Dwelling Fire Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Dwelling Fire Insurance?

Standard homeowners insurance policies are generally written to insure residences that are regularly occupied. Massachusetts residents who have unoccupied residential policies may find that typical homeowners insurance either isn’t available for their property or doesn’t provide the protections the property requires. Instead, dwelling fire insurance might be needed.

Dwelling fire insurance is a specialized form of insurance for residential buildings. It’s uniquely designed to help insure buildings that either are unoccupied or house people who aren’t the property owner (e.g. tenants or short-term guests).

Does Dwelling Fire Coverage Protect Against Only Fires?

While dwelling fire coverage usually does offer protection against fire, this is normally not the only peril that the insurance covers. Most dwelling fire policies also cover lightning and internal explosions (e.g. a stove that explodes), and many cover other risks as well.

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Dwelling Fire Insurance Massachusetts

Who in Massachusetts Needs Dwelling Fire Coverage?

Many residents who own property in Massachusetts that they don’t personally live in year-round may want dwelling fire coverage for their property. This coverage might be appropriate for:

  • Second homes
  • Leased rental properties
  • Short-term rental properties
  • Homes being remodeled
  • Homes being sold

In short, any home that’s vacant might require this type of insurance. 

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What Are DP-1, DP-2 and DP-3 Form Policies?

Dwelling fire policies are sometimes abbreviated within the insurance industry, and DP-1, DP-2 and DP-3 are common abbreviations for fairly standard policies. While exact protections can still vary somewhat, most policies that have one of these abbreviations offers protection from a fairly standard set of perils.

DP-1 Basic Form policies tend to be named perils policies, which means they usually only protect against the risks that are listed (or named) in their papers. Most list fire, lightning and internal explosions, and some may add a few additional perils.

DP-2 Broad Form policies are also named perils policies, but they usually cover more perils than DP-1 policies. In addition to the protections that a DP-1 policy affords, a DP-2 policy might also offer coverage for hail and wind, smoke, vandalism and burglary, the weight of snow and ice, freezing pipes, electrical damage and several other risks.

DP-3 Special Form policies frequently are written as open perils policies rather than named perils ones. Open perils policies typically protect against any risks that aren’t specifically excluded in their paperwork. The risks that DP-3 policies exclude often are things like water damage, war, neglect and mold. Many policies list a few other risks in their exclusions.

Dwelling Fire Insurance Massachusetts

Does Dwelling Fire Coverage Protect Contents in Buildings?

Some dwelling fire policies include protection for belongings that are kept in an insured building as a standard or optional feature. Not all policies make such coverage available, though.

Residents who own property that has personal belongings in it should work with an insurance agent to find a policy that’ll provide appropriate coverage for their possessions. An independent agent who specializes in dwelling fire coverage will be able to compare several policies and recommend the one that offers the most robust protection. 

How Much Does Dwelling Fire Coverage Cost?

As is the case with most insurance policies, the premiums charged for dwelling fire policies vary. Insurance companies might consider where a building is located, what a building is constructed of and many other factors when setting rates.

Regardless of a policy’s cost, it’s almost always more affordable to purchase coverage than to face a major claim without any protection in place.

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How Can Massachusetts Residents Get Dwelling Fire Insurance?

For help finding dwelling fire insurance that’ll afford solid coverage for a Massachusetts property you own, contact the independent insurance agents at Scotti Insurance Agency. Our agents are able to compare policies from different insurance companies and show you the best available options. With their help, you can be confident that your property is well protected even when you aren’t there.

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