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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Porch Damage

Homeowners insurance covers porch damage caused by many perils. The damage excluded from coverage depends on your policy. The list of excluded causes of damage can differ by location and from company to company.

Read Time: 6 mins

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When a natural disaster or other catastrophic event occurs and it damages your home, it can be scary and frustrating. Many people turn to their insurance companies to help them during this trying time. But when it comes to homeowners insurance, each policy is different. Some homeowners find themselves asking, does homeowners insurance cover porch damage?

Whether or not your porch is covered by a homeowners insurance policy is determined by the type of policy you have and the insurance agency you use. Commonly, homeowners insurance covers the dwelling structure and any structure physically attached or connected to the structure. This typically includes attached garages, porches, and decks. 

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Additionally, if your porch sinks, it will not be covered by homeowners insurance. This structural damage is usually excluded, especially if it is caused by poor installation or normal wear and tear.

Not every homeowner’s insurance policy is the same. Some have exclusions and different limitations. Keep reading to learn more about whether or not your insurance will cover your porch if it suffers damage from a covered peril.

Key facts
  • If your porch is attached to your home, it is typically covered as part of your dwelling structure coverage A.
  • If your porch is attached to a detached structure on your property it will be covered by other structures coverage B.
  • If you add a porch to your home and it does not meet the code or other legal requirements, it may jeopardize your insurance coverage.
  • Exclusions can affect the coverage you have on your dwelling structure and porch.

When insurance will cover your porch

If your porch is attached to the home and is built properly, it will likely be considered to be part of your main dwelling which is covered by dwelling coverage of your homeowners insurance policy just like a deck attached to your home or an attached garage would. Some insurance policies like HO-1 and HO-2 cover specifically listed perils within the policy.

More popular HO-3 and HO-5 policies will cover your porch against “all risks” on an open-peril basis. This means that your porch is covered from all risks except for the exclusions specifically listed in your policy.

Exclusions also can differ by location and from insurer to insurer. For example, in coastal areas, wind and hail damage might be excluded from your homeowners insurance, and requires additional windstorm insurance to be covered. At the same time, in many other parts of the country, wind and hail are covered perils.

The most common perils that are covered are:

If your porch is destroyed or damaged directly due to one of the perils covered by your homeowners insurance policy, then your insurance company will likely cover the cost to repair or replace the porch, less the deductible. 

The insurance company will send an adjuster out to your property to assess the damage, take some photos, and complete a report. This will be filed with the claim and help determine the amount of compensation the homeowner will get to cover the repairs and costs.

When insurance will not cover your porch

Although insurance is very good, there are times when it will not cover damage or loss of a porch. These instances are often either included as an exclusion within the insurance policy itself or due to legal reasons. While some instances can be covered by insurance add-ons, others are not negotiable.

For example, if you built a porch without getting a permit, and the porch is not built to code or safety standards, then your insurance company will not provide coverage for the porch. This is because of its inherent risk. Insurance companies will only cover legally built structures.

Additionally, some insurance companies have specific exclusions listed in their policies. These exclusions allow for the insurance company not to cover the cost of repair or loss of a homeowner’s property in specific circumstances. Some common exclusions are:

As we mentioned before wind and hail damage might need a separate windstorm insurance endorsement or a standalone policy if your home is located in one of the high-risk areas for wind and hail damage.

If you want to protect yourself, your home, and your porch from these types of exclusions, you would need to seek additional coverage for your insurance policy (in a form of endorsements and riders). Not every insurance company provides a full range of add-ons to cover every type of risk. 

It should also be noted that when buying add-on coverage, it will increase the cost of the annual premium and may include an additional or higher deductible for claims. While this may not be a dealbreaker for some people, it may be a dealbreaker for others due to the hefty price tag associated with the additional coverage.

Preventing a denied claim

In order to prevent a claim from being denied, it is important to care for your porch regularly. When you notice basic maintenance needs to be performed, it is important to handle these tasks quickly. This will prevent further damage from occurring.

Additionally, when building or adding to your porch, be sure it is properly permitted and built. Although many people enjoy DIY projects, sometimes they can get you in trouble with your insurance company. If you build your own porch and it does not meet legal standards, it will impact your insurance. Either the company will refuse to cover the porch if damage occurs, or it may prevent you from being renewed in the future. When doing work on your porch, look into hiring a certified and licensed contractor and make sure to pull a permit.

Your policy has your porch covered

In most cases, your porch will be covered if it is damaged in relation to a covered peril. It is always a good idea to double-check with your insurance, though, to verify your coverage in case of a claim. If you find your policy documents difficult to understand, you should call your insurance agent and ask them to explain what causes of damage to your porch are covered by your policy.

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Katelyn is a freelance copy editor and writer based in Massachusetts. She holds Bachelor's Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science, both from Fitchburg State University, as well as a Master's Degree in Public Administration from UMass Amherst. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
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