Other Structures Coverage

Home insurance covers more than your home. It also covers any other structures that you may have on your property. Your detached garage, a backyard fence, the pool you put in last year: they are all covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

Other Structures Insurance

Other structures insurance, also known as Coverage B, include structures on your property other than the main dwelling, which are not attached to the main dwelling. 

What's Covered by Other Structures Insurance?

Structures protected by your Coverage B include:

  • Fences
  • Sheds
  • Detached garages
  • Swimming pools
  • Greenhouses
  • Driveways
  • Guest cottages
  • Gazebos
  • Barns

These other structures are protected against the same risk as your home, for example fire, theft or hail. It is common practice for other structures coverage to exclude any detached structures that you use for business purposes.

What's Not Covered by My Coverage B?

The contents within your other structures are typically covered by your personal property coverage, for example your garden equipment, and is also often calculated as a percentage of your main structure value. Once again be sure that the value of your personal property cover adequately covers the items you store in your shed, detached garage, guest cottages etc.

And be aware that while Coverage B can cover barns, it does not cover farming or ranching activities or animals. 

Also, Coverage B can't cover flood damage. For that, you need flood insurance.

How Much Other Structures Insurance Should I Have?

The standard insured value for other structures is often automatically calculated as a percentage of the main structure, usually 10 percent. However, because other structures are different for everyone, most insurers give you the option to increase the amount of cover you wish to be insured for, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reduce it below the 10 percent level. If you believe your other structures are valued at more than 10 percent of your main structure value, it’s important for you to adjust this cover to ensure you are adequately covered for the value of your unattached structures in the event of a loss settlement.

Limits for cover of items under other structures will apply, so speak to your insurance provider to understand what these limits are. It’s worth noting that if you store high-value items in your detached structures, such as expensive sports equipment, it would be wise to purchase additional cover for these items as it’s likely the full value of such items will not be covered under a standard other structures policy.

It’s considered good practice to review your insurance policy annually to be sure that you are adequately covered. In the case of other structures coverage, this is just as important. You may have made improvements to your property that affects your other structures, for example converting your single detached garage to a double detached garage, or perhaps you no longer have a particular detached structure. These changes affect the value of cover you require for other structures and hence your premium if you have purchased additional cover beyond the minimum included in your homeowners insurance policy.

A fast car and a garage

Sally was awoken at midnight by a loud crash. One of her neighbors skidded his car in the rain and took out her mailbox, part of her fence, and crashed against her detached garage, damaging the door (someone should put a stop light there.)

She had selected $40,000 dollars in Other Structures coverage—this means Kin will pay up to $40,000 to get her a new mailbox, a new fence, and repair her garage.

A fast car and a deck

A few months later the same neighbor skidded but this time hit Felipe’s house. (Someone should really put a stop light there!).

This time the driver took out Jenny’s mailbox, her fence, and hit the wooden deck that’s attached to Felipe’s house.

Because Felipe doesn’t have a garage, he opted for a very low limit: only $5,000 in Other Structures coverage. (His main building coverage is $250,000)

In this case Kin would also pay up to $5,000 to pay for a new mailbox and repair his fence. However, his deck would not be included in this limit. Because the deck is permanently attached to his house it’s covered up to his main building limit ($250,000 in this case) so Felipe will be fine.

Learn about Our Coverage

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