What do HO-1, HO-2, etc. stand for? Which one should I get?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2010

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Asked August 2, 2010

1 Answer

Homeowners insurance is typically sold in packages designated with the letters HO followed by a number. "HO" stands for homeowners, and the number stands for different policy coverages and included options. For example, HO4 and HO6 are specifically written for people who own the contents of the dwelling, but not the dwelling itself, such as renters and condo owners.

HO-1: Cover 11 specific types of damages: Vehicle, smoke, vandalism, fire or lightning, aircraft, riot, explosion, windstorm or hail, glass damage, theft, and volcanic eruption. This was the original standard policy, but is being phased out in some states, and not very popular in most.

HO-2: Includes a suite of water related damages to the items covered by HO1. This coverage is more expensive, but it is also more comprehensive.

HO-3: Where other types of policies only cover certain items, this policy does the opposite and covers everything except the list of exclusions it contains.

HO-4: This is renter's insurance. It includes the property contained inside the dwelling but does not include damage coverage to the premises.

HO-5: This is the most comprehensive homeowner's insurance policy. Unlike other policies, this one covers almost everything except special disasters. Some version of this policy also cover home upgrades to cover the cost of bringing your home up to local building code standards, which other policies do not.

HO-6: This is condo owner's insurance, and is very much the same as HO-4 coverage.

HO-8: This is essentially antique home coverage. This type of coverage includes the protections of HO-3 with the added assurance that replacement materials will meet the original building specifications. This can be an extremely costly process as older homes contain materials that are no longer widely used or economically preferable, and the premiums for such coverage tend to be quite a bit higher as well.

HO-4 and HO-6 don't cover buildings, only property, and most have some liability coverage. These homeowner's insurance policies are meant for renters and condo owners.

HO-5 is the most comprehensive insurance policy. It runs about 15% more than HO-3. It includes extras that might be unavailable from other policies (i.e. coverage for jewelry, art, antiques, etc.) HO-5 can also include coverage for building code upgrades and sewer backups. By bundling all the extras in one policy, it ends up much cheaper than buying a less expensive policy and adding on all the upgrades.

Answered August 2, 2010 by Anonymous

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