If you have a detached garage on your property, it's important to cover the structure and its contents under your home insurance policy. Most standard home insurance policies provide some coverage for detached structures, but not all insurers automatically cover losses due to fire, storm damage, or theft. Therefore, when you buy home insurance, it's important to understand exactly what your policy protects in regard to any detached structures on your property.
Coverage B is in addition to Coverage A – the portion of your policy that covers the physical structure of your home. Normally, insurance companies cover detached structures on your property under Coverage B – sometimes known as Other Structures coverage – of your policy. A detached structure is any structure that isn't attached to the foundation of your home.
If your home insurance policy doesn't include Coverage B, your detached garage and other detached structures, such as a storage shed or fence, won't be covered against damage and losses from the perils named in your policy. In addition, Other Structures coverage insures driveways, walkways, and patios attached to the land.
Insurance companies differ in the coverage options they offer. Some don't automatically cover a detached garage or other detached structure on the property unless you specifically list it in your policy. Likewise, the contents may not be covered unless you name the items you keep in the structure as covered items in your home insurance policy.
If you live in a flood zone and have a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home, like your standard home insurance policy, you will receive some coverage for a detached garage. But you can use the garage only for parking and storage.
Flood coverage for a detached garage usually is for up to 10 percent of the amount for which you have your home insured. Other detached structures on the property are not covered, and you must pay a separate premium to insure the contents of the garage. The policy must specify an amount for contents coverage.
If its liability coverage that concerns you, taking out an umbrella policy gives you additional liability insurance if someone is hurt anywhere on your property – even in your garage. An umbrella policy insures you above the liability limit your standard home insurance policy provides.
Amount of Coverage
Insurance companies generally offer combined coverage for all the detached structures on your property, but the coverage is limited to a percentage of the coverage amount you carry on your home. Policies vary in the amount of coverage they offer and may contain restrictions and exclusions.
After completing an inventory of the contents of your detached garage or other detached building, you may determine that you need more coverage for items you store there. If a detached structure on your property contains personal possessions of high value, such as expensive sports and exercise equipment, lawn care equipment, or workshop tools, your insurer may give you the option of adding more coverage through an endorsement. Increasing the personal property limits on your home – a step that will cost you more in premiums – also will give you increased coverage on the contents of a detached garage or other detached building. For more information, talk to a professional like United Insurance Agency Inc.