Homeowner policies are issued on different forms depending on the type of coverage needed.
Most policies are for an owner-occupied home and are written either as an HO-3 or as an HO-5. The HO-3 form provides coverage for the dwelling itself, the contents therein, and liability. The dwelling is insured for open perils (all perils except for what is specifically excluded by the policy language) and the contents for specific named perils. An HO-5 broadens the coverage and provides open perils coverage for BOTH the dwelling and the contents.
If you are renting and do not have a financial interest in the building itself, then your policy would be written on an HO-4 form. This provides coverage for your belongings and for liability.
If you have purchased a condo, then your coverage would be written on an HO-6 form. Depending on the requirements of the condominium association’s by-laws, this policy would provide coverage for the unit itself if needed, the contents and liability. Coverage for loss assessment would also be included, as this is usually coverage specific to condos. Unit-owners can be assessed a portion of a claim that had occurred even prior to ownership if the claim is finally resolved and exceeded the master policy’s coverage or is less than his/her deductible.
A building, whether it is a one family or multi-family dwelling or condo, that is not owner-occupied but is rented to others, would not be written under any homeowner form but rather as a dwelling fire policy. The only instance where a carrier MIGHT consider covering on a homeowner form is for a condo rented to others IF the carrier also writes the owner’s primary residence coverage.
For a more detailed description of the HO-3 vs. the HO-5 form, click here. Any other questions about insurance? Don't hesitate to contact us.