Specialty Homeowner (HO-10)

For owner-occupied homes that need special coverage, customers can count on you to offer a solution.

A home you’re asked to cover may be in great shape, but it may be an older home, perhaps even with a few claims in its history disqualifying it for standard coverage. Our specialty homeowners program fills the middle ground between basic and comprehensive coverage – protecting not just the structure, but also personal possessions and liability exposure as well.


  • Single- or two-family construction
  • Average or better condition, showing proper maintenance
  • Full-time, owner-occupied residence or a seasonally used home
  • No age restriction
  • Quote this product in AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MA, ME, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, WA and WI   (for other states we recommend the DP-3 or DP-1 products)

Key coverages

Named peril protection Covers those listed in the policy documents.
Personal property The customer’s belongings are protected on an actual cash value basis. Can be upgraded to replacement cost.
Liability If someone is injured or property damaged in the home. Choose from several protection levels.
Actual cash value settlement For a total or partial loss, we settle at the actual cash value (ACV) of the loss. Full repair cost and replacement cost coverage is offered in many states.

Coverage details

  • Liability – Policyholders are covered if an injury occurs to someone while on their premises, or if they accidentally injure someone or damage property while they are away from the home.
  • Personal property – Personal belongings are protected on an actual cash value basis if the home suffers a covered loss.
  • Other structures – Sheds, detached garages or fences are protected.
  • Additional living expenses – If a covered peril causes sufficient damage to move out, we cover the extra living expenses until repairs are complete or a new home is found.
  • Reasonable expenses – We cover the cost for emergency repairs that prevent additional damage, such as covering a roof after a storm.
  • Limited burglary – If a forced entry leaves signs of visible damage (for example a broken window or jimmied door) we will cover the theft of personal items or permanently attached items such as a heat pump or even copper piping.
    • Enhanced coverage for additional causes of loss, including:

      • Collapse
      • Power surge
      • Freezing *See AMsuite only Water damage
      • Falling objects
      • Weight of snow or ice
      • Water discharge from plumbing, heating or cooling system *See AMsuite only Water damage
    • Full repair cost loss settlement – Coverage can be upgraded so that depreciation is not considered in determining the settlement.
    • Breakdown protection – Widen the policy’s scope to include the repair or replacement of major appliances, HVAC and electronics due to mechanical or electrical failure.
    • Water backup – Add protection for damage failure caused by the backup of water from a drain or sewer.

    AMsuite only:
    Water damage –10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of Coverage A options available. *This coverage will be separate from the Enhanced coverage where these perils were previously included.

Q: What occupancies are available in the American Modern Specialty Homeowners program?
A: Owner-occupied and seasonal occupancies are available in this program.

Q: What is the target market for this program?
A: The Specialty Homeowners Program is designed for the owner-occupied or seasonal home that is not eligible for coverage in the standard market due to age, claims, animals, value or size of the dwelling. Homes should be in average or better condition showing pride of ownership.

Q: What perils are covered on this Specialty Homeowners form?
A: The American Modern Specialty Homeowners program is written on the named peril basis. Perils covered include fire, explosion, windstorm, hail, riot, civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, volcanic eruption, vandalism, malicious mischief, and burglary (subject to sub limits).

Q: What perils are covered on the Specialty Homeowners form with Enhanced Coverage endorsement?
A: All perils listed above with the addition of collapse, freezing, water from plumbing and HVAC system, and power interruption caused by a surge.

Q: What claims settlement options are available on the Specialty Homeowners form?
A: All claims are settled on an actual cash value basis. Policies with the full repair endorsement will be settled at full repair or replacement for the dwelling and other structures with personal property settling at ACV. Replacement cost is available on the home and contents in some states. Please refer to your state-specific program manual in the modernLINK eForms library.

Q: How many photos are required for submission with an application?
A: None. American Modern orders inspections with the issuance of every Specialty Homeowners application. These inspections include both photos and a site survey.

Q: What are the minimum value limits for the Specialty Homeowners program?
A: Minimum value limit for the standard ACV settlement is $40,000. Minimum value for replacement cost coverage is $75,000.

Q: What are the maximum value limits for the Specialty Homeowners program?
A: Maximum value limits vary by state. Please refer to your state-specific program manual in the modernLINK eForms library.

Q: What protection classes are eligible in this program?
A: Dwellings in protection classes 1-10 are eligible.

Q: What is the maximum age for dwellings in this program?
A: There is no maximum age in this program.

Q: Is liability covered on this form? If so, how is it covered?
A: Personal liability is included at $50,000. Other limits up to $300,000 are available.

Q: Is personal property covered on this form?
A: Personal property coverage is included at 40% of the Coverage A limit. Additional coverage is available by endorsement to up to 100% of the dwelling limit.

Q: Is there any coverage provided for other structures on this form?
A: Yes! Coverage for other structures, such as sheds and detached garages, is included on an actual cash value basis at up to 10% of the Coverage A limit. Coverage A is not reduced by the amount of the loss payment.

Q: What happens when the risk is unacceptable after the underwriter reviews the inspection?
A: If a risk is determined to be unacceptable, the underwriter will work with the agent, when possible, to recommend betterments or improvements to the property to increase its acceptability. If the risk is not acceptable, a direct notice of cancellation will be issued and coverage will cease according to the state-specific law.

Q: Are there age restrictions on the roof in the Specialty Homeowners program?
A: The roof must be 20 years of age or newer if the replacement cost option is selected.

Q: Are there any restrictions on types of wiring?
A: Yes. Knob and tube wiring is not acceptable.

Q: I have an applicant that has been turned away for coverage in standard markets because of the condition of detached structures. Can this program provide a solution?
A: Yes. The Specialty Homeowners Program has an Other Structures Exclusion, which will remove all other structures coverage at the insured premises.

Q: I have an applicant that has been turned away for coverage in standard markets because of animals on the premises. Can this program provide a solution?
A: Yes. The Specialty Homeowners Program has an Animal Liability Exclusion, which will remove that risk characteristic in the application. This endorsement is not available in every state. Please refer to your state-specific program manual.

Q: Are multiple family homes accepted in the Specialty Homeowners program?
A: Yes. American Modern will accept up to two-family dwellings.

Q: Are vandalism and malicious mischief (VMM) covered perils on the American Modern Specialty Homeowners policy?
A: Yes. This coverage is included.

See Comparison Guide for more details on what’s new in AMsuite for Homeowners. For complete information on AMsuite, visit the AMsuite Resource Center.

Program details may vary by state. For specifics, please log in to modernLINK and consult the program manual for specifics located under the eForms tab.