Detached Structures

In addition to covering your residence, your homeowner’s insurance also includes compensation for damage to detached structures on your property. Whether you have a detached garage, gazebo, tool shed or fancy doghouse, your homeowner’s policy should cover those structures in some form or fashion.

Because every single homeowner’s policy is unique, you need to know what your policy’s coverage limit is. For detached structures, the average homeowner’s policy includes compensation for up to ten percent of your home’s coverage cost. Confused? Don’t fret.

In a nutshell, if your house is insured for $450,000, your detached structures are automatically covered for $45,000. Again, however, your policy may be different.

A few stumbling blocks accompany this ten percent detached structure coverage. First, what if your detached structure is somewhat used for business purposes?
Unfortunately if your detached structure is even partly used for business, your claim can be denied. That’s just the way insurance works. If you have a structure on your property that you must use for business, you absolutely have to ask for approval in your homeowner’s policy that permits business use.

Second, what if your detached structures cost more than $45,000 to rebuild? Because the typical homeowner’s insurance policy automatically covers ten percent of the cost to rebuild for detached structures you must purchase additional detached structure coverage. So in this case, because your garage, gazebo or high-tech tool shed costs $60,000 to rebuild, you will need to purchase $15,000 in additional coverage.

In the end, it is essential to know what you’re covered for because each homeowner’s insurance policy is different. You need to know what is limited or excluded.

Is your homeowner’s insurance policy up-to-date? (Some policies automatically update to your home’s current value. Does yours?) While it is easy to let that dust settle over your policy from year to year, keep in mind that putting it aside could cost you much more in the end. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may make heavy reading, but it will be even more burdensome should you not know what is covered in it.

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