What Are The Types Of Standard Packaged Insurance Policies?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Below is a listing of the more common standard insurance policies, often called “forms”. As a practical matter, only “all-risk” policies (HO-3 for homeowners, HO-4 for renters, and HO-6 for condominium owners) should be considered unless there are extenuating circumstances.

a. Basic Form (HO-1)

As the name implies, this is an older type of packaged insurance policy designed for a homeowner who insures the home, detached structures, and personal property against losses caused by the following basic perils:

1. fire or lightning

2. windstorm or hail

3. explosion

4. riot or civil commotion

5. aircraft


7. smoke

8. vandalism or malicious mischief

9. theft

10. damage by glass or safety glazing material that is part of the building

11. volcanic eruption

If a loss occurs as a result of a named peril, the loss is covered. If the loss is due to an un-named peril, there will be no payment by the insurance company.

b. Broad Form (HO-2)

Insures the home, detached structures, and personal property against the same perils as the basic form (HO-1) plus the following:

1. falling objects

2. weight of ice, snow or sleet

3. accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air-conditioning or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or from within a household appliance

4. sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air-conditioning system, or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system

5. freezing of a plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance

6. sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss to a tube, transistor, or similar electronic component)

c. Special Form (HO-3)

The special form (HO-3) policy is the most commonly sold type of home policy. It offers a broad range of coverages on a named peril basis for personal property and “all risk” coverage for the dwelling and other structures, except those specifically excluded, such as war, flood, or nuclear accident.

d. Modified Coverage Form (HO-8)

It provides dwelling and personal property coverage similar to the basic form (HO-1) policy but is designed specifically for older homes or home that do not meet all the underwriting standards applicable to other forms of home policies. HO-8 usually excludes a replacement cost clause.

e. Renters’ or Tenants Policy (HO-4)

This form insures household contents and personal belongings, but not the building, of renters against the same perils detailed in the Broad HO-2 form.

f. Condominium Owners Policy (HO-6)

This form provides broad form (HO-2) coverages similar to the Tenants form on personal property only of a unit owner. It provides no coverage for the condominium structure itself, since the structure is covered under a Special Condominium policy available only through a condominium association. It also provides personal liability protection when people injure themselves or suffer property damage in the insured unit.

g. Mobile Homeowner’s Policy (HO-2 or HO-3)

Due to the special characteristics of mobile houses, special forms of the broad form (HO-2) and the special form (HO-3) are packaged with the mobile homeowner specifically in mind. They are not as standardized as other policies.

h. Simplified Versions (HO-76)

Commonly the special form (HO-3) policy written in plain English for easier comprehension by the insured (so-called HO-76 because this policy form was introduced in 1976).

i. Farm or Ranch Policies

A commercial package of coverages geared specifically for farm and ranch operations.

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