WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013
Blog by: Ken Mogren, CPCU
The typical home built today has an attached garage. In some neighborhoods, it’s even forbidden to have any detached structures. If that’s your situation, you probably don’t need to read any further. Your attached garage would be considered part of your house and would be covered by typical homeowners insurance policies.
But what if your garage is detached? Or what if you have a pool? Or a shed? Or a fence? Those are what insurance companies call appurtenant structures and you might or might not be properly covered. It usually depends on the value of the structure(s).
It’s typical for a homeowners policy to automatically include, at no extra cost, an additional amount of insurance equal to 10% of the amount of insurance on your house. For example, a house insured for $200,000 gets an additional $20,000 for other structures. For many people, the extra 10% is enough, but if you have a more valuable structure or multiple structures, you may need to buy extra coverage. That’s easily done and not particularly expensive.
There are a couple of situations involving other structures where typical home insurance policies provide little or no coverage. Outbuildings used for any business purpose are not covered and require special handling. Retaining walls are considered an appurtenant structure but most policies exclude the usual problem of collapse associated with these.