homeowners insurance and other structures: what does your policy cover?

There's more to your home than just the house itself, and many of the extra pieces of your property — like gazebos and sheds — didn't come cheap. That's why having other structures insurance on your policy is so valuable. Find out how home insurance protects different types of structures.

structures attached to your home

Typically, the standard dwelling coverage included in your homeowners policy will extend to any structure that is connected to your home.

This means you usually won't need separate coverage to insure things like your garage or sun porch, as long as they're built into the home. Rather, the coverage limits you select for your dwelling protection will go toward repairing these things if they're damaged.

Remember to keep the rebuilding costs of attached structures — not just the house itself — in mind when choosing your dwelling protection limits. That way, you won't be left paying out of pocket unexpectedly for certain repairs because your coverage fell short.

unattached structures on your property

Since these items are often not included in your dwelling protection, you'll typically need to have other structures insurance coverage, which comes standard on an Esurance policy.

Claims for unattached structures are handled pretty much the same way as those for your home itself. If a covered risk damages, say, your carport or greenhouse, other structures insurance coverage would kick in and pay (up to your chosen limits) for the necessary repairs.

when you can’t use homeowners insurance for other structures

Homeowners insurance is meant for personal structures, not commercial. So you may instead need business insurance if, for instance:

  • You use your carport to run a weekend mechanic shop
  • You run a day care out of your guest house
  • You store lawnmowers for your landscaping company in your garage

Ultimately, the way you use your property can change how your insurer views it, and whether or not other structures insurance coverage applies. If you're not quite sure how to classify certain structures, speak with our agents at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) and we can help shed (oh yeah, pun intended) some light on the matter.

the importance of other structures protection

Given that you spend most of your time in the house itself, it's easy to take your other structures for granted — in particular, how potentially dangerous they could be.

Though you may not anticipate injuries taking place in seldom-visited areas of your property, the potential for them is high. Sharp tools and heavy machinery in a shed or garage, for instance, can pose a risk to guests, especially kids.

And swimming pools, which your insurer may consider separate structures, are prime attractive nuisances whose frequent injury claims often lead to higher premiums for those who have them. Without other structures insurance coverage, an unexpected incident could turn into a costly lawsuit that you can't handle out of pocket.

There's also the rebuilding cost of freestanding structures to consider. Sure, your home is by far the most expensive thing on the property, but that doesn't mean other elements come cheap. Rebuilding your state-of-the-art carport after a severe windstorm could run $20,000 easily. Even that simple wood fence could cost 4 figures, which is more of your own dime than you're probably eager to cough up.

get homeowners insurance for other structures on your property

Don't give the isolated sections of your home the coverage cold shoulder. Get a fast, free homeowners quote today and protect your assets and your family's future with reliable coverage from Esurance or our trusted partner.

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