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Broad form home insurance can be thought of as the middle ground between named perils coverage, which offers the least amount of protection among home insurance policies, and comprehensive home insurance, which offers the most. As the mid-tier option, it provides a compromise between coverage and cost.
Choosing between the three types of home insurance can be confusing if you’re not sure how they differ. This is why it’s important to discuss your coverage options and expectations with your insurance provider. As a starting point, take a look at the main differentiating factors below.
Though broad form home insurance represents a middle ground option, it is in fact closer to comprehensive insurance than named perils insurance. As the chart below illustrates, broad form home insurance protects additional dwellings, and provides additional living expenses, liability and voluntary medical payments, which are not a mandatory component of no perils coverage.
How broad form and comprehensive home insurance differ is that comprehensive policies protect the contents of a home. A broad form policy may protect some contents as well, but only those specified in the policy. The other main difference is the extent of each coverage type; comprehensive policies tend to offer a higher level of compensation for damage, theft and liability claims.
The chart below lays out, in simplified form, the differences between broad form home insurance and its standard and comprehensive counterparts.
|Contents||Only named perils||Only named perils||Covered|
|Additional living expenses||Not covered||Covered||Covered|
Determining which of the three home insurance policy types is right for you depends on your property and the contents within your home. Broad form insurance is ideal for those with additional structures, like a pool or detached garage, for those who have pets (because pets increase the likelihood of a liability claim) or those who may not have somewhere to stay if they are temporarily displaced.
When choosing between broad form and comprehensive coverage, one consideration is the value of contents within your home. If you have expensive jewelry, electronics or collectibles, comprehensive may be the way to go. If not, broad form may offer all the protection you need at a lower price.
Different providers may offer slightly different coverage, but a standard list of perils that are usually covered by broad form home insurance include:
This is just a general list. Check your policy to see what is covered. If a particular peril is not covered, it may be able to add it to your policy for an additional cost.
Certain events aren’t covered by broad form home insurance. They mainly come down to natural wear and tear and accidental damage. Examples include:
If you want more coverage than what broad form home insurance provides, you have two options. First, you can add a specific peril to your coverage for an added cost. If, for example, overland water damage wasn’t covered, you may add it as a policy rider. The alternative to augmenting your coverage with riders is to switch to a comprehensive home insurance policy. Comprehensive policies offer greater coverage than broad form policies, but tend to be more expensive.
Choosing between a broad form policy with riders and a comprehensive policy will come down to cost – is it more economical to add one or more riders or to upgrade the whole policy.
Yes. If your policy does not protect against a certain peril – e.g. fire – any claim for damage caused by a fire will be denied. Likewise, if you make a claim that states damage was caused by a peril that is covered by your policy, but that the claims adjustor determines was actually caused by something else, your claim will be denied, and your policy may even be cancelled.
The more thorough your coverage, the less likely your claim will be denied. Comprehensive insurance policies have the highest rates for claim approval, followed by broad form, followed by named perils.