What structures are covered under home insurance?

4 minute read Published on Oct 12, 2021 by BrokerLink Communications

What structures are covered under home insurance?

Your home is one of the most important investments you’ll make. And while your current home may not be your forever home, you still want to maintain and protect it. That’s why having the proper insurance coverage in place is important.

It’s pretty common to have other structures on your property that are not attached to your home, but you still consider them to be part of your home. Detached garages and sheds are two of the most common structures in this category, and of course you want to protect them and their contents.

Like other types of coverages in your policy, there may be special considerations for these other structures, depending on what they are or how you use them. For instance, coverage for a fence around your property looks a bit different from coverage for a guest house on your property. Keep scrolling to learn more.

Other structures coverage in homeowners insurance

Your homeowners insurance protects your house. Did you know it also includes other structures on your property too? Other structures or buildings on your property are protected under this coverage in the event of various events or risks (in insurance lingo, these are called perils). For the most part, a homeowners policy includes a section for other structures (often referred to as Coverage B) to help pay for things like repairs or replacements.

Let your BrokerLink advisor know as much as possible about your other structures so you have the best coverage in place. For example, if you use a building on your property as an office or photography studio, this may be added as an extension to your policy, to ensure any contents are also protected.

What does other structures coverage include in home insurance?

Other structures coverage can help protect anything on your property that is not physically attached to your main house. If any of the detached structures are damaged by something that is covered under your policy (i.e. a severe weather event or theft) this coverage will specifically help cover costs associated to repairing or replacing them.

Here are some common other structures we see at BrokerLink:

  • Garage
  • Shed
  • Guest house(s)
  • Detached patio or dining area
  • Gazebo
  • Pool cabana
  • Fences
  • Mailboxes
  • Backyard or walkways

Other structures coverage limitations

This coverage protects you against many of the same risks that your home coverage likely has in place (fires, windstorms, lightening strikes, vandalism, theft etc.). Depending on where you live and what coverage add-on’s your insurance advisor recommends, there still may be some things you’re not protected against in the immediate general policy:

  • Regular wear and tear
  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes or tornados
  • Damage from pests or small creatures (like your friendly neighbourhood woodpecker)
  • Gradual water damage
  • Theft if property is vacant or under construction

Here’s a quick pro tip from Mina T., a Personal Insurance Advisor at one of our Alberta BrokerLink branches:

Detached structures like a garage or shed and its contents are covered under a homeowners insurance policy. There are some conditions or exclusions that may apply. It’s worth checking with your insurance broker to see how the structure coverage works in your policy, what your limitations are and whether they should be adjusted.

Mina T., a Personal Insurance Advisor

Is other structures included in my homeowners insurance?

For the most part, other structures is often included in your general homeowners insurance plan at a basic level. All insurance companies offer some kind of variation of a structures coverage, so you’ll be able to add to your current policy as needed. This will help protect those buildings not attached to your main structure (more insurance lingo – the main structure is what most people would call their home).

Insurance pro tip:

Be sure to read your policy or consult with your BrokerLink advisor to learn about the coverage limits on your detached structure(s). This will determine how much of the costs your insurance company will cover after an unexpected event occurs. You’ll have to pay the difference if repair or replacement costs are more than your coverage limit.

Here’s how it works: if your damages are $15,000 and your coverage is for $10,000, you will need to pay $5,000 out of pocket.

Contact BrokerLink today!

Get the information you need to make an informed decision by speaking with a BrokerLink advisor today. Let us help you find the best coverage for your insurance needs.

We’re here to help protect you, your family and your home. Our team of experienced insurance brokers can help you get the right coverage for your property and answer any questions you have about other structures coverage. Get a quote with BrokerLink today.

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Other structures coverage in a homeowners insurance policy FAQs

How much other structures coverage do I need?

This really depends on how many detached structures you have and what the purpose for each of them is. Do you use a building on your property as an office? Do you have a shed? How about a guest house or a pool cabana? These are all things your insurance advisor will need to know, and they’ll likely have numerous other questions to determine how high your coverage limits should be.

Does other structures insurance coverage cover home businesses?

Since each situation is different, your insurance advisor will advise you about considerations you’ll need to make regarding your insurance policy. This includes any add-ons. Home businesses are pretty common these days, so if you fall into this category you may have to consider additional coverage or a commercial policy to protect your business. Other structures coverage simply covers detached buildings on your property, but what they are used for may determine which other add-on’s you should consider. Your advisor will work with you to ensure everything makes sense to you and that you’re covered for only the things you need.

Can I remove other structures coverage in my home insurance policy?

If you’ve added more than just the basics to your policy, you may ask to remove it or adjust your policy as needed. Just be sure that you’re aware that it becomes your full responsibility to pay for any costs should you need to repair or replace anything that’s no longer covered.