Do I need Other Structure coverage on my home insurance?

This is a common question which I often hear from my clients. This question often comes up when we are reviewing a policy to save money. This question may also occur when someone is buying their first home. While you may feel you don’t need the coverage it can be invaluable at the time of a claim.

In order to understand to important of this coverage it is worth looking at how we define what is the Dwelling and what is Other Structures.

A typical definition for dwelling is, “The dwelling on the “residence premises shown in the Declarations, including structures attached to the dwelling.”

The typical definition for Other Structures is, “We cover other structures on the “residence premises” set apart from the dwelling by clear space. This includes structures connected to the dwelling by only a fence, utility line, or similar connection.”

Based on the above definitions, Other Structures could be a fence, garage, shed, pool, cabana, patio, etc.

You may feel you don’t have any structures on your property that meets the definition of Other Structures but here is the catch – Other Structures is automatic coverage on the policy and is already built into the price. It does not cost you additional money or added to the policy to bump up the cost.

The amount for Other Structures is based on a percentage of the Dwelling amount listed or primary structure value which may be 10%, 20% or 30% of the Dwelling amount listed based on the insurance company.

That being said you may want more coverage than is automatically provided. This is important to discuss if you have several Other Structures or Custom Structures on your property. This often is the case with farm properties which are no longer an active farm. Also, water front properties that have boat lifts, docks, boat houses, etc.

While you may feel you do not have anything that qualifies as Other Structures, you may in the future. You could build a pool, a garage, a fence that meets the definition of Other Structures. It is always best to have more coverage than you think you need than to not have enough coverage at the time of a claim. Other Structures is a valuable coverage which you should give careful consideration and be discussed with your insurance agent when reviewing your home insurance for adequate coverage.