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Dwelling coverage pays to repair or replace your home if it’s damaged. But while the list of what’s covered can be extensive, all policies have some big exclusions — like flood and earthquake damage — that can require additional insurance.
Dwelling coverage, also referred to as dwelling insurance or building insurance, covers the structure of your home. It’s generally included as part of your homeowners insurance policy.
Your dwelling refers to your home and any attached structures. So while an attached garage would be covered, a shed in your backyard or a guest home likely wouldn’t. But unattached structures are often covered under a different section of your homeowners insurance policy — you can check with your insurer to find out the specifics for your home.
Sort of, but insurance for condos works a bit differently. While your homeowners association (HOA) will have a master policy that covers the building itself, you’ll still need coverage for parts of the building inside your unit.
For example, outside hallways and staircases are covered by your HOA’s policy, but damage to the floors or plumbing in your unit aren’t. For more information, read our guide to condo insurance.
Exactly what you’re covered for depends on your specific homeowners insurance policy, but comprehensive policies will pay to repair your home if it’s damaged due to:
Coverage typically includes financial protection for the cost of things like demolition, the removal of debris, rebuilding costs and temporary accommodations.
Exclusions vary from policy to policy, but you generally won’t be covered for damage caused by:
Homeowners insurance policies generally won’t cover damage to your home due to a flood or earthquake. To fully protect your dwelling, you’ll need to purchase flood insurance and earthquake insurance separately.
A few things that may impact your premium are:
To choose a policy that fits your needs, compare insurers based on:
Your dwelling coverage should be enough for the total replacement cost of your property, including other expenses like temporary accommodation. If you’re under-insured, you’ll have to pay the gap between what your policy covers and the replacement cost for your building, which could be a substantial amount of money.
To find out exactly how much coverage you need, have your home appraised before starting a new insurance policy. It’s also a good idea to get a new appraisal every couple of years, or any time you make major changes to the home.
If you own a commercial building, are currently doing construction on your home or own an unoccupied home, you may need a special type of insurance.
If you own a commercial property, you’ll need to get commercial property insurance to cover your building. If you run a business out of your home, talk with your insurer to find out what type of coverage is best for you.
This type of insurance is designed to provide coverage for condominiums and taken out by the homeowners association or condo association. It covers outside structures of the building that wouldn’t be covered by condo insurance taken out by a homeowner.
Dwelling coverage is an important part of your homeowners insurance policy that covers damage to the structure of your home. But a complete policy can also cover unattached structures and personal belongings. To learn more, read our guide to home insurance.
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