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Written By Lubna Umar


What is broad form home insurance?

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.

Broad form vs. comprehensive and standard home insurance

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.

Protection Standard Broad form Comprehensive
Main dwelling Covered Covered Covered
Dwelling itself Covered Covered
Contents Only named perils Only named perils Covered
Additional living expenses Not covered Covered Covered
Personal liability Optional Covered Covered
medical payments
Optional Covered Covered

Frequently asked questions about broad form home insurance

Who should get broad form home insurance?

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.

What’s covered by broad form insurance?

Different providers may offer slightly different coverage, but a standard list of perils that are usually covered by broad form home insurance include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Explosion
  • Electricity
  • Smoke
  • Broken windows
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Sudden and accidental water escape or rupture
  • Falling objects
  • Impact by aircraft, spacecraft, or land vehicle
  • Riot
  • Vandalism or malicious acts
  • Theft including damage caused by attempted theft

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.

What isn’t covered by broad form insurance?

Certain events aren’t covered by broad form home insurance. They mainly come down to natural wear and tear and accidental damage. Examples include:

  • Lost items, such as losing an earring
  • Accidental damage, rips, and power surges
  • Property risks, such as terrorism and war
  • Damage from birds, rodents, insects and other pests
  • Damage from your own pet
  • Wear and tear, such as rot or condensation

What if I want more coverage?

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.

Can a home insurance claim be denied?

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.

Lubna Umar

Lubna Umar is an SEO Content Manager at RATESDOTCA. She has produced a wide variety of content, including academic essays, pieces of fiction and financial literacy guides. In her free time, she can be found exploring the café culture in Toronto or any other major city.

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