Pretty much everyone who owns a home has an insurance policy, which covers that home in the event of a loss. And most rely on their agent (or in some cases a telemarketing representative) to ensure they are properly covered. If you fall into this category and haven’t personally reviewed the coverage on your policy, you may want to take a look. While some agents are very good at uncovering potential exposures, others are not. One exposure that is easy to overlook is coverage for “other structures”.
What are “other structures”? These typically include buildings and structures not sharing a foundation with your house. Some examples would be a detached garage, a pole barn, a pool house, a storage shed, a freestanding deck or gazebo, or even a fence. Most insurance policies automatically cover other structures with a limit that is 10% of the dwelling limit. So, for example, if your home is insured for $200,000, your policy would provide an additional $20,000 for other structures, an amount that is often adequate. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. A modest-sized pole barn could cost upwards of $50,000 to replace, and in the event of losses to multiple structures due to a single event (such as a tornado), the other structures limit would not apply to each structure individually, but instead be shared among them. Therefore, if you do have other structures on your property, it is important that you review your policy with a reputable agent to ensure you are sufficiently covered.
The good news is that “other structures” coverage can be relatively inexpensive and is well worth the added peace of mind.