Older homes (40+ years) can present a unique set of insurance challenges. They are often not eligible for popular types of homeowners insurance, such as HO-3 and HO-5 policies. But an HO-8 policy – covers these historic structures.

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What Does HO-8 Insurance Cover?

HO-8 is a home insurance policy for homeowners who own older homes. It’s also known as the modified coverage form because it lists only certain types of perils that your insurer will cover. These often include the 10 following perils: 

  • Aircraft
  • Civil unrest and riots
  • Explosions
  • Hailstorms and windstorms
  • Lightning and fire
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief
  • Vehicles
  • Volcanic eruptions

While HO-8 policies can be helpful for some homeowners, they cover fewer perils than other types of insurance. This is because HO-8 policies do not pay out more than the actual cash value, and the build cost would likely exceed that amount. 


Your home is your castle, and this coverage can help protect it. However, HO-8 policies don’t cover as many perils as an HO-3 policy does. While they’ll pay for repairs after a fire or disaster that smashes through the roof of your house, you’re only covered by actual cash value in the event of total loss with these types of homeowners insurance.

Loss of use

Loss of use coverage can help pay for temporary living costs when a covered loss affects your home, and you need to live elsewhere. Typically, this type of insurance only covers the difference between what it would usually cost you to spend on things like hotel rooms or meals and whatever expenses are incurred after a disaster damages your property.

Medical expenses of others

When you have medical payments coverage, it helps pay your guest’s medical expenses if they suffer an injury on the property. However, this doesn’t cover what happens to members of your household — that is typically accounted for separately from this insurance.

Other structures

If a covered peril causes damage to constructions on your property detached from the home, like a garage, other structures’ coverage can help pay for the repair and rebuild costs.

Personal liability

Personal liability coverage helps homeowners pay legal expenses when they are held liable for injuring someone or damaging property.

Personal property

When personal property is damaged due to a named peril, a standard policy will provide actual cash value personal property coverage. This means you will only receive the cost of its depreciated value. Many insurers will offer optional replacement cost coverage to compensate you for items lost by replacing them at their current price. 

What Does HO-8 Insurance Not Cover?

HO-8 insurance policies won’t cover losses caused by perils not named in the policy. This can include:

  • Earthquakes
  • Falling objects
  • Flood damage
  • Water damage
  • Winter-related damage 
  • Hurricane
  • Mold
  • Vandalism to vacant dwellings
  • Government actions
  • Intentional damage
  • Building code enforcement
  • General wear and tear

Depending on the area you live in, you may be able to purchase additional earthquake and flood insurance.

Who Is Best Suited for HO-8 Insurance?

Those who live in homes that were built over 40 years ago often purchase HO-8 insurance. It is, however, a good idea to try to buy HO-3 or HO-5 insurance. 

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How Much Does HO-8 Insurance Usually Cost?

The cost of HO-8 insurance varies greatly. Contact Coverage Haven for an accurate quote. 

What Are the Other Types of Home Insurance Policy Forms?

While HO-8 policies are the most popular for those in older or historic homes, they may not be your only option. There are others to review while you shop around for home insurance so that you can find a policy that best suits your needs and budget.

HO-1 Policies

HO-1 is the most basic and cheapest form of homeowner’s insurance that you can get for your home or personal property. However, it covers only a few perils, so it isn’t offered in most states due to its limitations.

HO-2 Policies

An HO-2 insurance policy is also known as the broad form and offers more coverage than an HO-1 but less coverage than an HO3. Like a basic named perils policy, this type of insurance covers specific damages listed on the contract and nothing else.

HO-3 Policies

HO-3 insurance is an open perils policy for homes, with additional coverage of other structures on your property. It’s the most common form of home insurance and covers all dangers except those excluded in its declarations page.

HO-4 Policies

HO-4 policies, commonly referred to as renters insurance, provide coverage for damage done to your property.

HO-5 Policies

HO-5 policies have features similar to an HO-3, but it covers both the building and any contents (e.g., furs, fine art, or jewelry) if disaster strikes your home.

HO-6 Policies

HO-6 insurance protects condo owners and their property. It’s important to research what your HOA covers, as the amount of coverage you need will vary depending on this information.

HO-7 Policies

HO-7 mobile home insurance is a type of homeowner’s policy that provides average coverages like liability or personal property damage explicitly designed for mobile homes.

Homeowner Insurance FAQ

What type of home insurance do I need for a historical home?

If you buy an older home, it is more expensive to rebuild or repair because insurance carriers increase their premiums for risk mitigation. Several types of homeowners policies offer coverage for old houses, such as high-value, HO-8, and standard HO-3. If your home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, HO-8 is likely the best coverage for you.

How are HO-8 claims paid?

Actual cash value is a term used in insurance to describe the amount of money paid out for property damaged or destroyed. With this coverage, depreciation from your home is taken into consideration, so you may not receive as much when it comes time to pay up after an incident occurs.

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Contact Coverage Haven today to learn more about HO-8 insurance policies and whether they fit your needs.

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