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What does 'HO' stand for?

Different types of homeowners policy forms are referred to as HO-1, HO-2, HO-3, and so forth. There are seven basic kinds of home insurance policies and they're pretty much the same regardless of where you live (except for Texas). They tend to be defined by the perils they cover:

  • HO-1. Basic homeowners. Covers your dwelling and personal property against losses from 11 types of perils: fire or lightning; windstorm or hail; explosion; riot or civil commotion; aircraft; vehicles; smoke; vandalism or malicious mischief; theft; damage by glass or safety glazing material that is part of a building; and volcanic eruption.
  • HO-2. HO-2. Basic homeowners plus. Covers dwelling and personal property against 11 perils plus six more: falling objects; weight of ice, snow or sleet; three categories of water-related damage from home utilities or appliances; and electrical surge damage.
  • HO-3. Extended or special homeowners. Covers 17 stated perils plus any other peril not specified in your policy, except for flood, earthquake, war, and nuclear accident.
  • HO-4. Renters coverage. Covers only personal property from 17 listed perils.
  • HO-5. All risk coverage for building and personal property. This policy form isn't sold very often.
  • HO-6. Condominium coverage. Covers personal property from 17 listed perils along with certain building items in which the unit owner might have an insurance interest.
  • HO-8. Basic older home. Covers dwelling and personal property from 11 perils. Differs from HO-1 in that it covers repairs or actual cash values - not rebuilding costs. This is for homes where some historic or architectural aspects make the home's replacement cost significantly higher than its market value.
Last updated: Dec. 7, 2009