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Are My Shed, Garage and Other Outbuildings Covered by Home Insurance?

Home Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | April 10, 2017

Most homeowners have a shed, garage, deck, fence or another type of outbuilding on their property – or even multiple outbuildings. You’ll want to ensure they’re covered – hence the question in the title of the article. We’ll explain if your outbuildings are protected and to what extent they’re covered.

The Basic Homeowner’s Policy

A basic homeowner’s policy will generally include coverage for detached structures that are a part of your property. You should always check your policy or ask your broker, especially if you’re concerned about coverage. You should also advise your broker and insurance company of any changes such as a new deck or guest house.

What qualifies as a detached structure or outbuilding? Below are just some of the types of structures that fall into the Detached Structures category of your home policy.

  • Detached garages
  • Sheds
  • Pool house
  • Guesthouse
  • Fences
  • Decks
  • Tool Shed
  • Gazebo
  • Swing set/playgrounds

It’s important you disclose the presence of any and all detached structures and outbuildings.

What Types of Outbuildings Are Not Covered Under My Home Insurance Policy?

Another great question! Essentially anything on your property that is not connected but still on your property will be covered as long as its disclosed. There may be exceptions such as:

  • A building used for commercial purposes (or anything not considered to be a residential structure).
  • Animal or plant housing may not be included if any animals or plants are sold or boarded for profit or are improperly fitted.

You may get coverage in these scenarios through a separate commercial property insurance policy.

Coverage Limits Apply for Outbuildings

As with all sections of coverages, limits do apply. The minimum coverage is generally going to be 10% of the coverage you have on your home. For example, if your home is insured for $300,000, your outbuildings will have up to $30,000 of coverage (for ALL outbuildings). If you require additional coverage, you should speak to your broker.

Exclusions on your policy also apply to your outbuildings. For example, if you do not have overland water coverage on your home insurance, damage caused by an overland water event would not be covered.

In short, yes, outbuildings such as sheds and decks are covered by your home insurance. However, you should read your policy documents to understand your coverage, policy exclusions, and limits apply.

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