If you bought a homeowners insurance policy, you might have come across the term “Coverage B” without fully understanding what it means. And while technical terms like these can make understanding your policy a little bit harder, it is much more straightforward than you think. Here’s what you should understand about what it means, what it covers, and how much of it you may need.
What Is Coverage B?
Coverage B, also known as “other structures coverage,” is a part of any homeowners insurance policy. It is the complimentary coverage to Coverage A. While coverage A (also known as dwelling coverage) covers the structure of your home, Coverage B covers structures that are not attached to your home but are still part of your property. In other words, it protects any other structures that you may have besides your house.
This coverage is exclusive to homeowners insurance policies since renters don’t own any of these properties and, therefore, are not liable for any damages they may suffer after a peril.
What Does Coverage B Protect?
Structures not attached to you home that are covered by Coverage B can include things like:
- Detached garages
- Guest cottages
- Swimming pools
Note: While swimming pools are usually covered by Coverage B, this will depend on the insurance company and the type of pool you have. Make sure to check with your insurance provider.
Also, while Coverage B covers your shed, detached garage, or cottage, it will most likely not cover the value of the items that you have inside them. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that they are not covered; they fall under your personal property coverage.
When Are You Protected by Coverage B?
Your Coverage B should kick in whenever any perils covered by your insurance happen; this usually includes things like:
- Smoke damage
- Water damage
However, some exceptions do apply. For example, most insurance companies do not cover the following perils:
- Wear and tear
- Negligence (any damages that may occur because of the owner’s negligence).
How Much Coverage B Do You Need?
The standard dictates that a Coverage B is usually 10% of the dwelling coverage of your insurance (your Coverage A). This means that if you are insured for $400,000, your Coverage B would be $40,000.
However, you don’t necessarily have to follow that rule; you can talk to your insurance agency to make the percentage be more or less depending on your needs.
However, as always, make sure that your coverage is enough for the value of your things. Some repairs can be a lot more costly than you expect, and when perils happen, more often than not, it is more than one thing that gets damaged. Fences and pools can cost more than $10,000 to repair depending on the damage and material needed; you don’t want to be responsible for these costs. After all, an insurance policy is about being protected against these situations, so ensure that your policy is adjusted to your needs.
Try to come up with an estimate for the value of the structures attached to your home, then comb through your policy statement to find your current coverage, or contact your insurance company to confirm which of your structures they can cover. Based on this, you will have a good idea of how much coverage you need, and you’ll be able to adjust your policy accordingly.