Do Attached Garages Fall Under Dwelling Coverage?
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Are garages covered by your homeowners insurance policy?
The answer depends on whether or not your garage is attached to your home or "dwelling."
Licensed insurance broker Jerry is here with everything you need to know about how a standard homeowners insurance policy covers (or doesn't cover) garages.
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Is your attached garage considered part of your main dwelling?
When it comes to your garage, as long as it’s attached to your home, it’s considered a part of your main dwelling.
The same goes for any other structure directly connected to your home, whether that be a deck, porch, sunroom, shed, or other structure.
This is useful for your homeowners insurance policy, as your coverage depends on the garage's attachment to your house. You may want to consider getting dwelling coverage based on the age of your home, its risk of damages, and the structures that fall under "dwelling."
Is your garage covered by dwelling coverage?
If you have a home that already has an attached garage, then it will already be included on your homeowners insurance policy. If you add an attached garage later down the line, then you’ll have to talk to your insurance agent to have it added to your policy.
The amount of your home insurance policy is based on the value of your home. So, when its value increases, such as the addition of a garage, then the increased value of your home requires that you buy additional coverage to account for this.
What you actually do with the garage is another factor that can determine the amount of coverage you’ll need to properly protect your garage. If you use it to store expensive items, then you need to make sure that you have enough personal property coverage to protect these items.
Any high-risk items (such as flammable liquids) stored in your garage can also affect how much coverage you need. Failure to reveal that you’re storing high-risk items in your garage could result in a denial of a claim if the stored item ends up causing damage to your garage or home.
Key Takeaway: Insurance will cover an attached garage if it's already part of the house, but it won't cover latter additions unless you add them to the policy. Storing valuable or dangerous items in your garage can also affect how much you pay.
What does dwelling coverage protect against?
Before you purchase an insurance policy for your home, you need to determine how much coverage you should buy. At the very least, you should get enough coverage to repair or replace the elements of your home if you suffer a loss from a covered peril.
A part of this is your deductible, which you’ll have to pay before your coverage will kick in. This deductible usually ranges from $500 to $5,000, with many homeowners opting for a deductible of $500, $1,000, or $2,000. In other cases, the deductible is based on a percentage amount of the total coverage on your home.
When you purchase dwelling coverage for your home, that means your insurance will pay out when it suffers damage from any covered perils. The most commonly covered perils on a homeowners insurance policy include:
- Damage caused by the weight from snow, sleet, or ice
- Falling objects
You can buy additional coverage to protect against uncovered perils. Some of the common additional insurance coverage types you can purchase with your homeowners policy include flood, earthquake, and sewer backup coverage.
Remember, your homeowners policy will not protect detached structures. If you currently have a detached garage or you're considering building additional structures, like a detached garage or a guest house, talk with your insurance company about the additional coverage that would provide you with adequate protection.
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Are detached garages covered by insurance?
If your garage is detached, it's classified as an "outbuilding." This won't be covered under standard dwelling coverage, though some insurance companies may let you get coverage as an add-on to your policy.
What should your dwelling coverage be?
Your dwelling coverage should be equal to your home's replacement cost. This is because you want your dwelling coverage to cover the costs of rebuilding your home.
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