The First Number on Your Homeowners Policy | Dwelling Coverage

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Sample Homeowners Insurance Declarations Pages



Why You NEED to KNOW The First Number On Your Homeowners Policy (It’s first for a reason)

Sample Homeowners Insurance Declarations Pages



Here’s What You Need To Know:

  1. That number is called dwelling coverage.  This is the number that your house insured for.
  2. It’s not related to market or resale value of your home.
  3. It’s not related to appraised or tax roll value.
  4. It does not factor in any land value.
  5. It is meant to estimate the cost to rebuild your house after a total loss.

The dwelling coverage will likely be the single most important number that you have on your insurance policy in the event of a total loss.  It is a number that factors in the cost to rebuild your house from the ground up after a total loss.

Dwelling Coverage: Factors That Are Not Included On The Tax Roll Or Market/Resale Value



  1. Debris Removal
  2. Water damage remediation/clean up
  3. Smoke damage remediation/clean up
  4. Blue prints from architects for new home rebuild
  5. Any increase costs of construction due to large scale catastrophe (think Joplin MO, or Hurricane Ike/Sandy)
  6. Increase costs on rebuilding an individual house vs. building a neighborhood (building an entire neighborhood reduces labor and construction costs, a fact that doesn’t apply when there is a loss on a single property)

Think about those 6 things for a second.  These are costs that can come into play before a single contractor has begun to rebuild your house.

As a result of these factors, there are many times where the insured value is larger than the resale value, or tax appraised value.  That said there is no exact science to knowing what it will cost to rebuild any one property.  There are too many unknown factors.  But you most certainly can make more informed decisions by discussing with your agent the details of your property and in some cases allowing the insurance company do an on site reconstruction estimate on your property.

This is a number you do not want to get wrong.  The time to find out your house is underinsured by 50k or 100k is not after the house is gone.

Closing Thoughts

It’s important to be aware of endorsements (add-ons) to your home policy that are available on many policy’s that can give you an additional % of coverage in the event your house is underinsured.   If you have one of these on your policy, you have a buffer that could very well save you from having to come out of pocket thousands of dollars after a terrible event in your life.


Let us help you make a more informed decision BEFORE you have a claim. Email me here.  steve@stevewhiteinsurance.com