What are the different types of homeowners insurance policies?
Finding the right home insurance coverages starts with knowing what kind of policy form you need. A policy form represents the type of property insurance needed for a homeowner, condo owner, or renter. Here are the eight types of property insurance:
HO-1 (basic form)
HO-1 polices are the most basic type of home insurance, offering limited coverage, and not available in most states. Your home’s structure will be protected against eleven specified perils, such as fire, lightning, windstorms and hail, but you won’t have liability or personal property coverage. Many mortgage companies won’t accept HO-1 policies as proof of home insurance.
HO-2 (broad form)
The HO-2 policy covers all the common perils listed on a basic form, plus seven additional perils including falling objects, certain sudden or accidental damage, and the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. Broad form policies only cover “named” perils—if the peril isn’t explicitly stated on your policy then you won’t be covered. HO-2 policies will cover your personal property and, in some cases, personal liability.
HO-3 (special form)
The most common type of homeowners insurance is the HO-3 policy. HO-3 policies offer more expansive coverage than HO-2s, meaning that your home’s structure is safeguarded against all perils except for those specifically excluded (for example, earthquakes and floods) in your policy. Additionally, HO-3 insurance protects against damage to your belongings from named perils and provides personal liability coverage if you’re sued.
HO-4 (tenant’s form)
Also known as “renters insurance,” the HO-4 policy won’t cover the home’s structure. HO-4 insurance is designed for renters only, with coverage for loss of use (if the renter is unable to live in their rented house or apartment), personal property, and liability.
HO-5 (comprehensive form)
The HO-5 policy offers more protection than any other type of homeowners insurance. Personal property losses are repaid based on the replacement cost for the item, instead of the actual cash value. You’ll have higher coverage limits and less restrictions on perils. Learn about the difference between replacement cost vs. actual cash value.
HO-3 vs HO-5
Like HO-3s, the HO-5 policy covers damage to your home’s structure from perils that aren’t written into your policy as excluded. The difference lies in how your personal property is covered: The HO-3 policy won’t insure against damage to your belongings from a peril that isn’t explicitly listed on your home insurance policy. HO-5 insurance, conversely, will cover damage to your items from any peril that isn’t excluded on your policy. HO-5 policies are priced higher than HO-3s because the coverage is so broad.
HO-6 (condo form)
HO-6 insurance applies to condo owners. The amount of dwelling coverage needed on a HO-6 policy will depend on how much of your structure is covered by your condo/homeowners association.
HO-3 vs HO-6
Like HO-3s, HO-6 policies cover personal property, personal liability, and additional living expenses. Condo owners, however, aren’t always responsible for common areas outside of their unit, which are often covered by their homeowners association. The HO-6 policy caters to the condo owner, while HO-3 policies are designed to cover all areas of a property.
Learn how condo insurance works and what condo insurance covers.
HO-7 (mobile home form)
Sometimes referred to as the MHP (mobile home policy), the HO-7 policy protects mobile or manufactured homes.
HO-8 (modified coverage form)
HO-8 insurance is reserved for older properties, typically built more than 40 years ago. The HO-8 policy functions like standard home insurance, but may include certain provisions to insure an aging home.
HomeQuote Explorer® helps you choose the right homeowners policy
In addition to making sure you select the correct policy form for your home, we empower you to compare rates and coverages from multiple companies with our HomeQuote Explorer tool. Complete an easy quote today, and browse several options to best insure your home.
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