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The first step to decoding home insurance quotes is to understand the basics about policy types. It's easy with these standard classifications:
HO-1: This is a basic policy that provides protection for fire, lightning, hail, windstorm, explosion, riot, damage to your home from a vehicle or aircraft, smoke, vandalism, theft or volcano. The important consideration when buying HO-1 insurance is to fully understand what is not covered so you aren't caught unprepared in the event of a loss.
HO-2: The HO-2 policy provides protection for everything listed in HO-1 plus falling objects, damage due to the weight of ice, accidental flooding due to broken pipes or other items in the home, freezing of household systems or appliances, damage due to artificial current and other perils excluding flood, earthquakes, war, and others.
HO-3: A comprehensive policy, this will cover everything except those items specifically mentioned in the policy itself. It is a common choice for the homeowner desiring full protection.
HO-4: Also known as renters insurance, this policy only covers possessions. It's a good extension policy for those with children away at college.
HO-6: Comparable to the HO-2 policy, this is designed with the unique needs of condo owners.
HO-8: An alternative policy designed specifically for those with older homes. Replacement value may not be available on an HO-8 policy, but the premiums tend to be more affordable.