The next tier in the various forms of homeowners insurance is called an HO-2 policy. This includes a broad cause of loss option and will generally be where you start as a homeowner. If an HO-1 form is even offered, it will be in your best interest to bypass it and move to the HO-2 form. It’s going to provide additional coverage that your HO-1 form can’t even begin to touch. But while they offer expanded coverage, you will still want to make sure that you’re familiar with the list of legitimate claim reasons. One of the biggest disappointments a homeowner can have is going to file a claim and being denied. It’s not until later that they find out they weren’t covered under the specific form. Whenever you begin to look for homeowner’s insurance, sit down with an agent and analyze your risk.
HO2-Home Insurance Coverage
An HO-1 form is rarely even offered anymore so if you start with an HO-2 form, it’s pretty much insuring your house at the bare minimum. If you do this, you must be willing to pay if your claim is denied. There are 16 different perils that are covered under an HO-2 form. They are:
- fire or lightning
- wind storm or hail
- riot or civil commotion
- vandalism/malicious mischief
- volcanic eruption
- falling objects
- weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- accidental discharge or overflow of water
- sudden and accident tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
- sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
You will notice that this includes the same perils as covered in an HO-1 policy and continues to build upon them. There are two major differences between the two forms though that the HO-2 more desirable. With the Ho-2 policy, you have personal liability protection. This is a very valuable addition to your insurance because it will cover you in case of a lawsuit. If you or a member of your family causes some type of property damage or bodily injury to someone else, you will be covered. For example, let’s say you have a dog and your neighbor has a party that has many small children in attendance. Several children drift into your yard, although you aren’t participating the party, and start to tease your dog by poking it with sticks. Your dog lashes out and bites one of the children. If that child’s parent wants to try to sue you, your homeowner’s personal liability policy is going to protect you. The good thing is that most policies are going to insure up to $100,000 at no extra cost so anything above and beyond that might be worth purchasing. You’ve got a great base to start with.
The second difference between an HO-2 and an HO-1 form is that an HO-2 form is going to insure your detached structures as well while an HO-1 form only insures your actual dwelling place. If you know you have a separate garage and pool house, neither would be covered if you tried to save money and go for an HO-1 policy. These are slowly becoming extinct for a reason. It’s better to pay the extra money and get a more broad form of coverage as far as cause of loss goes as well as structures.
So, if your home is located in an area that receives a large amount of snow, having an HO-2 policy will cover you if your roof caves in. If your plumbing pipes burst or your dishwasher floods your hardwood kitchen floor while you’re outside, your HO-2 policy will cover the damage. If your hot water heating system or your air conditioning system suddenly cracks and needs repair, you can file a claim with your insurance company and it should be covered.
These are just a few examples of how upping your coverage can provide the extra protection you need. If you are a homeowner, starting with an HO-2 policy is a good idea but there are more comprehensive forms of insurance available. The amount of coverage you need is going to depend on what kind of house you have, where you live and what you want to be able to claim. Your budget is also a big factor. Speak with your insurance agent to make sure you have the best coverage for your personal situation.