There are many reasons you might have additional buildings or structures on your property. Often, these buildings will be covered by your homeowner's insurance. But in some cases, it makes sense to buy more or different coverage for these buildings or what's inside. Here's everything you need to know about insuring other structures on your property.
Just the basics:
If you have a detached garage, shed, deck, fence, play equipment, gazebo, guest house, or any type of external structure that is not uncommon for a regular home. It's likely covered by your homeowner's insurance, but it's always a good idea to check. If you build a new shed or outbuilding, be sure to let your insurance company know.
If you live on a large property, such as a farm, with multiple outbuildings, barns, stables, granaries, and the like you probably want to look into additional coverage. This also applies to any outbuildings used primarily for business purposes.
Check your risks:
Regular homeowner's insurance will cover loss or damage due to certain risks, such as fire, hail or theft. If you choose to cover your outbuildings under your regular homeowner's insurance, be aware that those external structures will only be protected for the same reasons. If you're concerned about flooding, earthquakes, or other risks not covered by your policy, you'll want to purchase additional coverage.
Get an appraisal:
Depending on what you store in your outbuildings or how you use them, they might actually be worth more than your home or at least worth more than would be reasonably covered by your homeowner's insurance. On a regular homeowner's policy, it's customary for external structures to be covered for 10 percent of the value of your home. Make sure the coverage you have for your outbuildings matches the value of what they're actually worth.
Secure the contents:
If you store expensive items in your outbuildings, you want to make absolutely sure they are covered to the degree you would like, just in case. Outbuildings can more easily be broken into, so it's important to understand the value of their contents and secure separate coverage if necessary.
Maintain your property:
Just as with other aspects of your home, your insurance company may not cover damage or injury related to other structures on the property if they are not well-maintained and safe for guests and visitors. Even if they don't get a lot of use, make it a point to regularly inspect the other structures around your home and take care of any problems or safety concerns.
For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.