What is Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling Coverage is a very important part of your homeowner’s insurance policy and is the coverage that protects the building and any attached structures such as a garage, for example.

If you file a claim for damages for any of the hazards listed, your home insurance can help cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home. But do you understand how coverage works? Do you know when housing coverage is triggered?

What does Dwelling Coverage cover?

Your policy’s housing coverage can provide protection for many types of structures, which may include:

  • Your home
  • Garage attached to the building
  • Deck attached to the building
  • balconies
  • chimneys
  • Install building materials (floors, ceilings, countertops, cabinets, sinks, etc.)

Your housing coverage covers damage to your home, including the foundation, structure, walls, and roof. It can cover things installed in your homes, such as cabinets, air conditioning, oven, and water heater.

Detached garages, sheds, barns, freestanding guest houses, fences, or any other insulated structures are not normally covered by Dwelling Coverage. However, these structures may be covered by your home insurance policy under “Other Structures” coverage.

What are the hazards covered by Dwelling Coverage?

Also referred to as “Coverage A” within the policy, Dwelling Coverage will generally cover damage from any of these causes:

  • fire and smoke
  • Lightning strikes
  • Wind damage
  • Hail or windstorms, including tornadoes
  • explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Damage from the weight of snow, sleet, or ice
  • falling objects
  • Damage to an aircraft or automobile
  • Volcanic eruption
  • tornadoes
  • Water damage caused by appliance overflow or heating/air conditioning malfunction
  • Freezing plumbing, heat ducts, irrigation system

However, the hazards covered may vary from insurer to insurer, check your policy to ensure it covers these common causes of loss.

It is also important to remember that standard policies do not usually cover damage caused by floods, earthquakes, sewer backups, or neglected maintenance. Learn more about flood insurance.

How much housing coverage do you need?

How much housing coverage do you need? This is a crucial definition when choosing your coverage, after all this will be the amount your insurance company will reimburse you in the worst-case scenario.

When it comes to setting a Dwelling Coverage value for your home, you should focus on the value needed to rebuild your home as-is, not the purchase price or market value.

The replacement cost may be higher or lower than these values. Your goal with home insurance coverage is to replace your home with a structure similar in size and design or repair it in a way that is consistent with the style of the rest of the home.

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Calculating your home replacement cost estimate is crucial to figuring out the value of your coverage. First, research what builders are charging in your area per square foot and multiply by the number of square feet in your home. Then consider the details of your home: does it have hardwood floors? Old lamps? A newly renovated kitchen? Or is it older, with period finishes that may require special attention if lost? Also, add the value to replace the roof and the value of the exterior finish.

You can also ask an insurance broker for help. Most insurers have a tool to calculate this value for you and figure out the best way to ensure your most precious asset. Covering you with Full Replacement Cost, your insurance will cover the cost of rebuilding the structure, including fixtures (such as chandeliers, sinks, and doors) and related systems.


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