What is other structures coverage in my Atlanta home insurance?

Other structures coverage can provide insurance for detached structures on your property.

Other structures coverage is just like it sounds – it covers the other large structures that are on your property besides your house. Most times, other structures coverage will be included in your homeowners policy, but sometimes it needs to be purchased as an endorsement. The best way to know if you have this coverage already is to look at your insurance declarations page and see if you have something called “Coverage B,” which is another term for other structures insurance.

Other structures coverage was originally created for detached garages. However, as home prices increased and less developed land became available in the 1970s, builders began building attached garages. That still doesn’t mean that other structures coverage is completely useless.

What Does Other Structures Insurance Cover?

If you have one of the following structures, you should look out for other structures coverage in your homeowners insurance policy:

  • A detached garage
  • A pool or pool house
  • A shed
  • A gazebo
  • A guest house
  • A barn
  • An outdoor dining hut
  • A fence
  • A paved driveway
  • A patio

It’s important to note that just because you have other structures coverage, the complete cost to replace a structure may not be covered by the insurance. Other structures coverage is based on a percentage of the value of your home. So, depending on your policy and carrier, the maximum coverage limit could range anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of the value of your house.

Also keep in mind that just because you have other structures insurance or even a general homeowners policy, the belongings inside of your home or other structure may not be completely covered. Personal property coverage, or “Coverage C,” is also usually only a percentage of the value of that item or of your home. So, it’s important to review your homeowners declarations page and talk to your insurance agent about what you’re covered for and how much the coverage is.

Our agents are experts at not only breaking down what’s in your homeowners insurance but giving you the best coverage and pricing that’s personalized to your needs. Call us at 770.497.1200 or fill out our online quote form to get free quotes on your homeowners insurance and compare the coverage you can get on the other structures on your property.

Can I Remove Other Structures Coverage to Save Money?

I hear some of you saying, “Wait, I don’t have anything else attached to my house or on my property,” or “I don’t really care about insuring my other structures.” So, can you take off other structures coverage to save money on your homeowners?

Homeowners insurance is usually not the piecemeal that other types of insurance can be. Whether you have an HO-3, an HO-5, or some other type of homeowners coverage, it usually comes as a bundle – a bundle that will more than likely already include other structures. This is because insurance companies want to be able to offer coverage to the vast majority of people, who will usually have at least a shed or fence.

That being said, if there’s anything on your property that falls into the “other structures” list, you should probably keep your other structures coverage anyway. Your insurance carrier may exclude some structures from the coverage if they decide that it needs too many repairs or if it’s too dangerous to use due to a lack of maintenance, but those cases are few and far between. Your carrier could also include other structures in your dwelling coverage, which will lump everything on your property together in terms of coverage anyway.

If you don’t have any other structures on your property, taking off other structures coverage could mean that you’ll have to skimp on your homeowners coverage altogether. So, you may not be paying for other structures coverage that you’ll never use, but you could also be missing out on coverage that you need for your actual home.

If you’re really worried about saving money regarding this part of your homeowners, there are a couple other options:

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Value

You could consider insuring your “other structures” under “actual cash value (ACV)” coverage. This means that if something happens to the structure, you’ll receive the depreciated value of the structure. ACV coverage is usually less expensive than homeowners insurance with Replacement Cost Value (RCV) coverage.

The drawback is that the ACV coverage could be for just the other structure or for the entirety of the policy. So, if something happens to your house or belongings, your insurance will only cover the amount that your home and property are worth, not what you paid for them. Depending on your insurance carrier and your policy, you may be able to have RCV coverage for your home and ACV coverage for other structures, but definitely talk to your agent to make sure that one can be covered for ACV and not the other. It’s really important that you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home from the ground up in case it’s destroyed by something like a fire.

Discounts!

Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you’re getting all of the discounts you possibly can. Ask about common discounts like loyalty and bundling. Ask about carrier specific discounts. Ask about home improvements like a security system or an impact-resistant roof that may qualify you for a discount.

You can also ask one of our insurance experts! We’ve formed relationships with multiple, trusted insurance companies so that we can get you the best rates on the specific coverage you need. We’ll help you compare quotes on policies that cover only the property you want to cover and find ways to save you money on all the rest. Call us at 770.497.120 for a free quote or get started with our online form.

Sources:

https://www.irmi.com/term/insurance-definitions/other-structures

https://www.thebalance.com/remove-other-structures-insurance-coverage-2645713