What Is Other Structures Coverage?
- Insurance 101
- What Is Other Structures Coverage?
Other structures coverage, also known as Coverage B, is a portion of your homeowners insurance policy that pays to repair or replace structures located on your property, and that aren’t considered a part of your house’s structure, if they’re damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.
Structures such as a detached garage or carport, fence, shed or gazebo, among many others, are considered other structures. These things either aren’t attached to your house or aren’t considered a vital piece of your house’s structure, so they’re protected under the other structures portion of your policy instead of the dwelling portion.
Since condo owners and renters don’t own the property in which they live on, Coverage B is only found within a homeowners insurance policy. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this coverage.
What Does Other Structures Coverage Cover?
Other structures coverage protects structures located on your property that don’t qualify as being a part of your house’s physical structure. If those items — such as a fence, shed, detached garage or driveway — are damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, this portion of your policy would pay to repair or replace them.
Covered perils are sudden and unexpected events like fires, hurricanes, tornadoes or anything directly related to those that cause damage. For instance, if a hurricane knocked a tree onto your shed, rendering it useless, your insurer would likely pay to have your shed repaired or rebuilt up to your policy’s maximum coverage amount.
It’s also important to note that some insurers cover in-ground swimming pools under the other structures portion and some consider in-ground pools a part of your dwelling. Above-ground swimming pools are also typically covered by your policy’s personal property coverage since they’re not necessarily considered a structure on your property.
While some insurers may consider a treehouse an other structure, it’s always best to consult your insurance agent to figure out what exactly is and isn’t covered by your individual policy.
What Does Other Structures Coverage Not Cover?
While Coverage B homeowners insurance’s other structures protects the aforementioned items from unexpected perils, there are some exclusions in your coverage. Your policy doesn’t protect against earthquakes, floods, sinkholes, normal wear and tear and problems that have been caused by negligence. It also doesn’t protect against pests, so termites tearing into your fence or shed won’t be covered.
Other structures coverage also doesn’t protect anything you store inside of the structures that are covered. So, if you have a lawnmower and tools in your shed, those wouldn’t be protected by your other structures coverage. The same goes for a detached garage, gazebo or any other structure protected under Coverage B.
Items stored inside those structures would qualify for coverage under the personal property coverage portion of your policy. It also does not protect your physical home or any of its contents.
So if a tree falls on your shed, which houses $2,000 worth of tools and equipment, and you need to file a claim, Coverage B would take care of the shed and Coverage C would take care of the items stored inside your shed.
Do I Need Other Structures Coverage?
If you have a fence, detached garage or another detached structure on your property, you’ll need other structures coverage to make sure they’re properly protected. However, even if you don’t have any of those items on your property, your homeowners policy may come standard with other structures coverage that can’t be removed. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t cost you any extra money in premiums, though.
How Much Other Structure Coverage Do I Need?
Other structures coverage typically comes standard at 10% of the dwelling portion of your homeowners insurance policy. You may be able to decrease that percentage, but you likely won’t be able to increase it. To increase your other structures coverage, you may be forced to increase your policy’s dwelling limit, which would then provide you with more coverage.
So if you have $200,000 in dwelling coverage, you’d likely have $20,000 in other structures coverage. It’s important to note that you need as much other structures coverage as it takes to completely rebuild all detached structures on your property.
If you don’t have sufficient coverage, you could wind up paying a lot of money out of your own pocket. Let’s say a hurricane rolls through and takes out your entire fence, shed and detached garage. If it costs $30,000 to rebuild and you only have $20,000 in other structures coverage, you’d wind up paying $10,000 out-of-pocket to repair the damages.
What’s the Standard Coverage B Percentage?
The standard Coverage B percentage is typically 10% of your homeowners insurance policy’s dwelling portion. So a home with $200,000 worth of dwelling coverage would also have $20,000 in other structures coverage. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to increase or decrease that number based on your individual needs.
Coverage B Other Structures Examples of Standard Claims
Home insurance other structures claims aren’t as common as standard dwelling claims, but they do happen apart from each other. If a hurricane or tornado rolls through, damaging your home’s fence and detached garage, you’d file a homeowners insurance claim for the damage.
After filing the claim, an insurance adjuster would survey the damages and report back to your insurance company. If there were items in your detached garage that were damaged, they would have protection under the personal property portion of your policy. All you’d need to do is pay your deductible and, if the claim qualifies, they’d pay to repair or replace the structures and belongings that were damaged or destroyed.
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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.