Standard homeowners insurance policies usually cover the other structures on your property. These include facilities that aren’t attached to your home, like guesthouses, gazebos, detached garages, sheds, mailboxes, fences and more.
Your policy protects these structures under dwelling coverage (specifically the Coverage B portion). Coverage B for other structures is typically set at 10% of your dwelling coverage limit. So if your dwelling limit is $200,000, your insurance coverage for other structures would be $20,000.
Your homeowners insurance pays for damages to other structures on your property resulting from covered perils. However, this protection only applies to the structures themselves. In other words, any possessions stored in those structures are not protected within your dwelling coverage.
In this article:
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Other Structures?
The dwelling coverage from your homeowners insurance policy covers damages to the other structures on your property due to fire, lightning, vandalism, falling objects, unexpected water damage and car collision. You’ll be covered as long as any of these included hazards causes the damage.
- If a fire destroys your detached garage, Coverage B will help pay for the cost of rebuilding it.
- If someone runs their car into your fence and damages it, other structures insurance will cover the cost of repairs.
- If you’re building another structure on your property, other structures insurance may cover construction materials and supplies related to the new structure.
Even covered perils have their limitations. For instance, your homeowners insurance policy will not cover damages to your shed if an unmaintained rotting tree on your property falls on it.
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Other Structures?
There are several instances when other structures are not covered by homeowners insurance. These include flooding, earthquakes and sinkholes. Your detached structures also won’t be protected from damages due to mold or fungus, infestations or wear and tear. Remember that your policy is a financial safety net for accidents or emergencies, not for maintenance. This means if pests infest your shed or your fence is rotting, you won’t be able to file a successful claim for them.
Additionally, your homeowners insurance won’t cover other structures used for business purposes. So if you’re renting out your guesthouse or running a small shop out of your detached garage, they likely won’t be covered by your policy. In that case, you’ll need to purchase business insurance to protect these structures.
How to Protect Your Other Structures
While the best homeowners insurance will protect you financially, it’s even better if you can prevent damages to other structures in the first place. Hazard prevention can include preparing for extreme weather or maximizing security. In the list below, MoneyGeek outlines preventative measures you can take to increase protection for other structures on your property.
Having an emergency response plan in place for extreme-weather events like a tornado, flash flooding or hailstorm can keep your other structures safe.
To reduce the risk of theft or vandalism to your other structures, it’s best to invest in security measures and stay vigilant.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
You can purchase homeowners insurance from most major insurers, such as State Farm, Progressive or GEICO. A number of smaller insurers, like Lemonade or Hippo, also offer homeowners insurance. MoneyGeek recommends shopping around for home insurance and comparing quotes from different providers to get the best option for your needs.
People in the U.S. typically pay $175 per month for homeowners insurance. However, your actual rate may vary depending on the value of your personal property. You can use MoneyGeek’s personal property calculator to figure out how much you’ll need to pay for a policy.
About Mark Fitzpatrick