Beyond the Walls: What is Dwelling Coverage and How Much is Enough?

nice wooden deck outside

Dwelling coverage is the portion of your homeowner’s insurance that protects the physical structure of your home from common hazards. This includes not only the livable area of your house but also attached structures like your deck, porch, or garage. Since it covers anything that’s considered to be legitimately part of your home’s structure, it also covers things like built-in appliances.

When it comes to unattached features like a fence, gazebo or shed, though, dwelling coverage does not apply. Nor does it apply to the land on which your home is situated. As a simple rule of thumb for dwelling coverage, if a feature is not part of your home’s structure, it’s not covered.

But Do You Have Enough Protection?

So, while dwelling coverage is an essential part of homeowners insurance, it’s not always enough on its own. You need something more for whole-home protection — something that protects unattached features, covers personal property, safeguards you from liability, and shields you from loss of use while your property is being restored after a covered claim.

To ensure that your property, belongings and financial well-being are fully protected, you need to carefully consider a more comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy.

Sometimes known as an HO-5 policy, comprehensive protection in home insurance refers to a policy that provides broad coverage for both the structure of your home and your personal belongings. This type of policy typically covers damage caused by a wide range of dangers, including fire, theft, and natural disasters. It may also include liability coverage to protect you in the event that someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property.

Total Coverage

So, where do you find comprehensive policies that will give you the protection you’re looking for?

Comprehensive coverage can offer you a variety of options, including increased limits (on some items) for personal property, liability coverage, and additional living expenses in case you need to temporarily relocate due to a covered loss.1 By choosing a comprehensive coverage plan, you can rest assured that your home, belongings, and financial security are well-protected.

For even more comprehensive protection, consider Guaranteed Replacement Cost (GRC) coverage. This type of coverage ensures your home will be repaired or rebuilt to its original state and specs.2 This is particularly important in situations where your home may be undervalued for insurance purposes, as it can lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a covered loss.

Trusted Experience

Understanding the ins and outs of homeowners’ coverage is crucial for ensuring your home is adequately protected. Comprehensive homeowners’ insurance is a great way to protect your personal belongings, unattached structures, and financial well-being. We offer a range of options to help you secure the right coverage for your needs, so talk to one of our agents today to discuss your coverage options and ensure that you and your home are fully protected.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of January 2024 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.