New Orleans & Metairie Dwelling Insurance
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- A Dwelling Insurance policy is typically used to cover homes that are occupied by someone other than the owner, such as a tenant. It can also be used to cover a home occupied by the owner, and can be tailored to cover a vacant dwelling or one under construction.
- Dwelling insurance is sometimes referred to as a Dwelling Fire Policy or Landlord Policy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dwelling Insurance
Who Needs Dwelling Insurance Coverage?
- For those who acquire rental and investment property and do not need to insure others’ personal possessions, the Dwelling Fire Insurance Policy fits the bill. This coverage is available from one to four family dwellings.
- If you own one or several tenant occupied rental properties, our agency can shop around to find the best possible price with group rates for multiple properties, so if you are a landlord driven by huge rate increases on current policies, we can help!
- If you simply cannot afford homeowners insurance, a Dwelling Insurance Policy may save you a substantial amount of money. This will also allow you to cover just your dwelling structure and eliminate the other package coverage such as other structures, contents, liability, or additional living expenses, further reducing the cost of insuring your home.
- For those who live in two or more residences each year, insuring both homes with a traditional homeowner policy just doesn’t make sense because it is double the expense. Dwelling Insurance provides minimal coverage at a much lower price for seasonal property, camps, or a second home.
How Much Dwelling Coverage Do I Need?
We will assist you in determining your replacement coverage, which may be quite different from the price you paid for the home. We will use some of the following information to determine the amount of coverage you need for your dwelling coverage:
- Replacement costs estimators supplied by carrier we are quoting.
- Current or most recent appraisal.
- Your square footage vs. purchase price vs. mortgage lender’s requirement figure is used to help formulate coverage required.
- Whether currently insured limits on existing policy can be reviewed.
If this is a new purchase, our agents will assist you regarding insurance requirements. We will contact your lender or real estate agent for appraisals and/or inspections and flood elevation certificate, which will accelerate the closing date.
What Is Covered By Dwelling Insurance?
The Dwelling Policy is available in three different forms:
Each form covers your dwelling and some other things on the premises for damage caused by certain events defined in the policy. They are different in what property they cover, what events they will pay for, and how much you will get paid for damages. The least coverage is in the Basic form and the most coverage is found in the Special form.
Please note that the dwelling policy wording in Louisiana is mandated by law and differs slightly from that found in most other states. The Louisiana dwelling forms are numbered using “DWG“, while most other states use “DP“.
Basic Form Dwelling Policy (DWG-1 or DP-1)
The Basic Form Dwelling policy provides coverage for the main structure, but part of the insurance amount may be used to cover other detached structures on the premises and/or loss of fair rental value. Contents coverage is also available for for an additional premium.
A Basic Form Dwelling Policy offers the least coverage and therefore is a good lower cost option for older homes or homes that may otherwise be uninsurable due to their condition. A Basic Form Dwelling policy offers coverage for only specifically named events and may only include fire, lightning and internal explosion. This is very basic, but you can ask to add the following events to the Basic form: smoke, explosion, windstorm, hail, vehicles, aircraft, riot, civil commotion, volcanic eruption, vandalism and malicious mischief.
Usually a Basic Form Dwelling policy offers claim payment on an actual cash value (ACV) basis, which means the cost of replacement minus an amount for age and condition. Depending on the insurer and the condition of the property, some Basic Form Dwelling policies may be changed to provide replacement cost for claim payment, for an additional cost.
Broad Form Dwelling Policy (DWG-2 or DP-2)
In addition to the main structure, other structures, personal property and fair rental value covered under the Basic Form policy, the Broad Form Dwelling policy adds additional living expense coverage.
The Broad Form Dwelling policy covers more insured events than a Basic Form policy. Some of the additional events include falling objects, weight of ice or snow and water discharge from pipes.
Replacement cost claims payment for damage to structures is included in the Broad Form Dwelling policy.
Special Form Dwelling Policy (DWG-3 or DP-3)
The Special Form Dwelling policy covers the same things as and pays replacement cost for claims on structures just like the Broad Form policy. What makes this policy so “special” is that instead of naming the events it will provide coverage for, it covers the structures on what is called an “open perils” basis. This means that instead of listing the events it will cover, it only lists those events and circumstances that will not be covered. This provides insurance for many more possible causes of damage than the other two policy forms. Personal property is still covered for the same events as under the Broad Form Dwelling policy.
More About Coverages
- Other Structures insures buildings on the premises that are separated from the dwelling by a clear space or connected only by a fence, utility line, or similar connection.
- Contents are covered on and off premises so if you are out of town on vacation or on a business trip, your personal belongings, if lost, stolen or destroyed, such as cameras, video recorders, luggage, or laptop are included under extended coverage up to 10% of total content.
- Fair Rental Value is available if a covered property loss to the dwelling or other structure makes the building uninhabitable and the insured cannot collect the rent he would have been able to receive if the loss had not occurred. Twenty percent of the insurance on the dwelling is available for this coverage. If a civil authority prohibits use of the insured property because a covered peril damaged a neighboring location, payments are limited to a maximum of two weeks.
- Additional Living Expense coverage provides coverage for extra costs the insured incurs after a covered loss, including reasonable motel, dining, laundry, and transportation expenses. These are covered for the time needed to repair or replace the damaged property or become settled elsewhere in permanent quarters. This coverage is available only to the owner and only when the owner occupies the dwelling or one of the units in a multi-unit dwelling.
The above provides a basic summary of the coverge of a dwelling policy. Always remember that insurance coverage is subject to conditions, limitations and exclusions. Please read your policy for the exact coverage you have purchased.
What Documents May Be Required To Purchase Dwelling Insurance?
- Pictures of all sides of the dwelling. For rectangular structures, photos from opposing corners may suffice if they show all four sides.
- A copy of your prior policy to receive a transfer or continuous coverage discount.
- If the property is financed, we will need the mortgage company information and mortgage clause to make sure the coverage satisfies your loan requirements.
- A current appraisal if the amount of coverage requested is higher or lower than indicated by the insurance company’s cost estimator.
- If it is a new purchase, we will need the closing date to make sure the policy becomes effective immediately.
- If the dwelling has an alarm system, an Alarm System Certificate is required to receive a discount.
Are There Any Coverages Related To Dwelling Insurance?
- If you are planning to renovate or remodel the dwelling you will need a Builder’s Risk Policy.
- We also offer Vacant Property Coverage for homes that are unoccupied while awaiting a tenant or buyer.
- If you are the owner and live in the dwelling, then you should purchase Personal Liability for protection against injuries and lawsuits related to your home.
- Landlords should purchase either Premises Liability or General Liability for protection against injuries and lawsuits related to their rental properties.
- A Personal Umbrella or Commercial Umbrella, available for coverage up to $5 million of coverage.
- Mortgage Life Insurance, offering low cost coverage that makes it very affordable to pay off your mortgage in the event of death, disability, unemployment, or critical illness.