Does my homeowners policy cover structures other than my home?

If you have structures on your property aside from your home, including luxury items like tennis courts and pools, it is important to be aware of the coverage your homeowners policy provides.  It also pays to check if you have any separate policies.  

Typically, your homeowner’s policy includes protection to other buildings on your property, including the fences that separate your land from everyone else. Homeowners policies may refer to your whole property as a “residence premises” and coverage for other structures will be limited to the premises.

Protection for buildings other than your home is usually limited only to a small percentage of the total coverage you have on your home and therefore may be inadequate if your other structures are worth a lot of money. However, be aware that while standard policies may limit how much coverage they provide to other structures, this coverage amount typically will not count toward the policy limit on your home.  This is one reason to be wary of settling all claims with your insurer in exchange for quick cash up front, which may turn out to be less than you were entitled to.

Lastly, many policyholders choose to purchase additional insurance for their other structures, whether through an add-on to their homeowners policy or through separate insurance altogether, in order to protect their valuable residential property additions. Additional insurance will likely provide for replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged other structures on your property, however, it is important to check your policy because coverages may differ vastly. 

If you are unsure if you have the right coverage, check your policy. If you have only a standard policy, look for riders and endorsements that specifically address these kinds of items. You can review our article on how to read your policy to help guide you through the process. You can also call your insurance company or broker to inquire about any additional insurance for these purposes you may have purchased.