Published: July 2016
You likely have homeowners insurance to help protect your house, but what about other structures on your property? If a tree falls on your fence or lightning strikes your detached garage, do you know whether the damage would be covered by your homeowners policy?
Typically, the answer is yes. Homeowners insurance usually helps cover damage to structures on your property, such as a fence, shed or detached garage. This coverage usually helps protect these kinds of structures against the same risks as your home — fire and theft, for instance.
Here are a few things to consider about this protection, which many policies describe as "other structures coverage.”
Dwelling coverage is the part of a homeowners insurance policy that typically extends to your house and structures attached to your house, says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
You may find that other structures coverage is based on a percentage of your dwelling coverage, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says. So, for instance, if you have $300,000 in dwelling coverage, you may have up to $30,000 in coverage for your fence, shed and other unattached structures on your property. Your agent can help you adjust your coverage limits to help you ensure you have enough protection in place.
Maybe you're confident that you have sufficient protection in place for your shed or detached garage — but what about the stuff you store inside?
Personal property coverage typically helps protect belongings regardless of where you keep them, so you'll likely find you have coverage for items you store in a shed or detached garage. You can usually adjust your personal property coverage limits based on your particular needs.
If you're making improvements to your property, such as adding a gazebo, you may want to review your other structures coverage limits to help ensure you have enough protection in place to help pay to repair or replace unattached structures after a covered loss.
And, if you'll be keeping certain high-value items in a garage, shed or even in your home, you may want to consider purchasing separate coverage for those items.
A local agent can help you review your existing coverage so you can determine whether it makes sense for you to make any changes to your policy.