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What are the different types of home insurance in the United States?

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You are looking to buy home insurance in the United States, find here your guide on the 8 different types of home insurance in the United States.

When you imagine the type of property that needs home insurance, a single-family home in the suburbs may come to mind, but there are actually eight types of policies or forms for different types of property and coverage needs.

List of best home insurance in the United States

Here’s an overview of the different types of home insurance policies:

  • HO-1 – The most basic and limited type of policy for single-family homes, HO-1s are almost non-existent today
  • HO-2 – A more widely used policy and a slight improvement on the HO-1
  • HO-3 – The most common type of home insurance policy with broader coverage than HO-2
  • HO-4 – A type of policy specific to renters
  • HO-5 – The most comprehensive form of home insurance and the second most common type of policy for single-family homes
  • HO-6 – A type of coverage designed for condo owners
  • HO-7 – The type of policy that you get if you own a mobile or manufactured home
  • HO-8 – A special type of home insurance for homes that do not meet the insurer’s standards for other types of policies

They are at the top of the list of the best home insurance in the United States.

  1. HO-1 – Basic form

Basic home insurance is the most limited in terms of coverage. Your home and personal items are covered for their actual cash value

And it only protects your home and your personal belongings against 10 specific risks, that is, these specific causes of damage or loss:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riots or civil commotion
  • Airplane
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Stole
  • Falling objects

In 2017, HO-1s made up only 1.46% of single-family home policies nationwide, according to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC.



In general, insurance companies no longer offer basic policy forms.

  1. HO-2 – Comprehensive form

Broad form policies are more common than HO-1s and are an improvement over the basic form policy.

HO-2s cover the home at replacement cost and personal property at its actual cash value.

They also protect your home and personal assets against six additional risks, including:

  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or stream
  • Sudden accidental breakage, cracking, fire, or bulging of a built-in appliance, such as a water heater or central heating or air conditioning system
  • Freezing
  • Sudden and accidental damage from an artificially generated electrical current
  • Volcanic eruption

In 2017, HO-2s made up 5.37% of single-family home policies nationwide, according to the NAIC.

  1. HO-3 – Special form

An HO-3 or Special Form policy is the most common type of home insurance policy on the market, accounting for the vast majority of single-family home policies.

HO-3 policies offer “all risk” coverage for the home and coverage against the aforementioned risks for personal property.

All-risk or open-risk coverage protects against everything except the causes of loss specifically indicated in your policy. The most common risks that are excluded are:

  • Ordinance or law
  • Earth movements
  • Water damage due to flooding, sewer blockages, or water seeping from the ground
  • Failure in the power supply
  • Negligence
  • War
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Intentional loss
  • Government action
  • Robbery in a home under construction
  • Vandalism or malicious damage (if unoccupied for more than 60 days)
  • Mold, fungus, or wet rot (except if caused by accidental spillage or overflow of water)
  • Wear
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Toxic mist, rust, or other corrosion
  • Smoke from industrial operations and agricultural fumigation
  • Dumping, dispersion, filtration of pollutants
  • Settling, contraction, bulging or expansion of parts of the structure such as its foundations or walls
  • Birds, vermin, rodents, insects
  • Animals owned by the insured

By default, HO-3 policies cover your home at replacement cost and personal property at their actual cash value.

Most insurance companies will allow you to add a replacement cost endorsement.

to your personal property coverage for a small additional premium. Some companies may even include replacement cost protection for personal property in their base policy.

In 2017, HO-3s made up 79.12% of single-family home policies nationwide, according to the NAIC.

  1. HO-4 – Content Comprehensive form

Better known as renters insurance, HO-4 policies are created specifically for those who rent houses, apartments, or condos.

Renters insurance covers your personal property both inside the rental property and anywhere in the world.

It also covers your liability and additional living expenses if your apartment is damaged and you have to temporarily live elsewhere.


Renters insurance covers the same 16 risks mentioned in the policies in a broad and special way. Your personal property is usually covered at your replacement cost.

types of homeowners insurance in the United States

 types of homeowners insurance in the United States

In 2017, HO-4 policies made up 73.41% of policies for renters of condominiums or cooperatives, according to the NAIC.

  1. HO-5 – Complete form

Comprehensive home insurance is just what it sounds like, the best and strongest form of protection for a single family home.

HO-5 policies are very similar to HO-3s, but there are some notable differences:

  • With HO-5 policies, your home and personal property are insured by default at replacement cost. On most HO-3 policies, you need to add replacement cost protection for personal property
  • HO-5 policies offer comprehensive coverage for both your home and personal property. HO-3 policies contain all-risk coverage for the home, but coverage for personal property against specific perils.
  • HO-5 policies also include higher coverage limits for expensive types of goods with normally strict coverage limits, such as jewelry, fine leather, and certain electronics.

HO-5 policies are typically for high-value properties in high-risk areas that need additional coverage.

If you get coverage through a company like Chubb and AIG, you will likely get HO-5 coverage.

In 2017, HO-5 policies made up 13.59% of single-family home policies, making it the second most common type of coverage on the market.

  1. HO-6 – Unit Owner Form

Also known as condo insurance, an HO-6 policy is for people who live in a condo or cooperative.

The amount of coverage you will need on your condo policy can really vary depending on what your condo association’s HOA insurance covers.


HOA insurance, or the main policy, usually covers the structure of the condo building, the common areas of the building, and the structure of your unit before you moved in, but it does not usually cover any improvements or renovations you made while you were living. there.

You will likely need sufficient home coverage in your condo policy to cover the cost of any improvements to the condo.

Your condo policy also includes coverage for personal property, loss of use, personal liability, medical payments, and loss assessment.

As of 2017, HO-6 policies constituted 26.59% of condo or cooperative policies, according to the NAIC.

  1. HO- 7 – Mobile Home Form

Mobile home insurance is practically an HO-3 policy, but it is designed specifically for mobile homes, which cannot be covered by a normal single-family home policy.

The type of mobile homes covered by HO-7 policies include, but are not limited to:

  • Trailers, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers
  • Single Width Prefab Homes and Single Width Mobile Homes
  • Double-width Prefab Homes and Double-Width Mobile Homes
  • Sectional houses
  • Modular houses
  • Model Park Homes and Recreational Vehicles

They are very important aspects that you have to take into account of the types of home insurance in the United States.

  1. HO-8 – Modified coverage form

HO-8 home insurance is designed for homes that do not meet the insurers’ standards required for most types of home insurance.

For example, you may only be eligible for an HO-8 if you live in an older home with a high risk of loss due to aluminum wiring, outdated plumbing, or a falling roof.

types of homeowners insurance in the United States

 types of homeowners insurance in the United States

You will likely have to swap out the aluminum wiring for copper, install new plumbing, and replace the roof to qualify for an HO-3 policy.

Like the basic HO-1 policies, HO-8s are risk-specific policies that only provide coverage for 10 perils and reimbursement is determined by the actual value of the home rather than replacement cost.

HO-8 policies are valuable because your home can be covered without complete updates or a four-point inspection, so if you intend to keep the home exactly as it was when it was first built five generations earlier, this policy it may be for you.

In 2017, HO-8 policies represented just 0.46% of single-family home policies, according to the NAIC.



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