Do I Need Other Structures Coverage for My Home?
SmartFinancial Offers Unbiased, Fact-based Information. Our fact-checked articles are intended to educate insurance shoppers so they can make the right buying decisions. Learn More
Part of a standard homeowners insurance policy, other structures coverage pays to repair or replace structures not directly attached to the main structure, such as detached garages or decks, sheds and fences. Homeowners will only be reimbursed if the damages were caused by a covered loss, like a fire, windstorm or vandalism.
Learn what types of structures and perils are and aren’t covered by other structures coverage.
What Is Other Structures Coverage in Home Insurance?
Other structures coverage, also called Coverage B or additional structures coverage, pays to repair or replace structures not directly connected to your home when damaged by a covered peril, like fire, vandalism or windstorm. Common types of structures protected by Coverage B include:
- Detached garages
- Detached decks
- In-ground swimming pool
Coverage B is one of the six main coverage types included in a standard homeowners insurance policy.
These different coverages work together to protect the homeowner against multiple types of losses, including damages to your personal belongings, liability expenses and temporary living costs if your home burns down.
Get Personalized Home Insurance Quotes Here
Is Other Structures Coverage Required?
Other structures coverage is already included in a standard homeowners policy so there is no need to buy it separately. With that said, there is no law requiring homeowners to have insurance. However, a mortgage lender will almost definitely require you to buy a home insurance policy as a condition of approving your loan.
If you paid off your house, you are not obligated to have Coverage B or any other kind of home insurance. Even so, a standard homeowners policy is a wise purchase to ensure you won’t have to bear the full financial burden if an unexpected accident damages your property.
Coverage B: What Is Covered by Other Structures Insurance?
Standard homeowners insurance provides Coverage B on an open peril basis, meaning they will reimburse you for damage caused by any peril that isn’t listed in the policy as an exclusion. Perils that your fences and sheds will be covered for will usually include:
|Fire or lightning||Theft|
|Windstorm or hail||Volcanic eruptions|
|Riot or civil commotion||Weight of ice, sleet or snow|
|Damage by aircraft||Water/steam discharge from home systems and appliances|
|Damage by vehicle||Sudden/accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems|
|Smoke||Freezing of home systems|
|Vandalism or malicious mischief||Sudden/accidental power surges|
What Isn’t Covered?
Your policy will include a list of exclusions, which are perils that your provider will not cover. Some of the most common exclusions include:
- Earthquakes, sinkholes, landslides, mudslides and other ground movement
- Lack of maintenance or neglect
- Government confiscation or condemnation of property
- Nuclear hazard
- Floods from heavy rain, high tides, overflowing rivers or some other external water source
- Pests and infestations
- Ordinance and failure to meet local building codes and standards
Fortunately, you can usually account for these exclusions by purchasing endorsements, also known as riders, which allow you to update the terms of your homeowners insurance policy. So, if you live in a coastal state that is prone to flooding, you could add flood insurance to your policy in exchange for paying a higher premium. Alternatively, you can purchase additional coverage as a standalone policy.
In addition, you may need separate home-based business insurance to cover structures on your property that primarily serve a commercial purpose. For example, Coverage B of your homeowners insurance policy might not cover damage to a shed that you exclusively use to store tools for your landscaping company.
How Much Does Other Structures Coverage Cost?
Other structures coverage is included in a standard policy and the average cost of homeowners insurance in 2022 was $1,213.89 for $250,000 in dwelling coverage.
For most policies, your other structures coverage limit will be 10% of your dwelling coverage limit. As a result, the average rate of $1,213.89 per year would provide you with $25,000 in other structures coverage.
Of course, exact rates will vary based on several factors, including the state you live in. Other factors that can influence your overall home insurance rates include:
- Home’s age
- Coverage limits
- Roof age and condition
- Amenities (e.g., trampolines or swimming pools)
- Policy’s coverage limits and deductible
- Claims history
- Credit score
- Zip code
How Much Other Structures Coverage Do I Need?
Determining how much other structures coverage you need requires taking note of how many additional structures there are on your property and what it would cost to rebuild them. Keep in mind that any of your belongings inside these structures would be covered by your personal property coverage, not your other structures coverage.
In addition, depending on your circumstances, it may benefit you to buy endorsements in order to protect your additional structures from more perils. For example, you might want to purchase earthquake insurance if you live in a state that is prone to them, such as California.