The Ins and Outs of Other Structure Coverage

Your Homeowner's policy has Other Structure coverage automatically included. It covers the various buildings on your property that are detached from the house, but is it enough? How is Other Structures coverage determined? Are there any exceptions to the coverage?

Other Structure coverage, like most insurance terms, is very unimaginative in its name. It covers most Other Structures or buildings on your property, most likely being a detached garage or shed(s).  It is an extension of your main building coverage (Coverage A). The amount of Other Structure coverage you have is almost never calculated as a set amount. Instead, your insurer will typically use 10% of your main dwelling coverage (Coverage A) to find the amount for Other Structure Coverage (Coverage B). So, if you home is covered at $150,000, you would have an automatic $15,000 of coverage for Other Structures. The amount of Other Structure coverage can typically be increased (for a fee), and the coverage covers all the buildings on your property that are separate from you home, up to the designated amount for Other Structures.

The caveat to Other Structure coverage is in the use of the building. If the main use of the shed/detached garage/etc. is for business purposes, then the Homeowner’s policy will not cover itA standard Homeowner’s policy will typically cover approximately $1,000 of Business Personal Property you have on the premises of your home, but it will not cover a building that is used primarily for business purposes.

To illustrate this, an easy example would be a contractor: the contractor uses his detached garage exclusively to store his work truck and tools. To have the garage and tools properly covered, they would need to be insured as business property on a Commercial Property policy.

Note: Correctly covering your business and personal items can be tricky. Make sure to contact your agent to discuss proper coverage for all of your personal and business property.