Basic vs. Broad vs. Special Coverage Forms

There are typically three different coverage forms available on most personal and commercial insurance policies. The three different forms are basic, broad and special. Each coverage form applies to that insurance policy and states exactly what causes of loss are considered covered by that specific policy, subject to the exclusions of that policy. The first and most restricted is BASIC form, which only covers losses due to:

  • Fire or Lightning
  • wind or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or Civil Commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Sinkhole Collapse
  • Volcanic action
  • Collision

All other causes of loss are not covered under the basic coverage form. The next coverage form is BROAD form. Broad form provides coverage against all of the Basic causes plus the following:

  • glass
  • Falling objects
  • Freezing, thawing, pressure or weight of ice, snow, sleet and water
  • Tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
  • Discharge, overflow or leakage of water or steam
  • Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, lines, pipes, or other similar items containing water
  • Artificially generated electrical current

The last, SPECIAL form, is the most comprehensive form of the three. Instead of listing what is covered, a special form policy will “provide coverage against risks of direct physical loss to eligible property,” subject only to the specific exclusions and conditions of that policy. Meaning, unless it is excluded in the policy itself, most losses are covered losses. Special form is typical of most insurance policies intodays market as it can be extremely beneficial to an insured.