In most cases, your driveway is covered under your home insurance. Driveways are necessary to the function of your home and connect to your home or attached garage in some way. If your driveway does not lead to your home, it may not be covered.
- Dwelling and attached structures.
- Detached Structures such as garages and outbuildings
- Personal Property
- Additional Living Expenses.
Your driveway is considered part of your dwelling and attached structures, like a swimming pool or attached deck would be. The same coverage you have on your home applies to the driveway.
There are a couple of exceptions. Make sure to review your policy carefully for other exclusions specific to your state and situations.
The driveway must lead to your home. Driveways to outbuildings or other structures are covered under your unattached, adjacent structures coverage. If your driveway does not lead to your home and is included in the unattached structures portion, make sure you have enough coverage to replace your driveway if it is damaged.
If the driveway leads to a building where business is conducted, there may not be any coverage. For example, you have a small garage where you run a woodworking shop out of. The driveway leads from the road to the woodworking shop. Even though this is on your property with your home, the claim would be excluded because the driveway leads to a building used for business use.
What is covered?
Driveway damage is covered for the same perils your home is. Under most homeowner’s policies dwelling coverage is special form, or everything that is not specifically excluded is covered.
For claims to be covered they must be caused by a sudden, unexpected event and not slowly over time. Intentional acts of the insured are always excluded, also.
The excluded perils can be covered through endorsements to the homeowner’s policy or additional coverage purchased separately. Verify with your flood insurance and earthquake insurance providers if driveways are considered covered structures. Those policies vary from the homeowners policy in what is and is not covered.
The most common exclusions are:
- Earth Movement, Mudslide, or Mudflow
- Ordinance or Law
- Intentional Loss
- Wear & Tear, Deterioration
- Settling, Shrinking, Bulging, or Expanding
- Birds, Vermin, Rodents, Insects
- Animals Owned by Insured
For driveway damage to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance the damage must be a sudden event, not caused by one of the excluded perils and the claim must be reported in a reasonable time.
If a tree falls on your driveway and causes it to crack, that damage would be covered. The tree falling is a sudden, unexpected event and a covered peril.
Cracks from the earth shifting under the driveway would not be covered. Earth movement is an excluded peril and cracks show up over time.
When you have your appraisal completed for your home or your agent figures a replacement cost of your home, make sure you include the cost of the driveway. The cost to rebuild the driveway needs to include removing the current driveway, regrading, and paving it.
Many times, the dwelling coverage is only written at the amount to cover your home. It is important to make sure all the items covered “dwelling coverage” are included in the valuation.