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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Carport Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Carport Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Carport Damage?

There are some carriers that answer yes, carports are insurable under your homeowners policy under special circumstances and some who say no to this question emphatically. The debate is as to whether this is a building or a structure because it has no actual walls. Basically, construction should probably play a small part. There are some very elaborate, mortar and stone carports with shingled roofs, brick carports, and then there is your typical aluminum basic carport. Either way, they may not be a building, but they do classify as least of all a structure.

Generally, the standard home insurance within your homeowners policy will extend to include any structure that has been connected to your home. There are exceptions to that in some instances with some carriers. Case in point, screened porches or screened enclosures. 

Because any structure that is ‘connected’ to your home is typically covered by homeowners insurance, you won’t have to get any type of additional coverage for things like attached garage or sunrooms so long as they are actually built into your home. The coverage limits that you choose for your home’s protection will apply to repair these structures if they become damaged. Carports are not connected to the home, so this stipulation would exclude them from this coverage. Let’s go on to unattached structures.

Unattached Structures On Your Property

Other structure coverage is used for structures that are not ‘connected’ to the dwelling on your premises and this will include carports by definition (and according to the guidelines). Unattached structures are typically not covered under your standard home insurance plan. But there are some carriers that do offer ‘other structure’ coverage as a standard part of their home insurance package. It varies from provider to provider. 

Claims for unattached structures are usually handled as they would be for the home itself. If a covered peril were to damage your carport, e.g. fire, hurricane, the other structure coverage will reimburse up to the limits that you have chosen for the policy to take care of the repairs. If your carport is being used for personal reasons.

When You Can’t Use Homeowners Insurance For Carports

There are instances when your carport will be excluded from the homeowners insurance altogether, e.g. if you are using it for any type of business purposes, such as a temporary mechanic area in the evenings where folks are paying you to fix their cars. Homeowners insurance won’t cover the carport unless it is strictly used for personal reasons. If being used for work-type use, you would need to get commercial insurance to cover it. This is so you have things such as:

  • Property coverage
  • Contents
  • Liability
  • Workers comp

Commercial coverage protects you as a business owner, the carport as an office property, as well as all of the contents and equipment that you use to perform your job duties. It also allows liability in case there are any customers who may have property damage or become injured while on your premises and workers comp if you choose to have any employees who could experience an injury on the job.

There are cases that have gone to court between insureds whose carports have collapsed and carriers who would not payout because the carport was not a ‘building’ and the carrier came out on top in the case. Somehow, if you have something that has been constructed on your property whether it has walls or not, it’s a structure and you should be entitled to other structure coverage to protect it. At least, a carport is listed as being covered under other structure coverage, so it would make sense. But as with everything, it depends on the carrier, the carport, where you live… and what court you’re in.

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