Does Home Insurance Cover Garage? What You Need to Know

Garage is an important part of many homes, as it provides shelter and storage for vehicles, tools, and other belongings.

An image of home insurance
Home Property [PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOVERED]
But what happens if your garage is damaged by fire, vandalism, or a falling tree? Will your home insurance policy cover the repair or replacement costs?

The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of garage, the cause of damage, and the level of coverage you have.

In this article, we will explain how home insurance covers garage and what you need to know to protect your property.

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Types of Garage and How They Are Covered

The first thing to consider is whether your garage is attached to your home or detached from it.

This will determine which part of your home insurance policy covers your garage and how much coverage you have.

Attached Garage

If your garage is attached to your home, then it is considered part of the dwelling structure and is covered by the dwelling coverage component of your policy.

This means that your garage will be covered for any peril that is included in your home insurance policy, such as fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, smoke, vandalism, or damage by vehicle.

Dwelling coverage pays out replacement cost, which means that if your attached garage is fully destroyed by a covered peril, your insurance will help pay to rebuild it from the ground up.

Detached Garage

If your garage is detached from your home but on your property grounds, then it may be classified as an outbuilding or other structure by your insurer.

These are usually covered by the other structures coverage component of your policy, which typically has a coverage limit of 10% of your dwelling coverage.

For example, if you have $300,000 in dwelling coverage, you will have $30,000 in other structures coverage for your detached garage and any other structures on your property, such as a shed or a fence.

Other structures coverage also covers the same perils as dwelling coverage, but it pays out actual cash value, which means that it takes into account depreciation and wear and tear when calculating the payout amount.

Off-Premises Garage

If your garage is located away from your home, such as in a different building or a rented space, then it may not be covered by your standard home insurance policy at all.

However, some insurers may allow you to add coverage for an off-premises garage with an endorsement or a separate policy.

You will need to check with your insurer and provide details about the location and security of your off-premises garage to get a quote for the additional coverage.

Contents Coverage for Your Garage

Another factor to consider is whether you have contents coverage for the items you store in your garage.

Contents coverage is the part of your home insurance policy that covers your personal property, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, and appliances.

Depending on your policy, contents coverage may also extend to the items in your garage, such as bicycles, tools, or lawn equipment.

However, there are some limitations and exclusions to keep in mind when it comes to contents coverage for your garage.

First of all, you need to make sure that the value of the items in your garage does not exceed the total limit of your contents coverage.

If you have high-value items in your garage, such as expensive gadgets or collectibles, you may need to declare them separately and purchase additional coverage for them.

Secondly, you need to be aware that some perils may not be covered by contents coverage for your garage.

For example, if your items are damaged by flooding or mold in your garage, they may not be covered by your standard policy unless you have specific endorsements for those perils.

Thirdly, you need to remember that contents coverage only applies to items that are owned by you or members of your household.

If you store items that belong to someone else in your garage, such as a friend’s car or a tenant’s furniture, they will not be covered by your policy unless you have their permission and proof of ownership.

Finally, you need to note that contents coverage does not cover your vehicle or anything in it.

Your vehicle and its accessories are covered by your auto insurance policy instead.

However, if someone breaks into your garage and steals items from both your vehicle and your garage, you may be able to file a claim with both policies.

How to Protect Your Garage and Its Contents

As you can see, home insurance can provide some protection for your garage and its contents, but it may not cover everything or provide enough coverage for your needs.

Therefore, it is important to take some steps to protect your garage and its contents from damage and theft.

Here are some tips to follow:

1.Review your home insurance policy and check what perils are covered and what limits apply to both dwelling/other structures coverage and contents coverage.

2.Consider adding endorsements or separate policies for any perils or items that are not covered or have low limits, such as flood, mold, off-premises garage, or high-value items.

3.Keep an inventory of the items in your garage and their value. Take photos and receipts as proof of ownership and condition. Update your inventory regularly and inform your insurer of any changes.

4.Store your items in a safe and organized manner. Use shelves, cabinets, boxes, or bags to keep your items off the floor and away from moisture, dust, or pests. Label your items clearly and keep an inventory list handy.

5.Secure your garage door and windows with locks, alarms, or sensors. Install lighting and cameras around your garage to deter intruders. Do not leave your garage door open or unattended when you are not using it.

6.Maintain your garage regularly and fix any issues that may cause damage, such as leaks, cracks, or electrical problems.

Clean your garage periodically and remove any clutter or flammable materials.

Which area is not covered by most insurance companies?

There are several areas that are not covered by most home insurance policies, but one of the most common and costly ones is flood damage.

Floods can cause extensive damage to your home and belongings, but they are almost always excluded from standard home insurance coverage.

This means that if your home is affected by a natural flood, such as from a river, lake, or storm surge, you will have to pay for the repairs or replacement out of your own pocket, unless you have a separate flood insurance policy.

Flood insurance is widely available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a federal program that partners with more than 50 different insurers.

You can purchase flood insurance through your home insurance agent or company, or directly from the NFIP.

Flood insurance can cover both the physical structure of your home and your personal property, up to certain limits.

Flood insurance is not mandatory for all homeowners, but it may be required by your mortgage lender if you live in a high-risk flood zone.

Even if you live in a low- or moderate-risk area, you may still want to consider getting flood insurance, as floods can happen anywhere and at any time.

According to the NFIP, more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.

Conclusion

Home insurance can cover your garage and its contents to some extent, but it may not be enough for your specific situation.

You need to understand the type of garage you have, the cause of damage, and the level of coverage you have.

You also need to take measures to prevent damage and theft and to document your property.

By doing so, you can ensure that your garage and its contents are well protected and that you can get the most out of your home insurance policy.

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