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What Are Other Structures?

Home insurance can sometimes seem confusing, especially when, like any industry, we use language that seems unfamiliar to people who don’t regularly work with it. A good example of this is “other structures.” Sometimes our representatives ask if a homeowner has any additional structures on their property, and the homeowner says they don’t. But that’s seldom true.

We think we can clear this up pretty easily so that people can get the right amount of home insurance.

Other Structures: An Insurance Definition

Much of the confusion about other structures comes from people thinking that it’s just another way of saying “other buildings.” However, there are a lot of things that can count as other structures, including:

  • Detached garages.
  • Gazebos
  • Barns
  • Sheds
  • Pools
  • Fences
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Permanently installed or anchored docks with their permanently installed equipment such as lifts and launches.
  • Hot tubs.
  • Other permanently installed outdoor fixtures.

That’s a pretty long list of other structures, and there’s a good chance your property has one or more of the items on it. That’s okay, because your home insurance policy most likely covers them. You can usually find coverage for the structures on your property that aren’t attached to your dwelling under the section that’s actually called “other structures.” Attached structures, like a porch or carport are generally part of the policy that covers the house itself. However, this can vary by insurance company, as can coverage for swimming pools.

How Much Other Structures Coverage Should I Have?

We generally recommend you carry a minimum other structures coverage limit that’s 10 percent of your dwelling coverage. This may be enough to cover all of your other structures, but that really depends on your answers to several questions, including:

  • What type and how many other structures are on your property?
  • How much your other structures are worth?
  • What can you afford to repair if you face a covered peril?

Answering these questions gives you an idea of how much you might have to pay if you experience catastrophic damage and how much risk you’re willing to take on. You can always decide to carry higher limits if it makes sense for your situation.

Can I Remove Other Structures Coverage?

You may be able to opt out of other structures coverage, but it’s not recommended. The additional structures may not seem like a major expense, but they definitely can be.  You also want to think about how likely you are to suffer some sort of damage to the other structures on your property. Anything that might wreck your home could just as easily ruin your other structures. For example, you want to be prepared if:

  • Lightning sets your gazebo on fire.
  • High winds blow over your fence.
  • A tree falls on your carport.
  • Hail damages your pool liner.
  • An errant driver knocks your garage off its foundation.
  • A thief steals valuable tools from your garden shed.

When you look at all the items on your property that you need to protect, plus the risk of having to replace them, carrying at least the minimum Other Structures limit makes sense.

Getting other structures coverage is simple when you work with us. But you can always talk to one of the insurance experts at DPM insurance Group if you have questions. They’re happy to walk through every structure on your property to make sure that you have enough of the right amount of coverage.

 

Source: Kin Insurance

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