Homeowners Insurance

Other Structures 101

Let’s talk all about other structures and the importance of knowing what it is and what’s covered.

You should have noticed on your declarations page that you have “Coverage B- Other Structures’ coverage.

Look for “Section 1 – Property Coverages,” usually on the first page. Then you should see “Coverage B- Other Structures” with the corresponding limit.

Overview of Other Structures

Other structures coverage includes items such as your shed, fence, an in-ground swimming pool, a detached garage, or a gazebo. 

The limit for this coverage is 10% of your Coverage A limit (which is your dwelling/house). 

It’s essential to review your limit based on what type of other structures are on your property.

For instance, if you have a deluxe, fully furnished and finished detached garage with a beautiful outdoor kitchen, you may need to have a special endorsement that increases your Coverage B limit. It’s essential to speak with your agent about your individual needs for your property.

Let’s say you only have an average wooden fence and a small to medium, simple shed on your property; you probably do not need to increase your coverage. Use your best judgment. It may even be a good idea to take photographs of your other structures to present to your agent for advice on how much coverage you need.

Here are the critical points you need to remember:

  • Structures that are considered buildings such as your shed and detached garage are settled at replacement cost value (RCV).
    • You may receive a check for the actual cash value (ACV) initially; then, once repairs are complete, you may be eligible for the remaining funds.
    • The definition of a building is a structure with walls and a roof covering.
  • Fencing and other structures that are not considered buildings are settled at actual cash value (ACV).
  • If you have contents/personal property located inside the other structure, then contents coverage (Coverage C) would apply for those items and NOT your other structures coverage.
    • They are two separate coverages. Some policies may require a storm created opening to allow for coverage of contents stored inside.
  • The perils (bad things that happen to your property) that are covered under your dwelling coverage also apply to your other structure’s coverage.
  • Your deductible will still apply if you have a claim for your other structures coverage only.
  • Other structures held for rent or which any business is conducted are not covered.

Let’s look at the policy language.

Under the definitions section of a HO 00 03 or HO-3 homeowners policy, you will find what insured location means. Here you will find that other structures are included under insured location and residence premises (clip not pictured).

Copyright, Insurance Services Office, Inc., 1999

Section I- Property Coverages, B. Coverage B- OTHER STRUCTURES

Copyright, Insurance Services Office, Inc., 1999

The policy states that it covers other structures on the residence premises, which is your property set apart by clear space, meaning not genuinely attached to your home unless by a fence, utility line, or similar.

If you read #3, you’ll see the liability (maximum insurance will pay) will not be more than 10% of coverage A. Therefore, it’s essential to speak with your agent to increase your coverage if needed. I’ve seen additional coverage as an endorsement on a policy for a specific other structure, such as a man cave detached garage fully decked out.

It’s essential to read what is NOT covered.

  • Land
  • Structures held for rent
  • Structures which any business is conducted
  • Anything that is listed as excluded under SECTION I – PERILS INSURED AGAINST, A. Coverage A – Dwelling and Coverage B –Other Structures
Copyright, Insurance Services Office, Inc., 1999

You are officially a pro; it’s not very complicated! Still, if you have any questions, reach out to me today.

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