Sure, you don’t live in your garage, but it’s part of your home and/ or it’s on your property so that means it’s protected by your home insurance coverage, right?
The answer depends on whether or not your garage is attached to your home or “dwelling.“ Here’s everything you need to know about how a standard homeowners insurance policy covers (or doesn’t cover) garages.
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, or other structure.
Is your garage covered by the dwelling coverage on your homeowners insurance?
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.
Another factor that can determine the amount of coverage you’ll need to properly protect your garage is what you do with it. 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 and/ or your home.
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
- Damage from an aircraft/motor vehicle
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. Therefore if 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.