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What Is the Difference Between HO-3 and HO-5?

Both HO-3 and HO-5 are types of homeowners insurance policies that cover damage to your dwelling and other structures from all but excluded causes of loss. The main difference is what kinds of damage each policy covers for personal property.

Both types of homeowners insurance policies include coverage for your dwelling, other structures on your property, personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments to others. The primary difference between the two policy types is how claims are settled for your belongings.

To understand the difference, you'll need to know the terms named perils and open perils (special form).

An insurance policy with named perils coverage will only cover losses caused by perils specifically named in the policy.

Named perils can include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Theft

Review your policy for a complete list of covered perils.

An insurance policy with open perils coverage will pay for any damage to the insured property unless the policy specifically excludes the cause of loss.

HO-3 (Special Form) Homeowners Insurance

The HO-3 (special form) policy provides coverage on the following bases:

  • Dwelling: Open perils
  • Other Structures: Open perils
  • Personal Property: Named perils

HO-5 (Comprehensive Form) Homeowners Insurance

The HO-5 (comprehensive form) policy provides coverage on the following bases:

  • Dwelling: Open perils
  • Other Structures: Open perils
  • Personal Property: Open perils

Policyholders pay a higher premium for an HO-5 in return for broader coverage, such as losing your suitcase or accidentally knocking your television over.

The content on this page is intended for informational purposes only. It is not an insurance policy, and does not, in any way, replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies. Terms and coverage availability may vary by state, and exclusions and deductibles may apply. Discounts also vary by state and may not be applied to all policy coverages. Coverage for an accident or loss is subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy applicable to a particular claim.