What are the various type of homeowner residential insurance policies?

1. HO-1 — basic form

A basic form homeowners policy will generally safeguard against 10 specific named perils:

  • Fire or smoke
  • Explosions
  • Lightning
  • Hail and windstorms
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from vehicles
  • Damage from aircraft
  • Riots and civil commotion
  • Volcanic eruption

Coverage can be secured for the belongings inside your home in addition to the structure itself, but the items you want coverage for generally must be specified when you purchase the policy. HO-1 policies are not common anymore, because other similarly priced policies often offer more.

2. HO-2 — broad form

A broad form policy generally covers all the perils in an HO-1 policy, plus:

  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Freezing of household systems like AC or heating
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of pipes and other household systems
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current

The HO-2 typically covers your home’s structure, as well as belongings and sometimes even personal liability as well. Because the HO-2 is a “named peril” policy, any damage caused by events other than those listed on your policy will generally be excluded from coverage.

3. HO-3 — special form

The HO-3, or “special form,” policy is the most common type of homeowners insurance, namely because of its broad range of coverage and general affordability.  An HO-3 generally doesn’t limit coverage only to named perils, so it often can provide more financial protection than an HO-2. That means that a typical HO-3 form can protect you against any and all perils unless specifically excluded.  The HO-3 policy typically insures the home and attached structures (like a garage or deck), as well as belongings and personal liability.

Exclusions are specific to each policy, so it’s always wise to review with someone knowledgeable. Earthquakes and flooding are generally excluded from coverage on most HO-3 policies.

4. HO-4 — tenant’s form

This policy type is specifically for renters, since it covers only belongings and personal liability — not the building structure. Belongings are typically covered against the same perils as an HO-2 broad form homeowners insurance policy.

An HO-4 policy, more commonly known as renters insurance, will also usually cover additional living expenses should you need to stay elsewhere temporarily while your apartment is getting fixed up.

5. HO-5 — comprehensive form

A comprehensive form policy is comprehensive.  It covers more perils than other types of policies. Just like a HO-3 form, a HO-5 is an open-peril policy form that can safeguard you against all perils unless your policy specifically excludes them in writing.

When it comes to personal belongings, a HO-5 typically covers more perils than your average HO-3 policy, and your personal liability is covered up to the limits you choose. Even though an HO-5 policy is typically more expensive than a HO-3, it’s the broadest type of homeowners insurance coverage you can get.

6. HO-6 — condo form

This type of policy is designed specifically for condo owners and financially protects belongings and personal liability. An HO-6 policy, also known as condo insurance, also typically extends to the walls, floors, and ceiling of the unit too.

7. HO-7 — mobile home form

The mobile home form is essentially the same as an HO-3, but is designed specifically for mobile or manufactured homes.

8. HO-8 — older home form

A HO-8 policy is designed to address specific concerns with coverage for older homes. The coverage details of a HO-8 are basically the same as a HO-3, but with special adaptations to better suit older homes. Historic homes and registered landmarks usually carry this type of policy.

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