By Jarrod Heil
Home Insurance Breakdown: What Is Coverage B (Other Structures)?
It’s important to maintain adequate coverage on your home in case disaster strikes and causes damage or complete destruction. Since storms, fires and other perils don’t have a personal agenda that sticks to just your home, it’s important to approach the coverage of your entire property the same way.
Other structures coverage, also known as Coverage B, makes sure many structures on your property that aren’t attached to your home are protected against covered perils.
While your agent can always help you determine how much coverage you personally need, let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of Coverage B within your homeowners insurance policy.
What Is Other Structures Coverage?
Other structures coverage is the part of your home insurance policy that pays to repair, replace or rebuild structures on your property that are detached from your actual home and have been damaged by a covered peril.
In insurance lingo, it’s also called Coverage B and is only included in homeowners insurance because renters and condo owners don’t actually own the property their home resides on. Therefore, they’re not solely responsible to pay for any damaged items, such as a fence, if a covered peril were to occur.
As with any other portion of your homeowners policy, a qualifying peril must be responsible for the damage for a claim to be paid. Even then, there are certain circumstances, such as homeowner negligence, that cause a claim to be nullified.
What Are Common Other Structures?
There are many common structures homeowners may have on their property, but every single structure may not be covered. Fences, detached garages, sheds and gazebos are among the most common detached structures that homeowners have on their property, and that are usually extended coverage.
But just because you have Coverage B doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected. You’ll want to make sure you have adequate coverage in all circumstances.
How Much Coverage B Do I Need?
How much coverage you need depends on how many other structures you have on the property and the overall value of all of them combined. Other structures coverage is usually up to 10 percent of the dwelling portion of your home insurance policy.
Since Coverage B can protect fences, sheds, unattached garages and more items on your property that are excluded in your dwelling coverage, it’s important to evaluate the cost to repair, replace and even rebuild all those structures if they were completely destroyed.
If you have $250,000 in dwelling coverage and 10 percent of that in other structures coverage, you’d have $25,000 in coverage. If your fence, detached garage and shed cost $30,000 to rebuild after a catastrophic event, that means you’re underinsured by $5,000.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to contact your Universal Agent to go over your policy and add more coverage.