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Insurance for Newbies: Homeowners

Post 2: Homeowners, HO-1 through HO-4

This week we will focus on Homeowners policies. Homeowners policies are often shortened to HO-#. There are 8 different types of Homeowner policies, but this blog will only focus on the first four. 

  • HO-1 - Basic Coverage

  • This is the absolute least amount of coverage. Some states will not write this, as it is often not favorable to any party. It only covers 10 Perils, and does not cover your belongings, personal liability, loss of use, or medical payments. The 10 perils are Fire or Lightning, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Aircraft, Riot or Civil Commotion, Smoke, Vehicles, Vandalism, Theft, Falling Objects.

  • HO-2 - Broad Coverage

  • This covers up to 16 named perils, the same 10 from HO-1 plus an additional six (Weight of ice/snow/sleet, Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam, Freezing, Volcanic eruption, Sudden accidental tearing apart/cracking/burning or a built-in appliance such as a water heater or an oven, Sudden and accidental damage from a generated electrical current.

  • This coverage also covers other structures, belongings, personal liability, loss of use, or medical payments.

  • HO-3 - Special Form

  • This is often the “best” policy as it covers the most, usually at the best prices. You get the same coverage against the 16 perils in HO-2, but there are some exceptions. Every policy is different, so please make sure to go over this with your agent. It also covers loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments. Typically the following are excluded: Ordinance/Law, Earth Movement, Backup of sewer or drain, Power Failure, Neglect, War, Nuclear Hazard, Intentional Loss, Government Action, Theft to a dwelling under construction, Vandalism from vacancy of 60 days or more. Mold/Fungus/Rot, Wear and Tear, Mechanical Breakdown, Smog/rust/corrosion, Smoke from industrial operations/agricultural smudging, Discharge/dispersal/seepage of pollutants, settling/shrinking/bulging/expanding of structure such as foundation, birds/vermin/rodents/insects, animals owned by insured.

  • HO-4 - Contents Broad Form

  • This HO policy is often also called “Renter’s Insurance”, as this only covers belongings and personal liability. It will not cover the dwelling or other buildings. It does protect against 16 perils, but they are listed a little differently. This policy also offers personal liability, loss of use, and medical payment. With most H0-4 policies, they will cover any listed belongings anywhere in the world, just check with your agent for any additional endorsements.

This is based in Georgia, things may be different in your state. Check with us or your local agent.


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