Other structures coverage — also called Coverage B — is part of your home insurance policy that covers structures that are part of your property but aren’t physically connected to your home. In other words: Home insurance typically covers more than just the walls and roof that make up your dwelling.
Home insurance will also cover other parts of your home and structures on your property, like pools, fences and sheds. Other structures coverage encompasses anything on your property that is separated from your dwelling but is still part of your estate.
Coverage B protects anything on your property that isn’t directly connected to your home. To be considered other structures, these fixtures must be separated from your home by a clear space or fence.
A few examples of covered structures include:
Things like solar panels, attached decks or attached garages that are typically fixed to the walls or roof of the home are not covered under other structures coverage.
Yes, a swimming pool is considered an other structure, as it is a structure on your property that is not directly attached to your home. However, you should check your policy to see what liabilities are covered surrounding your swimming pool — most policies will only cover fenced-in pools and typically exclude those with diving boards.
A detached garage is covered under Coverage B because it is a freestanding structure that isn’t attached to your home. If the garage is attached to your home by a wall or roof, it no longer falls under other structures coverage and is instead covered under your dwelling.
A home business is not covered under other structures coverage. While a home insurance policy may cover a detached garage, many policies will exclude these structures if used for business purposes.
Similar to dwelling insurance, Coverage B protects homeowners against things like natural disasters, theft and fire. But Coverage B also includes the same exclusions as a typical home insurance policy, meaning things like normal wear and tear, flooding and damage due to negligence will not have coverage. Other structures used for business purposes — including short-term rentals — also are not covered.
Other structures coverage also will not cover the contents inside of other structures, such as gardening equipment in a greenhouse or furniture in your guest house — typically, these things are covered in your personal property coverage.
Coverage B is typically written into your insurance policy and covers other structures for 10% of your dwelling coverage. As many pitfalls like mold, wind or other extreme weather can befall other structures, it’s always an option to adjust the coverage amount to more than 10%. A best practice is not to go lower than 10% as you won’t receive as much coverage if damage does occur to detached structures.
Other structures coverage is automatically written into your policy, so it can’t be removed. As you aren’t paying an additional premium for other structures coverage, it is actually beneficial to have in your policy as it will ensure these fixtures are covered at no extra cost to you.
You might even benefit from this coverage without realizing it. Many households include other structures — everything from a fence to a shed falls under this coverage. For those who think they don’t have any other structures on their property, look toward the curb. A freestanding mailbox also counts.
Other structures coverage is written into a standard home insurance policy and comes without an additional premium, meaning you aren’t paying anything extra for this coverage. At the baseline, your other structures will usually be covered at 10% of your dwelling insurance.
Say a tornado comes through your town and damages your detached garage and pool that will cost $25,000 to repair. If your dwelling coverage is $300,000 and you’ve left your Coverage B at 10%, you’ll be completely covered for these fixes.
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