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Types of Homeowner Insurance: An Interview with Seth Rice of Rice Insurance Agency

By Seth Rice

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Founded in 1968, Roger A. Rice Insurance Agency is a leader in providing high quality insurance protection for hundreds of individuals, families and businesses throughout five states, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan. Providing superior customer service and low rates along with our ability to understand our customer's coverage needs drives the success of our agency.

By offering world class protection for your Auto, Home, Health, Business, and Life Insurance, we make sure that you're covered today as well as in the future so that you can focus on what is important to you and your family. We evaluate your specific needs; find the company that will give you the best value for your dollar, while supplying a superior standard of protection. The companies we represent offer tested, reliable insurance products and excellent customer service. We make sure that the insurance companies that we represent have an outstanding reputation for fast, fair claims service.

Please briefly explain the idea of home insurance to our readers, what it is, why it was created, etc.

Homeowners insurance was created for financial protection from a damaging or destructive event. A standard policy includes coverage for the structure of your home, coverage for your personal belongings, liability protection & additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured loss.

What different types of homeowners' insurance are available? (e.g. dwelling fire, basic, broad, etc.)

The 6 most common home insurance plan options are:

HO-2 Broad Form: This policy is a named-perils policy that specifically covers perils itemized in the policy, and no others. Perils usually covered include windstorm, lightning, or hail, and fire or explosion. However, if the peril is not included, then it is excluded.

HO-3 Special Form: This is the most commonly purchased policy, which is an open perils policy that covers any direct damage to the house or other structures on the property unless it is specifically excluded. Covered losses on realty are insured for full replacement value with no depreciation deduction, although certain restrictions apply.

HO-4 Contents broad form: This is a renter's policy for apartments or houses. This named-perils policy not only covers personal property, both within the rented dwelling and outside, but also includes liability insurance.

HO-5 Comprehensive Form: This policy is also an open perils policy, but also includes direct damage or loss to personal property. Thus, personal property is covered by an open perils clause rather than the more restricted named perils coverage of HO-2 and HO-3. Any direct damage or loss to realty or personal property is covered, unless it is specifically excluded.

HO-6 Unit Owner form: This is a policy designed for owners of condominiums. This offers dwelling coverage, which generally insures the interior walls, drywall, wallpaper, paneling, flooring, carpeting, or built-in cabinets. This is the coverage you need to cover your part of the building; the unit you own.

What type of insurance do you or your company most often recommend and why? (Please explain benefits and cons)

Roger A. Rice Insurance Agency always recommends that the homeowner fully insure their structure and personal property with the correct liability coverage amount to protect their assets against a law suit. An HO-5 or comparable comprehensive form is an excellent choice since the HO-3 covers your Contents on a "named perils" basis. The HO-5 or comparable form covers contents on an "open perils" basis. Many of the limitations of the HO-3 are removed, existing coverages expanded and new coverages added. For example, with an HO-5, you don't have to check to see if "replacement cost" coverage on your home and on your contents has been added to your policy. The HO-5 includes it automatically.

For someone with low income, what do you suggest they do in regard to their home insurance? Are there government programs that can help or private deals that are available?

At this time, I am not aware of a low income government program that specifically deals with homeowners insurance. I recommend that low income individual's request home insurance quotes from multiple preferred insurance carriers. Home insurance premium rates will differ per insurance carrier and if you currently own a vehicle, you can package the home & auto together. This could save the individual up the 25% in annual premiums.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Please contact Seth Rice at Roger A. Rice Insurance Agency. Our office number is 847-299-4680, email:, website at

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