Sunday, March 11, 2007

Types of Home Insurance

The most commonly used home insurance forms are:

HO-1: also called "Form 1" is very basic coverage, insuring against fire or lightening damage.

HO-2: also called "Form 2" or “broad coverage,” covers loss of or damage to property resulting from windstorm or hail, theft, explosion, smoke damage from vehicles and aircraft, glass breakage, removal of property endangered by covered peril such as fire, vandalism, malicious mischief, and riot or civil commotion. HO-2 also covers building collapse, freezing of or accidental discharge of water or steam from within plumbing, heating, or air-conditioning, falling objects, weight of snow, ice, or sleet, and rupture or bursting of steam or hot water heating systems.

HO-3, called the “special” form or "Form 3", insures your home and detached structures against loss or damage from any peril except for those specifically excluded in the policy. This is the policy most homeowners purchase. It is important for you to read your policy carefully to see what is excluded—you may want to cover exclusions with special endorsements.

HO-4: Form 4, is a tenant’s policy and insures your household contents and personal belongings against the perils of the HO-2 policy. It also covers additional living expenses if needed, medical payments, and also liability protection.

HO-6: Form 6, covers a condominium unit-owner who wishes to insure items not insured by the association policy, as well as the personal property inside the unit and personal liability protection.

HO-8: Form 8, is the “older home” policy. Having an older home may preclude your being able to buy a replacement policy; you may have to buy a modified replacement policy instead. This means that instead of replacing such older home materials as plaster walls for example, the policy will pay for standard building materials and processes in use now.

Some states designate their forms differently, using such titles as HO-A, HO-B, etc. but the coverages are generally the same.

Make sure you have the right coverage for your home and shop around for the best home insurance rates.