Homeowners Insurance: Are Your Detached Structures Covered?

A blue shed next to a wooden fence surrounded by flowers and greenery in a backyard.Investing in a homeowners insurance policy gives you the peace of mind that your home and the belongings within are covered in the event of a disaster. However, what if a tree lands on your detached garage, strong winds knock over your fence, or a lightning strike damages your pool’s pump? Will your policy jump in to help cover the losses of the external structures? Let’s review how homeowners insurance works when it comes to keeping your detached structures covered.

Sheds, Freestanding Garages, and Other Detached Structures

It’s natural to wonder if the gazebo or gardening shed is covered by your insurance, but fortunately, basic homeowners policies include an area of coverage known as “other property coverage.” This insurance component covers your detached structures from the same perils as your home, such as fire, falling objects, and vandalism. However, the coverage of these structures is based on a percentage of your dwelling coverage – typically around 10%. Therefore, if you have an expensive shed in your backyard, you may want to call your insurance agent and consider increasing your policy limits.

Swimming Pools

The same coverage rules apply to the swimming pool in your backyard. However, the liability issues that accompany pools are a significant factor when considering your homeowners insurance coverage. While homeowners insurance provides some liability protection, you may want to invest in more if you own a swimming pool. To increase your coverage, you can raise the amount of liability protection on your existing policy or purchase umbrella insurance. You should also consider these safety measures to reduce liability exposure:

  • Add a Fence: Surround your pool with a high fence with a self-closing gate.
  • Adult Supervision: Do not allow young guests access to the pool without an adult present.
  • First Aid Equipment: Keep first aid equipment near the pool.
  • Non-slip Surfaces: Surround your pool with a non-slip surface to prevent slips and falls.
  • Local Requirements: Contact your municipality to ensure your pool and the surrounding fence meet the local requirements for depth, size, and safety features.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, investing in additional liability protections will help you cover the costs of medical bills and potential lawsuits.

Are the Items Stored Inside Detached Structures Covered?

While you may be confident about the protections in place for your detached structures, what about the items stored within? Fortunately, the personal property coverage in your homeowners policy usually protects the belongings in your detached garage, shed, and other structures. However, if you’re housing machinery, sports equipment, or other expensive belongings in your detached structures, you might want to consider purchasing a personal articles policy. This type of insurance will offer protection that exceeds the limits and deductibles of your standard homeowners policy.

While your homeowners insurance helps when it comes to keeping your detached structures covered, the best way to ensure you have the best protection is to discuss your property with an insurance agent. In the event of a severe storm, the damage to your external structures can quickly add up. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents can help you purchase the right homeowners insurance to ensure you’re well compensated for the loss or damages of detached structures. If you’re unsure if you have enough coverage to repair your shed, garage, or other structures, contact us today.