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Dwelling and Other Structures. What’s the Difference?

By November 14, 2014May 21st, 2020Insurance


When you are purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy it is important to have a complete understanding of how your coverage works. Waiting until you have to make a claim is probably not the best time to try to understand your policy. People who choose to wait until the last minute often find out that their homeowner’s dwelling and other structures coverage are not sufficient.   

So here’s a review of the difference between dwelling and other structures coverage.

1. Firstly let’s discuss the Dwelling. A dwelling characteristically covers a person’s home, their attached structures, as well as equipment in the house like built in appliances, heating, plumbing, and electrical wiring.

Keep in mind that foundation is the major term to remember regarding dwelling. Normally the dwelling portion of the homeowner’s insurance policy coverage extends to things that share the same foundation as the main home.

Something else to consider regarding dwelling’s coverage is the replacement value of your home. Market value does not always mirror a home’s replacement cost. This is usually the case with older homes, and brick homes which are often more expensive to rebuild because of the cost of materials.

2. Now let’s take a look at Other Structures. Other structures can be defined as any other structure on the property not sharing the foundation of the dwelling. Things like detached garages, storage sheds, as well as fences, driveways, and sidewalks are all things that can be included in this category.

Something that’s key to remember regarding other structures is that it usually only provides 10% of the dwelling coverage. This means if you have your home covered for $150,000 then your other structures coverage would be $15,000. In a case like this it may be a good idea to meet with your agent to get more coverage, as many detached garages are worth more than $15,000.

Some things to remember is that any structure rented, used for business, or any additions not reported to your insurance company will not be covered. This makes it very important to keep in contact with your insurance agent.