Also known as homeowners insurance, ho-3 policies are the most common type of homeowners insurance, providing strong coverage options. But not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal.
Read on for an expert breakdown of everything you need to know about ho-3 insurance, so you can make an informed decision about which policy will best protect your family and home.
Reading: What is an ho3 home insurance policy
what is a ho-3 homeowners policy?
A homeowners insurance policy (ho-3) is a coverage plan that covers the structure of your home, your personal belongings, and liability in the event of damage or injury.
Usually, a ho-3 policy will also cover additional living expenses and protection for other structures on your property. Sometimes known as a “special form” policy, it’s purchased for traditional, stand-alone homes rather than other types of homes like duplexes or condos.
why do i need ho-3 coverage?
Homeowners need ho-3 insurance because it provides financial coverage in case the structure of your home is damaged due to natural disasters and other perils, such as theft or fire. Throughout your life as a homeowner, many unexpected injuries can also happen, which is why liability protection is included in your policy.
ho-3 also protects your personal belongings, acting as a buffer for costly repairs or replacement. Due to the multiple levels of protection, it is typically required when obtaining a mortgage loan, as it helps safeguard your (and your lender’s) monetary investment.
what does a ho-3 policy cover?
To help you determine if a ho-3 policy is right for you, it’s important to gain a full understanding of what’s protected.
As mentioned above, ho-3 insurance policies cover your home, belongings, and personal liability. Often, you’ll also be protected for additional living expenses, should you need to stay home. somewhere else while your house is being repaired.
Depending on your provider, there may be other add-ons included in your policy, such as virtual maintenance services or smart home kits. There may even be discounts involved for committing to greener appliances or installing smart home protection devices throughout your home (we do this, too).
For each category of coverage, there are complexities to consider before signing any policy. Since each item has a different level of coverage, understanding the differences is key to properly protecting your home from everything from common damages to unthinkable disasters.
Homeowners insurance covers damage to the structure of your home, as well as any additional structures on your property.
Additional structures include things like detached garages, sheds, and fences. this category is under an open risk policy, which means that their structures are insured against all events (minus the named exclusions).
Typical homeowners insurance exclusions include floods, earthquakes, mudslides, sewer overflows, ordinance updates, and government seizures. If your home is located in a floodplain or earthquake zone, it may be worth purchasing additional protection to cover these hazards.
another important part of your ho-3 policy is the protection of personal property. This coverage helps protect your belongings in the event of damage, theft, or loss.
While there are some caveats about what items are covered and how big your policy limits are, some personal property clauses will cover the items listed even if the damage occurs off your property.
It is standard practice for your insurance company to offer specific peril protection for your items, meaning you are only covered for the perils explicitly listed in your policy. these will often include artificial electrical current, cracks or other damage to pipes, aircraft or vehicle damage, explosion, falling objects, fire, freezing, hail, lightning, riot or civil commotion, smoke, theft, vandalism, volcanic activity , water or vapor overflow, weight of snow or ice, and wind.
To get coverage for other perils and extended policy limits on expensive items, you may need to purchase add-ons to your policy.
The last category of protection under your homeowners insurance policy is personal liability. Liability coverage means you’ll be financially protected if “bodily injury” or “property damage” occurs on your property.
This includes coverage for your medical expenses, legal fees, lost wages, and even death benefits. however, like all categories of your policy, there are exceptions. For personal liability, injuries intentionally inflicted on yourself or others are not covered.
sure ho-2 vs ho-3 vs ho-5
Although ho-3 insurance is the most common option for homeowners, there are other types of insurance policies available that provide different levels of coverage depending on your needs.
- ho-2 insurance policies offer home and personal property insurance, usually under a specified perils policy.
- ho-3 insurance policies protect your home, personal property, and liability protection with a broader range of covered risks than ho-2 policies.
- ho-5 insurance policies offer the same categories of coverage as ho-3, but with more coverage against risks in an open risk policy.
Home Insurance Broad Form (HO-2) only offers home and personal property insurance, usually under a named peril policy. Because of this limited coverage, as well as the omission of liability insurance, comprehensive policies are generally not recommended or accepted by mortgage lenders.
ho-3 policies are the next step in homeowner security. As mentioned above, special form (ho-3) policies offer homeowners, personal property, and liability protection with a broader range of risks covered than a broad form.
Ho-5 insurance, also known as comprehensive home insurance, is a less common option typically only offered for new homes. This is because the Ho-5 Open Risk Home and Property Protection policies, which are more detailed than the Ho-3 Open Risk Home Option and the Designated Peril Property Option. personal.
While it may seem intimidating at first, once broken down, ho-3 insurance can become a manageable part of your first home purchase (or even insurance change). do you need a policy?
Consider seeking expert advice to help you create a complete home wellness plan that will put you in a better place for the life of your mortgage.