Dwelling means any residential structure, whether or not attached to real property. When can you buy insurance to protect yourself from loss of your contents and living accommodations?

It includes vacation or second homes and rental properties; multifamily as well as one-to-four-family structures; individual condominium and cooperative units; and manufactured and mobile homes. You can buy a homeowners, condominium unit owner or tenant's policies for the place that you live. You can add on coverage to your policy for rental properties or seasonal dwellings.

If you have items such as boats and campers you can then add them to the dwelling policy or often place insurance on them as stand-alone policies. There are reasons to go either way and you should discuss this with your insurance broker. If you are in a transitory residence such as a college dormitory ask about extensions of insurance available from a homeowner policy.

Insurance companies offer different packages and it is best to shop the market to find the one that best suits your individual needs.