Ohio Home Insurance
I believe the most important thing to consider when insuring your home is knowing what is and what is not covered and how much coverage you have. Your insurance agent should be wiling to sit down with you and go over your coverage to make sure you don’t run the risk of experiencing an uncovered claim.
I’ve seen far too many homeowner’s concerned with the lowest rate/premium rather than concerning themselves with protecting their homes. For your own sake, please make sure your home is protected from loss.
When it comes to protecting your home, there are lots of things to consider:
- What needs to be protected
- How will it be protected
- What is included and excluded in your insurance policy
- The reliability and reputation of the insurance company protecting your home (in the case of a claim)
- Cost of protection
What is the purpose of Homeowner’s Insurance?
The purpose of Ohio home insurance is to protect your home, attached, detached structures, and contents against “Perils”. A Peril is a specific risk or cause of loss covered by an insurance policy, such as a fire, windstorm, flood, or theft. A named-peril policy covers the policyholder only for the risks named in the policy in contrast to an all-risk policy, which covers all causes of loss except those specifically excluded.
What are the types of coverage an Ohio home insurance policy offers?
Property – Includes the dwelling, attached structures, may include personal property – We will define this later
Liability – Personal Liability insurance is about financial protection – for you and your family. The personal liability coverage within your homeowner’s policy provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by others for which you or covered residents of your household are legally responsible.
There are 8 Homeowners’ Policy Types or Forms:
- HO 1 – BASIC “Named Peril”
- HO 2 – BROAD “Named Peril”
- HO 3 – SPECIAL “Open Peril” = all risks except those excluded
- HO 4 – TENANT
- HO 5 – COMPREHENSIVE FORM
- HO 6 – CONDOMINIUM
- HO 7 – MOBILE HOME
- HO 8 – OLDER HOME (HISTORIC)
The Basic Form (HO-1) typically covers:
- Fire or smoke
- Hail and windstorms
- Damage from vehicles
- Damage from aircraft
- Riots and civil commotion
- Volcanic eruption
The Broad Form HO-2 typically covers everything in the Basic Form along with:
- Falling objects
- The weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Freezing of household systems such as heater or air conditioning unit
- Sudden and accidental damage to pipes or other household systems
- An accidental overflow of water or steam
- Sudden and accidental damage from an electrical current (artificially generated)
The most commonly purchased and recommended form in Ohio is the HO-3 Special Form because it is the minimum coverage required by mortgage providers. It is an open perils policy that covers any direct damage to the house or other structures on the property unless it is specifically excluded.
The HO-3 special form covers your property, personal belongings, and liability protection. Common perils excluded are earthquakes and floods. The HO-3 form is:
- Designed for someone that owns the house they live in. That’s the starting point
- The house that’s normally covered would be a single-family dwelling or multi-unit dwelling, like a duplex, that has up to four units. Some carriers would restrict that further, but generally it’s four units.
- The owner occupant of the dwelling may also have boarders. They can own a house where they rent out a room to somebody else and still be eligible for this policy
- Considering that the biggest thing is the owner, the occupant, it’s an owner-occupied property.
HO-3 Policies are not meant for:
- Somebody renting out a house or home
- People that own the house, but they are renting it out
- Condominium unit owners
- Business entities
Things that are typically excluded in Ohio home insurance policy include:
- Motor Vehicles (unless used to maintain the property or assist handicapped individuals
- Property of roomers
- Property in an apt rented or held for rental by others
- Business Data, credit cards (unless specified)
Homeowner’s Insurance coverage has five parts or coverage’s to it:
Dwelling (coverage A)
Covers the house and attached structures for accidental direct physical loss, such as built in appliances or wall to wall carpet, etc.
Other Structures (coverage B)
Covers other buildings or structures on the property that are separated by clear space from the house. Examples are detached garage or a shed (lawn equipment or furniture is stored. Automatic % of dwelling amount
coverage, typically 10%
Contents aka personal property (coverage C)
Covers your personal property, such as furniture, clothes, etc. Items not attached to your home. Covers losses due to specific causes: fire, smoke, wind, theft and others* – typically 50% of dwelling
Additional Living Expenses, loss of use (coverage D)
Loss of use. These are costs you may incur if you have to temporarily relocate because your home is unlivable as a result of the covered damage.
Personal Liability (coverage E)
Covers bodily injury and property damage to others for which you are held liable.
Additional coverage’s may include the following items. However some of them may need to be added by endorsement and may cost extra:
- Debris Removal
- Water Back – water backing up from sewers and drains in the house
- Ash & Dust Removal
- Tree Removal (fire, lightning, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles vandalism and theft)
- Reasonable Temporary Repairs to Damaged property
- Trees, shrubs & plants (fire, lightning, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles vandalism and theft)
- Loss Assessment
- Ordinance or Law (code enforcement upgrades)
What is NOT included in a standard Homeowner’s insurance policy in Ohio:
- Flood coverage is excluded from all homeowner’s policies – it happens when a body of water comes into your home from the outside – it is issued through a federally mandated program. The rates are the same wherever you go.
- Pest infestation including termites
- Car or boat theft/damage
- Items damaged intentionally by you or a family member
- Pet injury/theft
- Injuries occurring to yourself or family in your home (pet bites, falls, etc.). However these same injuries may be covered if they occur to “others” (non-family members) inside your family home or on your property.
Buying a home may be one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. Make sure your home is protected. If you’d like a quote or have questions about homeowner’s insurance in Ohio, feel free to call me at 614-642-0941
To watch a full Power Point presentation on Homeowner’s Insurance go here: Ohio Home Insurance Powerpoint Presentation