Whether you are purchasing a home for the first time, or are considering building a nice new shed to hold some of your yard tools or seasonal recreational items, you may want to speak with your local independent homeowners’ insurance agent to see what kind of coverage you have for your exterior property.
The first thing to understand when deciding if a homeowners’ insurance policy gives you the coverage you need for your exterior home items, is to understand the definition of a dwelling. Typically dwelling coverage covers your home, any attached structures (like garages or porches), fixtures in the house and so on. Some insurance police have dwelling coverage for the foundation, meaning that if something on the property shares the same foundation as the main home, then it is covered under the dwelling portion of the homeowners’ insurance policy.
If your project is extensive and you’re using a contractor you should check his coverage.
Homeowners’ insurance polices also may offer coverage for other structures that do not lie on the foundation, but rest on the property. The definition of “other structures” includes all the other structures or buildings on the property that do not share the same foundation as the home. This can include things like detached garages, storage sheds, fences, driveways, sidewalks, patios and retaining walls.
Coverage for other structures generally is limited to 10 percent of the dwelling coverage. That means that if one has their home covered for $150,000, then the other structures coverage amount available would be $15,000. Well, maybe your detached garage is home to a lot of storied antiques and valuables that need more insurance to cover their cost in the event of a total loss. If this is the case you can ask your local independent homeowners’ insurance agent about additional coverage.
There are a few exceptions to this exterior coverage. If you have a pool house, or maybe a apartment space above a detached garage that you are renting out then any additions added that were not reported to the insurance company will not be covered under the original policy.
If you are a homeowner and are looking to add to the exterior of your home then you need to understand the coverage you have and the coverage you will need to add when the project is finished. When adding something as simple as a fence or as complex as a apartment and a detached garage, then you need to contact your local independent homeowners’ insurance agent. The insurance agent will be able to walk you through the process, better understand what your project entails and then help you find the additional coverage to ensure that the new addition is protected with your insurance policy.
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Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.
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