What homeowners insurance does and doesn’t cover

Two common types of homeowners policies are the HO-2 and HO-3. The HO-2, which is less comprehensive, is a “named-peril” policy, meaning it covers a specific list of problems.

The 16 perils covered with an HO-2 policy are:

1. Fire or lightning
2. Smoke
3. Theft
4. Vandalism
5. Windstorms and hail
6. Damage caused by vehicles
7. Damage from aircraft
8. Weight of ice, snow and sleet
9. Freezing of household systems
10. Riots
11. Explosions
12. Falling objects
13. Volcanic eruptions
14. Overflow or discharge of water
15. Damage from artificially generated electrical current
16. Sudden tearing, cracking or bulging of home

For protection that goes beyond these 16 problems, consider an HO-3 policy. HO-3 plans are “open-peril,” meaning they cover all risks except those your insurer excludes. Your personal property, however, is still covered under a named-peril basis.

For the broadest protection, there’s the HO-5 home insurance policy, which covers both your dwelling and your personal property for all problems except those specifically excluded.( This is most commonly sold )

Still, there are problems that no home insurance policy will cover, such as damage resulting from:

  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Landslides
  • Mold
  • Infestations
  • Wear and tear
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Government action

However, you can buy flood insurance or earthquake insurance separately. In hurricane-prone states, you may also need separate windstorm insurance.

Talk to your insurance agent if you have specific concerns about weather-related risks in your area or other perils that aren’t represented on your policy. In many cases, you can add what are called endorsements to your policy — which will likely cost extra — to provide more protection.

Next-Basic parts of a homeowners insurance policy

Posted 12:00 PM

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