The First Number on Your Homeowners Policy | Dwelling Coverage

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Sample Homeowners Insurance Declarations Pages



These are sample Declarations Pages, when you look at yours, pay close attention the first number.  Here’s Why:


Sample Homeowners Insurance Declarations Pages

The number you don’t want to overlook or underestimate.

5 Things You Need To Know About Dwelling Coverage:

  1. This is the number that your house insured for. (This is what you will have to rebuild after a total loss, get it wrong and you are the one shelling out cash for the difference)
  2. It is not determined by your market or resale value of your home, or what you owe on the 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 be the single most important number that you have on your insurance policy in the event of a total loss.


Here’s What IS Included in Your Dwelling Coverage:

  1. Debris Removal
  2. Land Prep
  3. Water damage remediation/clean up
  4. Smoke damage remediation/clean up
  5. Blue prints from architects for new home rebuild
  6. Construction Permit
  7. Any increase costs of construction due to large scale catastrophe (think Joplin MO, or Hurricane Ike/Sandy)
    1. OR 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 7 things for a second.

All of these costs  come into play before a single contractor has begun to rebuild your house.

Because of this, 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 last thing anyone wants to find out after their house is gone is that they also have to come up with 50 or 100k to rebuild because they were underinsured.

Here’s the Nutshell: 

Insured Value is More Closely Tied to Construction Cost Than Market Value

One Final Note:

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