Most homeowners insurance policies protect people in case their home is damaged. Most also protect the personal property that’s inside the home, in case they are stolen. Most also provide protection in case someone is injured on their property.
These are the standard items most homeowners insurance policies in Michigan will cover. There are, of course, limits on the amount of coverage and what constitutes a covered event.
In addition, many policies also have a line item for what’s termed “other structures.” This, too, will have a set coverage limit, and rules that dictate what a covered event is.
Sometimes, this is called Coverage B on your homeowner’s insurance policy. That section will lay out all the ins and outs of the coverage, including what is covered and for how much.
But, what are “other structures,” exactly? And is the limit that’s placed on your other structures enough to protect what’s on your property?
Let’s take a closer look at this topic.
What Are Other Structures?
Other structures are things are on your property that is not connected to your home itself. This could be a detached garage, a shed, a gazebo, or a fence.
Swimming pools also may be covered under other structures. But it depends on your policy and the type of pool. In-ground pools are sometimes covered under other structures, but sometimes they are not. Above-ground pools are sometimes covered under personal property.
Any structure connected to your main dwelling is not an “other structure.” Instead, it is treated as the main dwelling. If you have a garage connected to your house, it will is part of the main dwelling.
These structures can face similar perils to the ones your home faces. They can be quite expensive to replace or repair, too. Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for these structures.
In most cases, these structures have the same protection that your main dwelling does. Whatever your home is covered for, your other structures are covered for, too.
Before assuming this is the case, though, thoroughly read your homeowner’s insurance policy. This will allow you to see what events are covered under your other structures’ policies.
You do not need to itemize these structures on your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, pay attention to how much coverage your policy gives for other structures. See whether that’s sufficient for the structures on your property.
How Much Coverage Do You Have?
Homeowners’ insurance policies can vary greatly. Generally, speaking, the amount of coverage you have for other structures is based on a percentage of coverage you have for your main dwelling.
Homeowners’ insurance policies typically have coverage limits that are 10% of the main dwelling. If your dwelling coverage is $400,000, then, your other structures coverage would be $40,000.
Assess what structures on your property would be covered under this part of your policy. Is this amount of coverage you have enough? If you add a new structure to your property, consider increasing your coverage so it’s enough.
How Reimbursement Works
Homeowners policies typically don’t provide coverage for damage to other structures caused by:
- Normal wear and tear
- Water damage that happens over time
- Theft from a property that is either undergoing construction or vacant
Homeowners’ insurance policies will reimburse in slightly different ways for other structures.
Most policies will reimburse you for the replacement cost value of your home. Depreciation isn’t factored into the equation. Typically speaking, you’ll also be given a reimbursement check for the amount of damage.
Reimbursements for other structures work a little differently. Some homeowners insurance policies will pay the replacement cost of the other structure. Some will pay the actual cash value of the structure, which is the cost of replacement minus any depreciation.
It’s also possible that your homeowners’ insurance policy will treat individual other structures in different ways. For example, buildings such as a shed or detached garage may be treated as replacement costs. Other items such as a fence or a mailbox may be treated as actual cash value.
Work with an Insurance Company You Can Trust
Homeowners’ insurance policies can be confusing. There are a lot of different coverages, definitions, and limits for the things that are on your property.
Other structures are one area that most homeowners aren’t as familiar with, compared to other parts of their policy. However, this is an essential aspect of any homeowners insurance policy, as it protects structures on your property that aren’t connected to your main dwelling.
As always, it’s very important to understand exactly what your homeowners’ policy covers in terms of other structures. This includes what fits into that category, what your policy limits are, and what the reimbursement terms are.
Because homeowners insurance can be so complicated, it’s important that you work with a trusted agency such as Signature Insurance.
We have been working with Michigan homeowners like you for years. We don’t just provide insurance policies. We pride ourselves on working hard for our customers every day, making sure they have the coverage they need for their particular situation.
Contact us today to find out more about our homeowners’ insurance plans and to get a free quote.
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