Verify Your "Other Structures" Are Properly Covered

Verify Your Other Structures Are Properly Covered

Your homeowners policy covers "other structures" that are either (a) separated by a clear and distinct space from your dwelling or (b) connected to the dwelling by a fence, wall, wire, or similar type of connection. The limit of insurance for other structures is typically 10 percent of your dwelling limit. Sometimes, however, this limit may be quite inadequate, creating unwanted coverage gaps. For example, residences with detached guest houses, storage units, swimming pools, expensive fences, and gazebos may be vastly underinsured for these other structures. Thus, consider the following tips if you find yourself in that situation.

  • An other structures on the residence premises (HO 04 48) or similar endorsement can be selected to increase the limits for these structures.

  • A replacement cost loss settlement for certain non-building structures on the resident premises (HO 04 43) or similar endorsement can provide replacement cost protection for items such as reinforced-masonry walls, metal or fiberglass fences, patios and walks, and driveways. The attachment of this endorsement can often add 30 percent or more to your settlement for your damaged property.

  • If you own "other structures" located away from your main premises, consider an endorsement adding property coverage to these off-site structures such as the coverage B—other structures away from the residence premises (HO 04 91) endorsement or the specific structures away from the residence premises (HO 04 92) endorsement.

  • Sometimes it is not readily apparent whether certain "other structures" are on or off premises. For example, if your "other structure" is a boat dock on a lake, be aware that it may actually be "off premises" since most lakeshores are technically owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Source: Copyright 2012, International Risk Management Institute, Inc.