Differences Between Homeowners Forms

| August 01, 2019
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Below are 9 types of homeowners insurance policies offered by insurance carriers today.  Call us Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm to further discuss these forms and any questions you may have or send an email to kbrekne@brcinsurance.com at your convenience.  We look forward to hearing from you and would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with a free, non-obligatory quote! 

HO-1 - Basic Form

The basic form is truly "BASIC" and provides coverage for the following perils ONLY: 

  • Fire or lightening
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Theft
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief 
  • Damage from vehicles
  • Damage from aircraft
  • Riots or civil commotion
  • Volcanic eruption

We would not recommend insuring your home on the basic form as so much can happen other than what is protected against under this limited coverage form.  

HO-2 - Broad Form

The broad form provides a little more coverage compared to the basic form.  You are insured for the above perils in addition to the following perils ONLY:

  • Falling objects
  • Collapse due to the weight of ice, snow, or sleet (ex. roof collapse)
  • Bursting of steam/hot water system
  • Leaking of plumbing or heating system
  • Freezing of pipes
  • Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated currents to electrical appliances, devices, fixtures or wiring.

Policies written on the basic and broad forms are called "named peril" policies because there is ONLY coverage for the perils specifically listed or "named" on the policy - any damage caused by perils other than those specifically listed are excluded from coverage.  

HO-3 - Special Form

The "special form" is the most common type of homeowners policy we sell and a policy we would recommend purchasing to protect your home.  This form provides coverage against the perils on the basic and broad forms and more!  It is often referred to as an "all risk" policy because it provides coverage for everything other than what is specifically excluded under the policy.  Some say it should be called the "named exclusion" policy since it isn't truly covering all losses but rather everything not named under the exclusions section.  

For example, wear and tear will never be covered under a homeowners policy as it is the owner's responsibility to maintain and care for the property.  Flood is also excluded under a homeowners form - if you are interested in protecting your home and contents from flood, we would be happy to assist you in obtaining a flood insurance policy.  

On an HO-3 form, contents are covered on a named peril basis not an "all risk" basis.

HO-4 - Tenant Form

The tenant form protects tenants or renters from loss.  This form provides coverage for a person's contents and personal liability - there is no coverage for the building as the tenant doesn't have ownership.  The landlord is responsible for insuring the building under a separate policy.  Similar to the HO-3 form, contents are protected against the named perils on the basic and broad forms - they are not protected on an "all risk" basis.

Renters insurance is very affordable and we recommend all landlords require their tenants obtain renters insurance under their lease agreement.  

HO-5 - Comprehensive Form

Like the special form, the comprehensive form provides coverage for everything other than what is specifically excluded under the policy.  The difference between the special and comprehensive form is, like the structure, contents are covered on an "all risk" basis on the comprehensive form.

We would also recommend insuring your home on this form as it is the most comprehensive form available from our carriers.

HO-6 - Condo & Co-Op Form 

The condo form protects a condo or co-op owner's dwelling or additions and alterations, contents and personal liability.  

Some insurance carriers (ex. Travelers Insurance) will write a co-op on the HO-9 Form, which is similar to the HO-6.

HO-7 - Mobile Home Form

HO-8 - Modified Homeowner Form

The modified homeowner form is intended for older homes who have suffered depreciation.  Historical or architectural features may make the home more expensive than its market cost.  These policies are written on an actual cash value (ACV) basis, meaning depreciation is taken into consideration.  

**Please be advised, these are just brief descriptions and all losses are subject to a claims adjuster's review.  In addition, policy forms can vary (different editions, etc.) - it is important to understand your specific policy form, endorsement and exclusions.**

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