Home Insurance Policy Types

This is where a home insurance policy depends on the type of dwelling you are in and whether or not you own the contents. It's also where it gets complicated.

Home insurance companies tend to group the types of coverages, into a number of fairly standard policy types, based on the types of 'perils' covered and the type of dwelling. These home insurance policy identifiers are known across the industry and may be referred to by your agent or broker:

  • HO-1: home insurance policy will specify only certain "perils" (basically, ways in which damage could have occurred) and will have limited coverage. Generally, the home insurance policy only covers a limited number of disasters over the course of the policy. It's not advisable to get this kind of policy, even if it's available to you. Note that this kind of home insurance policy has been phased out in many parts of the US.
  • HO-2: Again, the home insurance policy will specify only certain perils (although generally it covers the 16 common perils) and the coverage levels will be more generous. You can obtain a version of this policy for a mobile home.
  • HO-3: This home insurance policy will cover all perils on the buildings themselves, but generally only specified perils on your contents. You are covered for all perils unless specifically noted by the home insurance policy. The excluded perils will usually include floods, earthquakes, wars and nuclear accidents (which are all special perils requiring separate endorsements - and more money in premiums).
  • HO-4: This home insurance policy covers the contents for renters without covering the building itself or structure of the unit. It will have limited liability coverage included.
  • HO-6: This home insurance policy will cover the condominium owner, including contents and "loss of use" of the condo unit. The home insurance policy will also include liability.
  • HO-8: These kinds of home insurance policies are issued for older homes. The insurer reimburses you for damage on an actual cash value basis. In plain terms, this means replacement cost less depreciation. Since you will not be paid full replacement cost it will mean money out of your pocket if you want to build or repair your home to it's 'original' state. However, full replacement cost home insurance policies may be difficult or impossible to get for some older homes.

What you need for to meet your home insurance needs is a combination of the type of home you have, your budget, your tolerance for risk, and the "perils" that you are seeking home insurance coverage for.

Read more general information about Home Insurance Policy, Condo Insurance and Renters Insurance. Read specifics about Structural Home Insurance, Home Content Insurance, Home liability insurance, Additional Liability Coverage, Title Insurance, Flood and Earthquake Insurance, and Living Expenses Home Insurance. Don't miss the sections about Home Insurance Savings, Types of Home Insurance Policies, What Home Insurance Covers and Level of Home Insurance for definite information you should know before you buy.

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