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8 Types of Homeowners Insurance To Know

There are eight different types of homeowners insurance policies. Renters, condo owners and mobile home owners each have their own types of insurance policies, while homeowners insurance has five different types of policies with coverage options ranging from extremely limited to superior.

Below are the eight different types of policies:

  • HO-1: Homeowners insurance with the most limited coverage
  • HO-2: Homeowners insurance with slightly more coverage than an HO-1 policy
  • HO-3: Standard homeowners insurance for most modern homes
  • HO-4: Renters insurance
  • HO-5: Homeowners insurance with superior coverage
  • HO-6: Condo insurance
  • HO-7: Mobile home and manufactured home insurance
  • HO-8: Homeowners insurance for older and historic homes

Overview

Below, we’ve summarized what each policy offers, which perils will be covered and the average annual cost.

At-a-Glance

Policy

Named/Open Peril

Common Perils Covered (16 Total)

Best For

HO-1

Named peril

10 perils

High-risk homes that can’t qualify for HO-2 policy

HO-2

Named peril

16 perils

High-risk homes that can’t qualify for HO-3 policy

HO-3

Dwelling: Open peril

Personal property: Named peril

Open peril

Most modern homes

HO-4

Named peril

16 perils

Apartment renters

HO-5

Open peril

16 perils

High-net-worth homeowners with expensive belongings

HO-6

Named peril

16 perils

Condos

HO-7

Open peril

16 perils

Manufactured and mobile homes

HO-8

Named Peril

10 perils

Older and historic homes

More commonly called renters insurance, HO-4 policies insure the renters’ personal belongings against most common perils.

Named Peril vs. Open Peril

Depending on which policy you choose, you may have insurance coverage on a named peril basis, open peril basis or a combination of both.

Named peril policies cover your property for specific perils listed in your policy and ONLY those perils. HO-1 policies, for example, cover you for 10 perils. You are not covered for any peril unless they were one of those 10 specific perils.

Open peril policies cover all perils EXCEPT those excluded in your policy. Standard home insurance policies cover your home’s structure on an open peril basis with common exclusions being mold, foundation issues, earthquakes and floods.

Common exclusions in open peril (and named peril) policies include:

  • Any animals owned by the insured
  • Birds, rodents, varmint
  • Defective construction or maintenance
  • Earth movement
  • Flood
  • Foundation issues
  • Government actions
  • Intentional loss
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Mold, fungus, wet rot
  • Neglect
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Ordinance or law
  • Pet or animal damage
  • Pollution and corrosion
  • Power failure
  • Smog, rust, or corrosion
  • Theft, vandalism and frozen pipes in vacant houses
  • War
  • Wear and tear

For conventional homes, a standard HO-3 policy will meet your coverage needs but HO-5 can be ideal if you want wider coverage on your personal property.

HO-1 Basic Form

Also called basic form homeowners insurance, HO-1 policies offer the most limited insurance coverage, covering homeowners for only 10 perils. This policy is rarely sold today, accounting for only 2% of policies underwritten.

Perils covered in an HO-1 policy include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption

HO-2 Broad Form

Also called broad form homeowners insurance, an HO-2 policy offers broader coverage than an HO-1 policy but less coverage than a standard policy (HO-3). HO-2 policies cover your property for 16 common perils but only on a named peril basis. Standard homeowners insurance insures your dwelling on an open peril basis, which offers more comprehensive coverage than an HO-2 policy. HO-2 policies comprised only 6% of policies underwritten.

An HO-2 policy will cover your home for the following perils:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges

HO-3 Special Form (Standard Homeowners Insurance)

Also known as standard homeowners insurance, HO-3 policies are the most common type of homeowners policy purchased, accounting for 78% purchased in 2019. HO-3 policy coverage operates on both an open peril and named peril basis.

Your home’s structure is insured on an open peril basis, covering you for all perils except excluded perils. Your personal property, however, is insured on a named peril basis, covered only for the 16 perils listed in your policy.

HO-3 policies will insure your home for all 16 common perils:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges

HO-4 Contents Broad Form (Renters Insurance)

More commonly called renters insurance, HO-4 policies insure the renters’ personal belongings against most common perils. Unlike homeowners insurance policies, HO-4 policies will not include coverage for the dwelling structure or additional structures because you do not own the building unit.

Covered losses in an HO-4 policy include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges
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HO-5 Comprehensive Form

HO-5 policies offer the highest level of coverage, insuring both your dwelling structure and personal property on an open peril basis. While HO-3 policies insure your personal property only on a named peril basis, upgrading to an HO-5 policy changes this to open peril coverage. HO-5 policies are the second most underwritten policy, comprising 14% of policies purchased in 2019.

Covered perils in an HO-5 policy include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges

HO-6 Unit-Owners Form (Condo Insurance)

Condo owners have their own type of insurance, called an HO-6 policy. HO-6 policies insure condo owners for their personal property and the structures within the unit they own on a named peril basis. Your HOA’s insurance should cover the overall building structure plus common areas, like walkways and stairways.

Covered perils in an HO-6 policy include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges

Condo insurance, called an HO-6 policy, insures condo owners for their personal property and the structures within the unit they own on a named peril basis.

HO-7 Mobile Home Insurance

More commonly called mobile home insurance, an HO-7 policy is home insurance catered to manufactured and mobile homes. HO-7 insurance functions similarly to a standard HO-3 policy, insuring your home’s structure on an open peril basis and your personal property on a named peril basis.

Covered perils in an HO-7 policy include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight office, sleet, snow
  • Freezing of home systems
  • Water or steam discharge from home systems and appliances
  • Sudden or accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems
  • Sudden or accidental power surges

Your insurer may also offer certain endorsements useful for mobile and manufactured homes. Trip collision coverage, for example, insures your dwelling while it is hitched to your vehicle and being transported.

HO-8 Modified Coverage Form

Older and historic homes have their own type of insurance, called an HO-8 policy, because these properties tend to have high-risk and high-cost features. For example, an older home may be built with hard-to-find building materials and have outdated electrical and public systems that can make the property more expensive to insure. To offset these higher risk factors, insurers offer HO-8 policies with relatively limited coverage.

HO-8 policies will only insure your home on a named peril basis for 10 types of common perils:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption

Keep in mind that you will not be covered for any damages to your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. If one of these systems breaks down (e.g., your plumbing pipe bursts), then you will likely cover these costs out-of-pocket.

Older and historic homes have their own type of insurance, called an HO-8 policy, because these properties tend to have high-risk and high-cost features.

FAQs

Do I need insurance for my home?

If a mortgage lender is financing your home (whether it is a house, mobile home or condo unit), then your lender will likely require you to maintain insurance. Landlords may also require renters insurance for renters.

What is the most common type of home insurance?

HO-3 policies (77.68%) were the most common policies underwritten in 2019, followed by HO-5 policies (14.09%) according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

How do I choose which type of home insurance is best for me?

Renters, condo and manufactured/mobile homeowners will purchase HO-4, HO-6 and HO-7 policies respectively. For conventional homes, a standard HO-3 policy will meet your coverage needs but HO-5 can be ideal if you want wider coverage on your personal property.

How much should I be paying for homeowners insurance?

The national average annual cost of home insurance is $1,213.89 per year but this can vary significantly by state. Finding the average cost of homeowners insurance in your state can provide a benchmark to determine if you're overpaying on home insurance.

What are the six categories covered by homeowners insurance?

The six types of homeowners insurance coverage are A) dwelling coverage; B) additional structures coverage; C) personal property coverage; D) loss of use coverage; E) personal liability coverage and; F) medical payments coverage. Standard homeowners insurance policies include all six categories of coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • There are eight different types of policies that will insure certain types of properties, such as single-family houses, condo units, mobile homes and apartment tenants.
  • Homeowners insurance has five forms, offering varying coverage options based on the property’s risk factors and the homeowner’s desired protection.
  • Standard homeowners insurance is the most common type of policy, accounting for 78% of policies underwritten in 2019.

Shopping around helps you save money on insurance — no matter which policy type you need. However, comparing rates from multiple home insurance companies can be a time-consuming process. Fortunately, SmartFinancial’s FREE online tool analyzes insurers in your area to bring you the cheapest rate so you don’t have to. Just enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive your free homeowners insurance quotes.

Methodology

The percentage of policies underwritten by type in 2019 was obtained from a 2022 report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners: Dwelling, Fire, Homeowners Owner-Occupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2019.

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