What does dwelling coverage insure?

Your policy’s dwelling coverage may provide protection for several types of structures, which may include:

  • Your house
  • Attached garage
  • Attached deck
  • Verandas, screened-in porches, etc.
  • Chimneys
  • Building materials permanently installed (flooring, ceilings, countertops, cabinets, vanities, etc.)

Detached garages, sheds, barns, unattached guest homes, fences, or any other detached structures are typically not covered under dwelling coverage. However, these structures may be covered by your homeowners insurance policy under “other structures” coverage .

What perils does dwelling insurance usually cover?

Homeowners insurance policies often cover the same perils, but this may vary by insurer and state:

  • Fire
  • Hail or windstorm, including tornadoes
  • Lightning strikes
  • Tornadoes
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Damages caused by weight of snow, sleet, or ice
  • Damages caused by a motor vehicle
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam

Note that dwelling coverage on standard policies typically won’t protect against damage caused by floods, earthquakes, sewer backups, or lack of maintenance. Learn more about flood insurance and what to do if your home is damaged in an earthquake.

How your dwelling coverage amount is calculated

Most home insurers will ask several questions about your home to give you an accurate insurance quote, including the type of your roof, the year your home was built, square footage, flooring, and the number of bathrooms. Their goal is to determine how much it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch in the event of a total loss. The rebuild price is called the "replacement cost value” and will usually be a different amount than your home's fair market value or the figure you might see on a realtor's website.

Get the right amount of dwelling coverage for your home

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