Homeowners Insurance Quotes – Know Your HOs

Before you go looking for homeowners insurance quotes get to know your HOs. That’s insurance industry shorthand for Home Owner and there are dozens of different HOs categories, but the average home insurance quote shopper will typically only deal with four or five at most.

Homeowners Insurance Quotes Explained

HO numbers are designated on an escalating coverage scale.

HO-1 is your basic barebones policy. It covers your home from damages caused  by fire, smoke, lightning, explosion, vandalism, windstorms, hail, riots and civil uprisings and glass breakage. You get you homeowners insurance quote for an HO1 and you think it’s a pretty good deal. But before you sign on the HO-1 dotted line, take a peek at this sobering statistic: 30% of all U.S. homeowners don’t have enough homeowners insurance. That’s partly because home values and the cost of construction (or in this case reconstruction) have increased. The HO-1 policy you took out when you bought your home five or 10 years ago may not be enough to replace your place if it goes up in flames. Maybe it’s time you made the acquaintance of the other HOs.

HO-2 home insurance quotes will add to HO-1 by covering  more potential risks including damage from falling objects like trees and damage from water or freezing caused by pipes and plumbing.

HO-3 policies are a little different. These homeowners insurance quotes cover everything except what they specifically exclude. This is going to vary depending on your insurance company, but they typically exclude earthquake, flood, war and nuclear accidents. You can get always get separate policies to protect you from those eventualities. HO-3 premiums are usually more expensive, but they provide more coverage and consequently greater peace of mind.

HO-4 and HO-6 policies are generally for renters and condo owners, respectively. They cover your personal stuff but not the building (the owner has insurance for that). Most include some personal liability coverage, as well.

HO-5 provides the most comprehensive coverage. Home insurance quotes for HO-5 policies will typically run about 15% more than an HO3, but will cover things like jewelry, artwork and heirlooms, and may also cover building code upgrades and sewer backups. By shopping around, you may find that buying one comprehensive HO-5 policy is ultimately cheaper than buying lots of separate specialty policies.

If you own a mobile home, there’s an HO-7 policy for you, while on the other end of the homeowners insurance quote spectrum, there’s the HO-8 policy for older homes (typically something that qualifies as registered landmark or architecturally significant).


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