July 17, 2017
Not All Homeowners’ Insurance Policies are Created Equal: Which Policy Do You Have?
In Florida, while most homeowners’ insurance policies are considered “standard,” there are different standards for different types of properties. As a result, your coverage in the event of a hurricane or other accident will depend not only on the options you have chosen for your policy, but on the options that you were offered based upon the location, age and construction of your home.
Here is a brief summary of the types of homeowners’ insurance that are available in Florida:
7 Types of Homeowners’ Insurance in Florida
HO-1: Basic Homeowners’ Insurance
Basic homeowners’ insurance is the least-protective form of coverage. While technically still an option, today basic policies are less common because (i) more-comprehensive policies have become more affordable, and (ii) mortgage lenders will often require additional coverage. HO-1 policies provide coverage for:
- Damage from vehicles and aircraft
- Fire and smoke damage
- Hail and wind damage
- Theft, vandalism and riots
HO-2: Broad Homeowners’ Insurance
A broad homeowners’ insurance policy covers everything that an HO-1 policy does plus certain additional named perils:
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
- Damage from falling objects (including branches from neighbors’ trees)
- Freezing of air conditioning systems
- Sudden and accidental electrical damage
- Sudden and accidental pipe bursts
HO-3: Special Form Homeowners’ Insurance
“Special form” homeowners’ insurance policies provide the same coverage as HO-2 policies, but also protects against many “unnamed perils”. HO-1 and HO-2 policies are both considered “named peril” policies, which means that they only cover the specific perils listed. With an HO-3 peril, you will generally be covered unless a specific exclusion applies.
HO-5: Comprehensive Homeowners’ Insurance
A comprehensive homeowners’ insurance policy is similar to an HO-3 policy, but it includes less exclusions. Under an HO-5 policy, typical exclusions that are particularly relevant to Florida homeowners include:
- Damage from infestations and animals (including pets)
- Mold damage
- Water damage
- Wear and tear
HO-6: Condo Owners’ Insurance
Condo owners have different insurance needs than owners of single-family homes, and these needs are (largely) reflected in an HO-6 policy. Standard condo owners’ insurance covers personal items and personal liability as well as damage to the unit’s ceilings, floors and walls.
HO-7: Mobile Home Owners’ Insurance
If you own a mobile home, you likely have HO-7 homeowners’ insurance. Mobile home coverage is similar to the comprehensive coverage under an HO-3 policy.
HO-8: Insurance for Older Homes
If you have an older home, you may have an HO-8 policy. These policies can provide coverage similar to an HO-2 or HO-3 policy, but also take into account the fact that the home’s value may not be commensurate with the cost to rebuild.
What About HO-4?
If you noticed that we skipped over HO-4, the reason is because HO-4 policies are for renters rather than homeowners. HO-4 policies cover tenants’ belongings and personal liability (and may also cover temporary living expenses), but not the rented structure itself.
Get Legal Help for Your Homeowners’ Insurance Claim
The property damage attorneys at Saavedra | Goodwin provide experienced legal representation for homeowners in Fort Lauderdale who are struggling to deal with their insurance companies. If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your insurance claim, please call (954) 767-6333 or contact us online for an initial consultation.
Categories: Insurance Claims