Dwelling Insurance

(Even if you don't live there, you still have a house to protect)

Written by Jessica Huneck
Written by Jessica Huneck

Jessica Huneck is an insurance writer from TrustedChoice.com. She began her writing career in 2011 and has since earned herself a bachelor's degree in English writing.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

What is it and do I need it? Find Dwelling Insurance.

If you're fortunate enough to own more than one home, then you know you can't be in two places at once. But that doesn't mean you don't need protection for your house, even if it's not your main living space. You also know that you probably don't need full home insurance, so what do you need? 

Not only do our independent insurance agents understand the difference between dwelling insurance and homeowners insurance, but they’ll also do the heavy lifting when it comes to finding you the best insurance for each of your homes.

What Is Dwelling Insurance?

Dwelling insurance is an insurance policy that covers the structure of a home and any structures that are directly attached to it. This can include a porch or deck, an attached garage, or a fence. Dwelling insurance is often referred to as second home insurance.


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What’s the Difference Between Dwelling Insurance and Home Insurance?

At first glance these two policies may seem the same, but they’re used for different situations.

Homeowners insurance: Personal, structure, and liability insurance for your home and your property. Homeowners insurance requires that you personally occupy your home. 

Number of owner-occupied housing units in the United States from 1975 to 2018 (in millions)

number of owner occupied homes in the U.S.

Dwelling insurance: Coverage for the structure and attached structures of the house and does not include liability. A dwelling policy is designed to cover houses that are generally rental houses or the owner doesn’t live there.

While you can include dwelling insurance in your homeowners policy, most people use dwelling insurance to provide coverage for a second home that they own but do not occupy. 

Number of renter-occupied housing units in the United States from 1975 to 2018 (in millions)

number of renter occupied homes in the U.S.

What Does Dwelling Insurance Cover?

Simply put, dwelling insurance is designed to repair, replace, or recover the value of the structure of the home if it’s damaged due to certain causes. 

Homeowners losses ranked by claims severity (average claim), last 4 years

Homeowners Losses Ranked By Claims Severity

Some of the things that dwelling insurance will not cover include floods, earthquakes, sewer backups and damage that results from a lack of maintenance.

If your home has additional structures on the property, such as a detached garage, a shed, or a living space, these are usually covered by your homeowners policy.

Dwelling insurance will not cover any personal items in the house, whether they be your possessions or those of the persons occupying your home. This is why dwelling insurance usually applies to second homes. 

If you're renting out your home, you want insurance to protect the structure of your house in case a fire breaks out, but it's not your responsibility to pay for your renter's possessions in the home. 

How Much Does Dwelling Insurance Cost?

The cost of dwelling insurance depends on the insurance company and how much coverage you need. The cost usually depends on the condition of the home. In general, it is cheaper than home insurance because it doesn’t include liability.  

You’ll want enough insurance to rebuild your home and any attached structures should they be completely destroyed. Getting your house appraised is a good way to determine how much dwelling coverage to get.

Can I Get Dwelling Insurance for My Condo or Apartment?

If you own a condo or apartment as your primary or second home, you may be wondering if you can purchase dwelling insurance for your property. The short answer is, yes! 

The amount of dwelling coverage will be dependent on the insurance policy of the complex in which you own property. Every condominium and apartment complex has a master insurance plan that will provide you with information about how much of the property you actually own. 

Based on that, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for what you’re responsible for. 

Why Do I Need Dwelling Insurance?

If you own a second home, dwelling insurance is a no-brainer. Just because you aren’t occupying the home, that doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for any physical damage to the property. At the same time, it’s not your responsibility to insure someone else’s possessions, so dwelling insurance will protect what’s yours (the house).

For those who own a single home, dwelling insurance can be a viable alternative to homeowners insurance. Not all properties are approved for homeowners insurance. Sometimes the property just isn’t worth enough, or the owner has bad credit or a history of claims. 

In this situation, dwelling insurance is easier to obtain than homeowners insurance. 


Save on Home Insurance

Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.

How to Find the Best Dwelling Insurance

Homeownership is complicated enough, and add a second home to the mix and you've got your hands full. With all of the insurance options, it's best to turn to the experts. 

Be prepared to discuss all of your properties, your use for them, their location, and the structures at risk when you meet with an independent insurance agent. This will help them find the appropriate insurance for you.

Compare Dwelling Insurance Quotes with an Independent Insurance Agent

There's no need to waste your precious time wondering if dwelling or homeowners insurance is right for you. That's what our independent insurance agents are for.

They stay in the know about the housing insurance market and on top of trends, so they'll know good value when they see it. That means they'll be able to shop insurance policies to find the best one for you. 

They’re not just there at the beginning, either. If disaster strikes one of your homes, your agent will be there to help walk you through the process of using that insurance you made sure to get. Whether you visit your second home or rent it to someone else, you'll sleep soundly knowing you're protected around the clock. 

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