HO8 Homeowners Insurance for Older Houses


HO8 insurance policies are most commonly used for older homes (typically over 40 years old). With an older home that has a replacement cost that far exceeds the actual market value; it may be not be possible to purchase a standard HO3 policy because the home has not been updated appropriately to qualify.

Updates sited for disqualification usually relate the homes HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and roofing. Sometimes, poor credit, DUI’s, or bankruptcies are responsible for HO3 coverage not being available to a particular homeowner thus necessitating the use of the more limited H08 coverage.

The HO8 policy is almost identical to an HO1 policy in that it protects your home and your personal property from 11 common perils. The disasters included in an HO8 policy are as follows.

  1. Fire or Lighting
  2. Wind
  3. Hail storms
  4. Explosions
  5. Riots or civil unrest
  6. Aircraft
  7. Vehicles
  8. Volcanic eruption
  9. Smoke
  10. Theft or Vandalism
  11. Falling objects (trees, parts of the home, etc. – however, you must show that the object fell due to one of the listed perils and not simply due to lack of maintenance or negligence on the homeowner’s part)

The main difference between and HO8 policy and HO1 is that HO1’s typically cover the dwelling for replacement cost whereas the HO8 is written to cover only actual cash value. Actual cash value takes actual market value and depreciation for age and wear and tear into account. In the event of a total loss of your home, under an HO8 policy the typical payout would be far less than the payout would be under the more desirable replacement cost insurance coverage offered in say an HO3 policy.

While not always ideal coverage, due to a smaller list of perils and value limitations, HO8 insurance may be an affordable alternative when other homeowner’s insurance options are not available.

The National Storm Damage Center provides everything you need to prepare for and recover from severe storm damage.