A difference in conditions policy provides insurance coverage for certain types of damage or loss that aren't covered under your primary home or property insurance policy. In other words, a DIC policy fills in coverage gaps left by another policy to give you more adequate financial protection.
In natural disaster-prone areas with limited insurance options, homeowners often purchase their fire and wind insurance through a last-resort insurer (like a FAIR Plan) that doesn't come with coverage for liability, theft, or other types of loss. By combining a FAIR Plan or equivalent high-risk policy with DIC insurance, you're filling in those protection gaps and ensuring your insurance coverage replicates that of a standard home insurance policy.
DIC policies have become especially vital in California, where an uptick in home-threatening wildfires, state government regulations, and ongoing supply chain issues has forced many homeowners to buy coverage through the California FAIR Plan. Many of these Californians affected by the state's home insurance crisis are supplementing their FAIR plan policies with difference in conditions coverage as well.
What is difference in conditions (DIC) insurance?
A difference in conditions policy is a type of insurance that fills in the coverage gaps of an existing policy, like a state FAIR Plan or similar policy with more limited protection than standard home insurance.
When purchased alongside a FAIR Plan, a DIC policy may give you liability insurance, additional livings expenses protection, broaden what perils or disasters are covered, or fill in other coverage gaps left by the main policy.
What does a difference in conditions policy cover?
A difference in conditions policy essentially acts as a companion policy to a FAIR Plan policy with more limited protection. This helps property owners — particularly those in wildfire-prone areas of California — get the same property and liability coverages that you'd find in an HO-3 home insurance policy.
Here are the main coverage gaps a difference in conditions policy can help fill:
Theft: While some FAIR Plans at least offer optional protection for vandalism and malicious mischief, most don't offer coverage for theft of personal belongings. With DIC insurance, you'd be able to fill in this important coverage gap — and it may even offer additional coverage for theft of jewelry or other high-value items with lower per-item limits.
Water damage: FAIR Plans often cover or offer optional extended coverages for most property damage perils covered under home insurance, but they won't cover water damage from burst pipes or roof leaks under any circumstances. Most DIC home policies can provide coverage for non-weather related water damage in addition to theft losses.
Liability: FAIR Plans also don't include liability protection, so homeowners will need DIC insurance to protect their finances from expensive lawsuits.
You may also have the option to add coverage endorsement and loss settlement enhancements, such as equipment breakdown coverage, replacement cost contents, or extended dwelling protection.
Do I need a difference in conditions policy in California?
If you have CA FAIR Plan insurance, you'll want to consider a DIC policy to ensure your home and assets are fully protected from water damage, theft, and potential liability incidents.
DIC insurance companies
If you have a CA FAIR Plan but you’d like more protection, consider increasing your coverage with a DIC policy. There are several standard insurance companies that offer difference in conditions insurance in the state of California, including: 
Keep in mind that these DIC policies are only intended to complement FAIR Plans and will not provide coverage beyond that of a standard home insurance policy. If you’re interested in DIC insurance for catastrophe perils, you’ll likely need to get coverage with an excess and surplus insurance company.