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FAQ

About Branch

Who is Branch?

Hey there, we're Branch. We may be a new company, but most of us have been working in Insurance at some of the county's biggest insurance companies for our whole careers. We started Branch together because we knew there were so many ways to make insurance better - easier to buy, easier to save, and overall, more delightful.

Who is General Security National Insurance Company?

Typical insurance company have agents who sell insurance on behalf of the insurance company. In the case of Branch, we're technically an agent selling insurance on behalf of General Security National Insurance Company (GSNIC for short) an A+ Financial Strength rated owned by SCOR reinsurance - one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world.

What is reinsurance and why do you need to work with a reinsurance company?

In the simplest possible terms, reinsurance companies offer insurance for insurance companies. Imagine you started a new insurance company and got your first customer who paid $200/month for their home and auto insurance. Now, imagine an unfortunate scenario where the next day that custome's home was completely destroyed. So, the customer files a claim. You’re ready to pay, but all you’ve got is that $200 in the bank. That’s where our partnership with SCOR comes in. By joining forces with SCOR, we ensure that when customers have a claim, we have access to the funds needed to cover them. So, customers never need to worry that we won’t be around to pay their claim. If you think about it, relationships like the one we have with SCOR are what allow new and innovative types of companies to come in and bring a fresh perspective to insurance.

Is Branch an insurance company or an insurance agency?

Branch is technically an insurance agency. When you buy insurance from Branch, you're buying insurance from General Security National Insurance Company (GSNIC), an A+ Financial Strength rated insurance carrier owned by SCOR reinsurance - one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world.

How long has Branch been doing business?

Branch was founded in 2017 by Steve Lekas and Joe Emison. Steve spent the majority of his career at Allstate, helping to grow the Esurance business while Joe starting a number of technology companies. The two joined forces to start Branch, securing investment from Greycroft (the team behind Keeps, Venmo, Acorns, and Boxed) and Rise of the Rest (an investment company owned by Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken, Rocket, and the Cleveland Cavaliers).

Where is Branch located?

Branch's corporate headquarters is physically located in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus Ohio - strategically located between Mission Coffee Company and Roaming Goat Coffee.

How many employees does Branch have?

While Branch is a rapidly growing company, we maintain a commitment to operating as lean and efficiently as possible in order to deliver more affordable insurance. To that end, our team started with just 2 employees (Founders Steve and Joe) and has been steadily growing ever since. By the end of 2019, the Branch team will be about 25 full-time employees. By the end of 2020, the team is expected to be about 50 full time employees. In addition to our full-time staff, Branch works with a number of best-in-class partners in order to deliver high-quality service.

What products does Branch sell?

Branch is the first company built to bundle Home & Auto Insurance. Beyond selling bundled Home & Auto, we also sell bundled Renter's & Auto, Home-only, Auto-only and Umbrella insurance which can be attached to an Auto policy.

Why should I choose Branch for auto and home?

1. Branch makes bundling your Home & Auto easier than ever. Everyone knows that bundling your Home & Auto insurance can save you money, but others make it really hard to do. With Branch, you can bundle your Home & Auto with just your name and address. It can take as little as 30 seconds. That means savings made easy.

2. Beyond helping you save money by bundling, Branch will be offering a variety of ways to help lower your insurance costs, like:

- My Community, which will offer customers in participating states a $25 Amazon Gift Cards for every friend they refer to Branch and 1% off their insurance for every friend who joins

- Vouch for Me, which will give customers in participating states the ability to lower their insurance payments by up to 5% when they get another Branch customer to vouch that they won't commit fraud

-CommunityDrive, which will give customers in participating states the opportunity to compete with each other in safe driving contests in exchange for rewards

3. When you become a Branch customer, you join a community helping to protect those who need it most. A portion of all payments go to fund SafetyNest, our program to offer aid to those who have experienced an accident or tragedy because they are uninsured or underinsured.

Bundling

What is Bundling?

The dictionary defines bundle as "a group of things fastened together for convenient handling." And bundling, combining home and auto insurance into one policy, is the definition of convenient! Well, not literally. That's "suited to personal comfort or to easy performance." In any case, bundling is highly recommended because it saves you money.

Do I have to bundle?

Technically, no. You could just buy a home or auto policy from Branch separately. But bundling saves you money. And we make it easier than ever to bundle!

Home Insurance

What kinds of home does Branch cover?

The kind of homes where the heart is. Also: apartments and single-family homes. Despite our name, Branch does not cover tree houses.

Who counts as a resident in a home policy?

Your spouse or civil partner, your children, or anyone who resides in your household on a permanent basis. People who may be temporarily away from home or traveling (i.e., kids going to college) should be included. And while pets are like family, but they shouldn't be included on your insurance.

Why do I need incremental coverage?

Incremental coverage is optional and provides coverage above replacement cost – it's essentially a cushion in the event that the cost of rebuilding your home exceeds the total loss coverage listed as your limit. It's a little peace of mind in case costs exceed estimates.

Why do I need a wind/hail deductible?

A wind/hail deductible is only required in certain areas in certain states. In Ohio, for example, there's no location anywhere in the state that has a minimum amount of wind/hail coverage required. Go, Buckeyes!

A wind/hail deductible is common for people who live in areas that experience frequent severe weather, like Tornado Alley [https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/extreme-events/us-tornado-climatology/tornado-alley]. A wind/hail deductible is higher than the general deductible amount. The benefit of this deductible is a decrease in your overall premium, but how much of a decrease is dependent on a variety of factors specific to you.

Worth noting: Wind/hail deductible is separate from a typical "all other peril" deductible – you'll only be required to pay it in the event of loss caused by a wind or hail storm.

What are the different types of roofs and why does my roof matter?

There are asphalt shingles, clay tile, concrete tile, wood, slate, metal, and more. Certain materials are more resistant to wind and hail damage, and some are also resistant to rot and insect damage. Some are even fire-resistant. Now, depending on where you live, a particular material might be better for your home insurance rates. The less susceptible to damage your roof is, the better.

What is renter's insurance?

Renter's insurance is a coverage that protects your belongings in the event of theft or damage to your belongings. It also provides some protection for you in the event that someone gets injured while in your apartment. It's strongly recommended, especially when your neighbors let just anyone into the building or your roommate has decided to use the dishes to practice juggling.

Car Insurance

What is the right auto deductible for me?

Check your current policy's deductible limits! If you don't have one or don't know, consider: how much do you feel comfortable paying out of pocket to fix your car in the event of an accident?

What is under/uninsured motorist property damage?

Under/uninsured motorist property damage is damage caused by a motorist who lacks adequate insurance to cover the cost of repairs or replacement on your vehicle.

It's not cute! But Branch is working on reducing the number of under/uninsured motorists out there. Read about it here.

Why do I need under/uninsured motorist property damage protection?

Under/uninsured motorist property damage is damage caused by a motorist who lacks adequate insurance to cover the cost of repairs or replacement on your vehicle.

In a perfect world, nobody would be uninsured or underinsured. See how Branch is helping here."

What is BI and PD?

BI is insurance shorthand for "bodily injury." PD is short for "property damage." These often appear together when estimating rates for covering costs associated with injuring a person or their property.

What is the right BI/PD limit for me?

BI and PD are acronyms for Body Injury and Property Damage. The best estimate for your BI/PD limit will be in your current policy and what limits you're currently insured at. The best way to determine what the right BI/PD limit for you is whether you feel comfortable with your current limits in the event that you're found liable in an accident or cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else. If not, now's a great time to adjust them!

Who can I add to my auto insurance policy?

Anyone who has access to operate your vehicles on a regular basis. Roommates, spouses, children – anyone who regularly asks "Hey can I borrow the car?" and who you, begrudgingly, hand the keys to.

Where do I find my VIN number?

It's right before the Diesel number. (Get it? Vin Diesel?) Your VIN can be found at the bottom left corner of your front windshield (driver's side interior dash) or on your vehicle's registration card.

Personal Information

How does Branch know my current insurance policy?

It's actually pretty simple! Branch uses a tool called Coverage Verifier provided by our partner, Verisk to securely access your auto policy information. This allows our system to show you your policy within seconds.

We keep your policy information in our system securely for 60 days so you can revisit your price at your leisure without having to input your information over and over again. After 60 days, we wipe your data from our system.

How does Branch know about my family?

Because Branch is registered with your state, we can securely access databases like consumer reporting agencies and the DMV to retrieve your personal information. We don't do anything with your information other than use it to build an insurance policy for you.

How does Branch know my car information?

If your car is registered through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies like Branch can access that information using the DMV's secure system. Don't worry, we don't do anything with your car information other than use it to give you a price for auto insurance and service your policy.

How does Branch know my home information?

If we told you, it wouldn't be a secret ;) Lucky for you, we're bad with secrets: Our system automatically compiles publicly available data based on your address, like when it was built and how many square feet it has. It does not tell us, however, whether a room has "a nice ambiance."

Umbrella Coverage

What is Umbrella coverage?

Umbrella coverage is a term for excess liability insurance. This type of insurance covers a much higher limit, in excess of the underlying liability limit offered by your base policy, and goes above and beyond claims directly relating to your home and auto. The main purpose of an umbrella policy is to protect your liability exposure in the event that you're held financially liable in unforeseen, atypical scenarios.

Claims

How do you settle claims?

To settle claims, Branch partners with York Insurance Services, a leader in handling insurance claims. Branch and York make it super simple to file a claim. First, you'll submit your claim through either the Branch website or mobile app. Then, a Branch associate will contact you to discuss next steps. It's that simple. Our team will be available throughout the process to field any questions and update you on the status of your claim.

Community

What does it mean to be powered by community?

At Branch we believe deeply in the power of community to improve insurance. Insurance began to spread in the United States when communities of farmers throughout the Midwest banded together to protect one another from disasters that could ruin themselves financially. As the community got bigger, its power to protect more and more became stronger. At Branch, our goal is recapture the spirit of community and partnership. That's why we're working to introduce features like

- My Community, which will offer customers in participating states $25 Amazon Gift Cards for every friend they refer to Branch and 1% off their insurance for every friend who joins

- Vouch for Me, which gives customers in participating states the ability to lower their insurance payments by up to 5% when they get another Branch customer to vouch that they won't commit fraud

- SafetyNest which dedicates a portion of all insurance payments to help those who need it most

What is SafetyNest?

SafetyNest is a first-of-its-kind program aimed at helping those who don’t have enough insurance when they need it most. When you become a Branch customer, we allocate a small portion of your payments to fund SafetyNest, a non-for profit managed by Branch.

As individuals in the states in which we operate suffer from either an accident or tragedy and don't have the right level of insurance to pay for the damage, they can apply for assistance through SafetyNest.

Where is the SafetyNest money coming from?

SafetyNest is funded entirely through payments made by customers to Branch. We allocate a portion of al payments to fund those who need help. As our community grows, the amount of money we allocate to SafetyNest grows with it, which means we can help more people.

How do I apply for SafetyNest?

Applying is simple. Simply visit https://safetynest.typeform.com/to/CmwZ8G and apply in minutes.

Contact Us
833 4BRANCH(833-427-2624)
info@ourbranch.com
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