Whether you own your own property or a rent-paying tenant, having suitable and adequate property insurance in Pennsylvania is extremely important for financial reasons as well as for peace of mind. Choosing the right policy and the correct amount of coverage will vary with each individual situation and it is just common sense to explore your options before committing pen to paper.
Some research through the internet, or via friends and family, should point you in the right direction but it pays to discuss your requirements with an experienced insurance broker to get the best deal possible.
Six Policy Types
There are basically only six types of property insurance in Pennsylvania from pennsylvania-insurance.net and, indeed, throughout the U.S.A. Depending on whether you own or rent, some can be immediately dismissed and it just remains to decide the level of coverage you require.
HO-1 – Basic Homeowners Policy. The basis of all homeowners’ policies covering the most common risks to your home. The policy covers your house and contents for:
- Theft and burglary
- Fire and smoke damage
- Weather damage including wind, hail and lightning
- Vandalism and acts of mischief such as broken windows
- Bodily injuries and some medical costs
Other eventualities such as a gas explosion, riot damage, aircraft damage and expenses incurred if you have to temporarily relocate are also generally covered. HO-1 policies are not generally sold on their own but form the basis of other insurance policies.
HO-2 – Broad Form Policy. A HO-2 policy includes all of the items in a HO-1 policy but also covers:
- Damages caused by snow, sleet and ice
- Water damage caused by faulty plumbing, air-conditioning or heating systems
- Injury or damage caused by falling objects
- Damage to electrical appliances
- Burst or frozen plumbing
HO-3 – Special Form Policy. The most popular form of property insurance in Pennsylvania and usually the minimum form of insurance cover required if you want to mortgage your house. A HO-3 policy will insure your household against all physical losses except the usual exclusions such as floods, wars, earthquakes and nuclear events.
HO-4 – Tenants and Cooperative. For people who rent accommodation, a HO-4 policy is the alternative to policies available to homeowners.
HO-5 – Comprehensive Policy. The same as the HO-3 policy, a Comprehensive Policy will also include personal possessions.
HO-6 – Condominium Policy. The condominium building is usually insured by the owner’ associations and this policy is designed for the individual residents to cover damage and theft as well as personal possessions, fixtures and any damage caused to the to the resident’s unit.
Market Value Policy
There is one other type of property insurance policy on the market which is generally reserved for older houses and buildings. Called a Market Value Policy, it is a reworked version of the Basic Policy and covers the cost of replacing materials. It is suitable chiefly when the cost of replacements is greater than the market value of the property and payment of claims is limited to just repairing damages with suitable materials and not the original and more expensive materials used.