Ensuring that your detached garage, dwelling, and all other structures on your property are covered is essential when you sign up for home insurance. Making sure that you understand every aspect of the homeowners policy that you plan to get is critical in order for you to get the absolute most coverage for your home, its contents, and other structures that you possibly can. If you don’t understand the language and aren’t sure what is covered then you’ll have no way to know what is going to be protected in the case of any type of peril. This will put you at great risk of something happening and you not being able to receive money to help have the repairs done or get the necessary replacements.
One aspect of your home that you need to take into consideration, particularly, is your detached garage. You need to be sure that it will be taken care of in precisely the same way in which you would protect your home. You could stand to lose a lot of money if it were to be damaged by vandals or destroyed in any type of devastating storm if you don’t have the appropriate coverage lined up.
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Homeowners Policies and Detached Garages
For homeowners plans, there is typically coverage allotted for unattached structures such as your detached garage or sheds or other outbuildings. Some insurance carriers acknowledge these as Coverage B or other carriers will simply call them ‘other structures’. This coverage is usually standard with your home insurance plan and should be an automatic coverage of these structures on your property, or you may have to specifically name them with the home insurance carrier.
Coverage B will give protection for the garage structure in addition to reasonable contents. It generally is set at 10% of the coverage set for the policy amount that you have chosen for your house. It is possible to purchase more than that if you choose to but the recommendation is at least 10%. If you plan to store anything of value inside the garage, you may want to up the protection to cover the cost, otherwise, you may not be able to recover your loss.
If you are using your detached garage for anything other than personal reasons, e.g. business, you will likely need to obtain business insurance. Homeowners insurance covers structures used only in the instance of personal purposes. They won’t cover a structure that is being used to work out of.
Does Home Insurance Treat Attached Garages Different From Detached Garages
Insurers do, as a matter of fact, treat garages differently if they are attached or detached. It is actually an important detail for them in determining coverage on the garage. If you have a garage that is detached, it would fall in the category of external structures and then would need to have more insurance placed on it. The typical homeowners policy allows upwards of 10% of the value of the plan to cover for detached buildings. And a lot of times homeowners opt for more than that because they find the 10% to be too low.
Another fact that is interesting, the attached garage is considered to be a part of the dwelling and if someone were to break into your home via an attached garage, they would receive a much harsher sentence than if they were to merely break into the detached garage because the detached garage is not considered as part of the dwelling.
Whether your detached garage is a new addition or if you decide to upgrade it during the year or if you do any type of modifications to your home, each year you should make an appointment with your agent to update your policy according to the new value of your assets. You may have added valuables to the contents of your house, nothing at all may have changed, or there could be small changes that you made which you may have simply forgotten about over the year. Revisiting the policy is a good way to make sure that you stay on top of the plan and keeping protection on those things most precious in your life.