Dwelling coverage insurance, also known as structural insurance, is the portion of the standard homeowner’s policy that covers the home itself and any buildings attached to the home. Dwelling insurance covers all structural elements of the home, including walls, support beams, roof, walls, floors and foundation against loss or damage due to a covered event. In the event that the home is damaged or destroyed by a covered incident, the coverage will provide funds to rebuild or repair the structure.
Outbuildings may be covered by home insurance dwelling coverage as well, although some buildings may require a special rider to the policy in order to record the value and insurance level for each covered structure. Structures that may require a rider include gazebos, barns, guest houses, sheds and fences; even swimming pools can be included in dwelling coverage by adding a rider to the policy.
Fire, severe weather including lightning, hailstorms and windstorms, vehicular damage, vandalism and flooding caused by plumbing mishaps are among the covered perils on most dwelling insurance policies. Flood, hurricane and tornado insurance may not be included, depending on where the home is located, and may require a specific rider in order to ensure this particular dwelling coverage insurance. Dwelling fire insurance typically covers water and smoke damage due to the fire and fire control methods as well.
Replacement vs. Cash Value
Like other forms of home insurance, dwelling coverage typically is available in full replacement value or current cash value varieties. Homeowners should, almost without exception, always elect the full replacement value coverage in order to ensure that they can rebuild their home in the event of a total loss. Cash value policies can vary depending on the current market value of the home; because this is a negotiable figure, homeowners are better off requiring the insurance company to rebuild a comparable structure than accepting a cash settlement that may not resolve their situation.