The best dwelling coverage for homeowners

Insurance Business America has engaged the country’s top brokers in one-on-one interviews and surveys to determine the leading Home Insurance products. IBA’s inaugural Five-Star Excellence Award celebrates companies not only with outstanding product offerings, but also first-class broker support and industry knowledge. The Five-Star Excellence Award allows brokers to understand the partners their peers have chosen to present to clients – giving you an upper hand when selecting insurers to work with.



Determining America’s top insurance products takes a keen understanding of the market offerings – that is why IBA has enlisted the help of thousands of brokers to determine the 2021 Product Awards. Our research team started with one-on-one interviews with the industries most elite brokers, followed by surveying thousand of brokers within IBA’s network. Throughout the fifteen-week research process, Carriers were measured on the strength of their relationships with brokers, ability to handle claims, underwriting expertise and most importantly the strength of the individual products they provide.

  • Chubb
  • Travelers
  • Pure
  • Safe Co
  • AIG
  • The Cincinnati Insurance Company
  • Auto-Owners
  • USAA

What is dwelling coverage?

Dwelling coverage, also known as dwelling insurance, is a component of homeowners insurance that covers for the cost of repairing or rebuilding the physical structure of a house in the event is it damaged by covered risk or hazard. These risks, also called perils, include fire, hailstorms, hurricanes, and lightning strikes.


Dwelling insurance policies typically provide protection to the home a policyholder lives in and the structures attached to it. A deck or front and back porch, or a garage may be covered by dwelling insurance as long as it is connected to the house. However, if these home features are built as separate structures and not attached to the main dwelling, they are often not covered.


It is also worth noting that some perils or risk are not usually covered by dwelling insurance. Earthquakes and floods, for example, often require separate policies.


What is covered under dwelling insurance?

Dwelling insurance coverage can vary depending on the location of the home as some areas are prone certain risks. Most dwelling insurance policies offer financial protection for damages caused by fire or smoke, hailstorms or windstorms, lighting strikes, falling objects, explosion, theft, snow, vandalism, and aircraft and vehicular accidents.


Coverage for earthquakes and floods are often provided by insurance companies through separate policies.


Apart from the main dwelling, dwelling insurance policies also pay for the cost of repairing and rebuilding attached structures, including porches and garages. Installed fixtures and permanently attached appliances may also be covered.


What is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value?

One of the most essential factors to consider when choosing the right home insurance policy is the dwelling’s replacement cost. Replacement cost or value is the amount of money needed to rebuild a house with the same materials in the event that it is damaged or totally destroyed. It does not take into consideration the depreciation that occurs over time.


Replacement cost differs from actual cash value policy, which takes into account the dwelling’s depreciation when calculating the payout. Insurance providers often have different methods for calculating depreciation, but the standard formula is to determine the expected lifespan of a structure or item and subtract a certain percentage for every year since the dwelling or content was purchased.


Some factors that impact replacement cost include the material used to construct the house, the dwellings internal and external features, and the personal belongings inside the home.


How much should dwelling coverage be?

Ideally, a dwelling coverage limit should be able to pay the cost of repairing or rebuilding a home to the same quality as before it was damaged. There are several factors to consider in determining the coverage limit a home requires. These include the prices of building materials, construction cost, renovations done on the property, additional rooms and connected structures, and recent building codes that were implemented after the house was built. An experienced insurance agent can help provide an accurate estimate for the amount of coverage needed.


How much dwelling coverage do I need for a condo?

Choosing the right condo insurance is a bit trickier than getting standard home insurance because there are more people involved. When shopping for condo insurance, it is best to talk first with your building’s homeowners association (HOA) to find out what type of master policy the condo carries.


Master policies come in two types. First is the bare wall-in policy, which covers the outside walls of the condo and owners are responsible for everything inside. Second is the all-in policy, which covers both the interior and the exterior of the condo, and owners are responsible for their personal belongings. Many HOAs opt for the bare wall-in policy because it is less expensive.


The first step in finding out how much dwelling coverage is needed is to assess the value of all your possession inside the condo. Next is to determine how much it would cost to repair or replace the damage in the interior of your unit. An insurance agent can help provide an accurate estimate.


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