Homeowners Insurance: Types of Property Coverage

Last updated: March 29, 2016

What's Included and What's Excluded

Most homeowners insurance policies combine property and personal liability coverages.

  • Property coverage insures your home, contents and other structures against loss or damage from certain perils.

    • Perils are events that cause damage to property: such as fire, windstorm, and theft.

    • Property coverage also provides payment of medical expenses for injuries to anyone other than members of your household.

  • Personal liability coverage insures for bodily injury and/or property damage caused to others as a result of your negligence.

Types of Property Coverage

1. Dwelling

  • This provides coverage that protects your primary residence and attached structures.

  • It also covers fixtures in the house:

    • Things like built-in appliances, plumbing, permanently installed heating and air-conditioning systems, and electrical wiring.

2. Other Structures

  • This provides insurance coverage for detached structures:

    • Things like garages and storage sheds.

  • This also covers fixtures attached to the land:

    • Things like fences and wood decks.

3. Contents

  • This covers your furniture, appliances, clothing, and other personal belongings.

  • Contents coverage usually has special limits on certain kinds of personal property.

    • For example, theft of jewelry and furs is limited to a certain dollar amount.

    • Check your policy for a full listing of limits.

      • For an additional premium, you may increase these special limits.

4. Additional Living Expenses  

  • This provides coverage for some of your extra expenses if your home is damaged and you can’t live there while repairs are made.

    • Covered items include extra food costs, lodging, relocation, and storage expenses.

  • This benefit covers only the difference over and above your normal household expenses.

    • For example, the cost of restaurant meals minus normal food expenses.

    • Submit your receipts for additional living expenses to your insurance company for reimbursement.

5. Additional Property Coverages in Your Policy

Most homeowners insurance policies contain additional coverages.

  • When a peril damages or destroys a house, expenses can exceed the cost of repairing the house. Certain dollar limits apply. Ask if your policy covers the following:

    • Debris removal
    • Reasonable repairs
    • Damaged trees, shrubs and other plants
    • Fire department service charges
    • Theft or illegal use of credit or debit cards
    • Collapse of building caused by perils for which you are insured
    • Glass breakage

Exclusions to Property Coverage

Most homeowners policies under the property coverage section do not provide coverage for loss to the following:

  • Animals, birds, or fish
  • Motor vehicles, including equipment and accessories
  • Aircraft and parts
  • Flood or rising water damage
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Water damage from sewer backup
  • Damage resulting from war, terrorism, nuclear hazard, neglect, earthquakes, or power failure
    • These are only examples of excluded property. Review your policy to see the exclusions under your contract.

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