Different Forms of Homeowners’ Insurance

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Among the several kinds of property insurance available, homeowners’ insurance is one of the most common. Theft, fire, and other natural disasters are only some risks typically covered by homeowners’ insurance. It may also cover the owner for any injuries or deaths for which the owner is legally accountable. Best Homeowners insurance is a standard condition imposed by mortgage lenders.

Numerous “forms” of homeowner’s insurance are available to meet your needs. The type of policy you require is decided by the make-up of your property and the amount of protection you choose to purchase.

The detached single-family home is the most popular type of dwelling in the United States, and you can insure it under one of five different insurance types. It’s important to remember that coverages can change from state to state, even within the same form.


The coverage provided by these plans is the most minimal available for homes insurance, covering only eleven stated dangers. Fire, lightning, high winds, explosion, civil disturbance, aeroplanes, automobiles, smoke, vandalism, intentional mischief, theft, in-home glass, and volcanic eruptions are some of the most common disasters covered by an HO-1 form. Specifically identified risks are the only ones it protects against. It’s not uncommon for HO-1 insurance to exclude coverage for contents. The sale of HO-1 insurance plans has been discontinued in most US states.

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The policy covers everything the HO-1 does, plus damage caused by falling objects and water damage caused by the accidental overflow of plumbing, HVAC, and home appliances. The HO-2 is, like the HO-1, named peril insurance, which means that only the perils stated in the policy are covered. The HO-2 likewise protects personal belongings.


Because of their comprehensive nature, policies have a large customer base. The HO-3 form of homeowners insurance, sometimes known as an extended or special policy, protects against virtually any risk except those expressly excluded by the policy (such as earthquake, flood, landslide or mudslide, nuclear accident and sinkhole).

However, the contents of a home are only protected from certain identified risks under HO-3 insurance.

Suppose your home and all of your possessions are lost in a fire, for instance. An HO-3 coverage will protect your home and belongings up to the policy’s limits. However, an HO-3 policy might only cover the structure, not your things, in the event of a total loss due to a falling object or water damage from a plumbing overflow. Insurability is linked to the specific risks covered by your policy.

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Be mindful that flooding differs from water damage caused by leaking pipes, air conditioners, or other household appliances. Water damage from overflow is not considered “flooding,” although the more general term “water damage” does not apply.


Like HO-3 policies, these insurance forms cover almost everything that isn’t specifically excluded. The HO-5 policy is more all-encompassing than the HO-3 and protects belongings from nearly every risk except those specifically excluded. This policy is more expensive than others because of the comprehensive nature of its coverage.


The HO-8 policy is for older homes whose replacement costs more than their current market worth. That is why the HO-8 policy form is so popular to ensure that historic and architecturally significant buildings are designated landmarks.

If your property loss were to occur, the insurance company would pay a significantly smaller amount based on the cash value rather than the replacement cost. Due to the lower potential benefit, HO-8 plans are less expensive. These houses are often over 40 years old, making an HO-3 policy inappropriate. Like the HO-1, the HO-8 solely addresses the 11 most common threats.


Condominium and co-op dwellers can have special insurance coverage and an HO-6 policy. Every condominium and cooperative organisation has its own unique set of requirements when it comes to insurance. You can inspect the association’s insurance coverage as a condo, co-op owner, or tenant. Before buying your apartment insurance, read the policy carefully to avoid overspending or being underinsured.

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An HO-6 policy is necessary for condo owners to protect the portions of their building, such as the inside of their unit and the walls that enclose it. In some cases, a condo association’s responsibilities are limited to the exterior of the building, the grounds, and the interior surfaces (such as the floor, ceiling, and walls) that are not individually owned. There’s no better time than now to invest in an HO-6 policy.

It’s not quite the same process when insuring a co-op. A co-op tenant owns a portion of the entire building rather than a single apartment. Owners of co-ops are technically tenants, but since they also own a share of the building, they must have HO-6 insurance rather than just renters insurance. Co-op associations may provide less protection than condo societies.


It is the type of insurance policy, sometimes known as “renters insurance,” safeguards tenants’ possessions in a rented dwelling. Landlord’s insurance typically only protects the building in case of the 11 hazards listed on an HO-1 form, but it does not cover tenant property. Tenants require an HO-4 policy form to protect their belongings and any portion of the apartment that they may own. For instance, a policyholder’s new kitchen cabinets would qualify as personal property and be insured against loss.

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If the insured’s home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered risk, the HO-4 insurance form will also pay for the insured’s additional living expenses. You can and should purchase additional liability coverage on top of your HO-4 policy because it does not come as standard as other policy forms.


You can still insure your home, even if it doesn’t meet the requirements for one of the homeowner’s insurance policy types discussed above. If your home does not meet the requirements for more extensive policy types, some insurers will sell you a DF-1 policy (also known as fire and extended coverage). Fire, lightning, windstorm, explosion, riot/civil unrest, aeroplane, vehicle, and smoke are all typical perils listed on the DF-1 policy form. You will cover only the risks listed in your policy, so read it carefully.


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