With an average claim frequency of 5.53 per 100 policies, property damages homeowners claim costs $13,687. Are you covered if your home is damaged by a claim? Basic homeowners insurance provides coverage for dwelling, personal property and liability. Like other structures coverage, optional insurance protects structures that are not directly attached to the dwelling. This includes sheds, detached garages, fences, and swimming pools. The best way to protect your home is to choose the right homeowners insurer with the right coverage options.
What coverage is available for other structures?
Your standard HO-3 homeowners insurance covers other structures. This is the most popular type of policy in America. The average policy can be broken down into the following parts:
- Dwelling or Hazar Insurance covers your home
- Insurance for other structures
- Personal Property Coverage
- Liability Protection for anyone who is injured while you are on your property
- Additional living expenses if you were required to leave your home while the house was being repaired
You generally get coverage for 10% of the insured value of any other structures on your property, which is anything not directly connected to your house. If your home is $300,000., you would get $30,000. You can, however, increase your coverage to include additional structures for a small fee.
While other structures coverage is not required in every state, your mortgage holder may require it for you if there are unattached structures. This claim can be made the same way as any other — by calling your agent or using your insurer’s online claim management system.
Coverage for other structures that are not covered by a standard policy is subject to a list with named perils. These typically include:
- Along with smoke damage, fire and lightning are also possible
- Hail, wind, snowstorm, hail, freezing, the weight of snow, ice or sleet
- Vehicles or aircraft
- Vandalism and theft
- Falling objects
- Accidental overflows of steam or water
- Accidental tearing or burning.
- Short circuiting can cause sudden damage
Flooding and Earthquakes are two notable exceptions. These perils are not covered by average policies. If you live in an area where earthquakes are frequent, talk to your agent to discuss purchasing a rider to protect you.
Other structures are not covered for normal wear and damage to buildings, or water damage such as seepage from springs that slowly rot out wooden foundations. Other pests, such as termites and other harmful insects, are not covered.
What other structures are available for homeowners insurance?
What structures are covered under homeowners insurance? Basic dwelling insurance covers any structure attached to your home. This includes enclosed porches and fences. Attached structures are exempt from the above limits.
The definition of other structures is anything that isn’t attached to the home.
- Garages detached
- Pools permanently installed, above-ground or in-ground
- In-law or guest houses
- Mailboxes and light posts
- Detached patios or decks
Your homeowners insurance should cover you if you’re building a new structure on your property.
A caveat: If you plan to use a structure on your property to conduct business, you should talk to your agent about obtaining a rider. This could be a shed that was converted into an office or a rental apartment on Airbnb. To cover structures used for business purposes, a rental or business rider or endorsement will be required on your policy.
What coverage do other structures need?
Your insurer will assume that other structures are less valuable than your home, and therefore they are covered by 10% of your policy’s value.
What can you do when you own a building that is much more valuable? Your writing retreat may have expensive options, complex wiring and plumbing, or other features. Talk to your agent if this is the case. Most insurers will allow for you to add structures coverage to your policy if necessary. You can also choose guaranteed replacement value. This allows you to receive a percentage of the claim coverage.
Other structures: ACV or RCV
You should check with your agent to determine if other structures are covered by your policy.
You can use depreciation or wear and tear to reduce the amount that the insurance company will pay if you file a claim on other structures. If your shed is 20 years old and needs to be rebuilt by the insurance company, it may only be the shed’s value.
The replacement cost value pays what it would have cost to build a shed from scratch, regardless of its actual value. If you build that shed 20 years ago for $3,000, but it now costs $15,000 to rebuild it, you will get $15,000 plus your deductible. This amount can only be less than 10% of your insured property value.
However, there is a problem. Some insurers may not cover your other structures at the actual cash value. You can only be certain if you read all the fine print in your policy documents and talk to your agent.
Questions frequently asked
Do you require additional coverage for structures?
It is not required by law. However, if your mortgage lien holder holds a mortgage on your home, he may require that you have valid homeowners insurance with additional structure coverage.
Is a pool considered another structure?
Sometimes. Sometimes, above-ground pools are included in personal property coverage by some insurers. However, in-ground pools are often included in coverage for other structures.
How about driveways? Do they have to be included in other structures as well?
They are generally true. You can file a claim under your other structure coverage if your driveway has been damaged. You may consider increasing your coverage if your driveway is extremely long or costly so you can replace it in the event of an accident.
What is the coverage for the shed that I use to store my supplies for my landscaping business?
To cover a structure you use on your property for business purposes you will need to add an endorsement to your policy. This applies to private structures you rent out.