yet accredited by the BBB, but they've still received an A+ rating.

Consumers Advocate, a third party reviews site, hasn’t rated Openly yet.

​​Similarly, Consumer Affairs allows registered consumers to directly rate a company. Nobody has rated Openly yet.

J.D. Power doles out ratings based on a myriad of factors from actual policy options to how companies bill their customers. They’ve yet to rate Openly.  

Trustpilot is another site that allows customers to rate companies. They haven’t rated Openly, or any of their backers.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners rates companies based on the number of complaints they receive. A score of zero means they haven’t received complaints about the company. Openly currently has a score of zero, which means no complaints have been counted.

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique homeowners insurance product tiers and availability of certain coverage endorsements.

9.0

Openly’s base coverage options are fairly standard. They include dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical. Openly will also cover the cost of your roof if there’s damage, but your standard deductible for that is about $2,500, so that must be met for any of the above coverages.  

Openly also has a series of endorsements you can add to your policy (hello, customization!). 

Those include:

  • Guaranteed replacement. This add-on ensures your home will be restored to its original state, regardless of whether or not the cost is more than your dwelling coverage limit.

  • Equipment breakdown. This coverage protects any of your home appliances, like an A.C. unit or a refrigerator, and covers the cost to replace or repair them in the case of a claim. 

  • Computers. If your computer is damaged, this endorsement will help cover the cost of a replacement or repair.

  • Service line. This covers the cost of any damages to underground features of your home, like cable lines and pipes.

  • All risk personal. With this extra added on to your policy, your personal items would be covered, regardless of what caused their loss or damage.

  • Personal property replacement. If your property is stolen or damaged, you will be able to replace what’s been lost, be it jewelry, furniture, or otherwise.

  • Extended replacement. This adjusts your dwelling coverage to a higher limit to ensure a more robust repair or replacement of your home. 

  • Water backup coverage. If your pipes manage to overflow into your home and cause damage, this type of coverage would help cover any of the costs associated.

Note: The information above represents potential policy options and may not be available for every applicant. Speak to a licensed expert for a personalized look at your coverage options.

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, and claims ratings.

5.9

State availability

Openly is only available in 12 states at the moment, but they’re working on expanding to 10 more in the future. Those states already available include: Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

Digital tools

While they market themselves as a very tech-savvy company, Openly doesn’t have too many digital tools. There’s no app for your phone and no instant quote tool.

However, they do feature a live chat tool which is very helpful if you’re looking for quick, thoughtful answers. When we used the tool, someone got back to us quickly, kindly, and directed us to all the information we needed.

The application

Unfortunately, there is no online application for Openly insurance. To get a quote, you fill out a form to connect with an agent. From there, you’ll get an email from Openly with the agent copied in, and that agent will likely contact you via phone to get more information. All final insurance sales are made through the agents.

Again, we find it strange that a tech-driven company doesn’t have an instant application tool readily available online. We hope to see more features and tools like that in the future of the company, but for now we definitely see this as a cumbersome downside. There’s a love of old school back-and-forth for a company that prides itself on their tech.

Ease of claims

Openly has 24/7 online claims available to their clients via phone and online.

While Openly does their own underwriting, they’re backed by Rock Ridge Insurance and outsource their claims to Crawford & Company.

Additional claims service

A representative from the company told us that they don’t have a catastrophe claims center or a repairs company at the moment. However, they do have a cash-out option, which gives you the choice to get your funds up front and rebuild or replace later.

Payment methods

There are three options to make payments with Openly—by phone (credit card or electronic funds transfers), email (credit card or electronic funds transfers with the appropriate forms), and snail mail (cash or check). A representative from the company said that they don’t have online payments available at this time, but they plan to in the future.