Updated: February 2017
Dwelling coverage, sometimes called "dwelling insurance," is the part of your homeowners insurance policy that may help pay for the rebuilding or the repair of the physical structure of your home if it's damaged by a covered hazard.
Here's a look at what kinds of risks may be covered by dwelling insurance.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are certain hazards, or perils, that are covered by most standard homeowners insurance policies. While the coverage can vary from state to state or from one geographical region to another, homeowners policies typically offer coverage for the following:
- Lightning strikes
- Damage caused by the weight of snow, sleet or ice
- Falling objects
- Damage from an aircraft
- Damage from a motor vehicle
While these hazards are typically covered, you should always check your own homeowners insurance policy to determine what it covers.
A standard homeowners insurance policy typically does not cover floods, earthquakes, sewer backups or damage that occurs from a lack of maintenance. Talk to your insurance agent to find out what your options are to help protect your home from these additional perils.
Although a lot of people think of their dwelling as just the physical structure that they live in, dwelling coverage may help protect more than that. Dwelling coverage typically helps protect the home you live in plus attached structures. What this means is that as long as it's attached to your house, your garage may also be covered under the dwelling portion of your policy.
If damage to an attached structure occurs as the result of a covered hazard, your homeowners insurance may help cover the costs to repair it or rebuild it. If attached to your home, a deck or front and back porch may also be considered a part of your dwelling, and therefore may also be covered by the dwelling coverage in your homeowners insurance policy.
If you have a structure on your property that isn't connected to your home and that doesn't qualify as part of your dwelling — like a detached garage, fence or shed — it is likely not protected by dwelling coverage. Instead, you may find these are protected by another aspect of homeowners insurance called other structures coverage.
Dwelling coverage is usually subject to limits and deductibles Your limit is the maximum amount that your homeowners insurance policy will pay toward a covered loss. Your deductible is the amount you'll pay out of pocket before your insurance will kick in to help cover a loss. Read your policy to learn what your limits and deductibles are. Your insurance agent can help you adjust them to fit your needs.
You probably don't expect your home to be damaged, but in the event that the unexpected occurs, dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs. Contact a local agent for more information about dwelling coverage and other ways homeowners insurance may help offer protection.