When evaluating a homeowner’s insurance policy, those who want to provide financial safeguards for properties should always look at coverage for buildings or installations that are not connected to the main building that represents the primary home or structure on the property. Insurance companies label these extras with the heavy term ‘appurtenances’ which includes items like fences or amenities disconnected to the home or building, or another unattached building, such as a garage. Larger properties often have such extra standing installations, which can raise questions which should be dealt with when the policy is written, not later when there is an existing claim on damages.
The general rule in homeowner’s insurance is that appurtenances are usually covered; a fact sheet from insurer Insurance Services Group shows the conventional way that insurers treat these additional parts of a property. Appurtenances are often covered in amounts that correlate to 10% of the total allowable insurance limit for the property. That said, it’s important to check the policy for any exclusions that would keep any extra structure from being covered under the standard policy. Homeowners may also have to look at other types of unconventional policies like NFIP flood insurance to see how appurtenances are treated by government-backed insurance programs. For example, resources from FEMA show how some types of outbuildings may not be covered under Standard Flood Insurance Policy or SFIP coverage.
In addition, it’s a good idea to think about whether an appurtenance could actually boost the rates for an insurance policy. Some types of extras, such as pools and similar amenities, can create what industry insiders call an ‘invitational risk’ where those who use these items might be injured and sue the homeowner, even if they used them without the homeowner’s permission. Property owners who have a good understanding of property law and insurance will go over their particular situation with insurance company representatives, outlining all of the different pieces of the property and how they can get lower rates by installing safeguards or otherwise reducing risk.
Looking carefully at the details of a home insurance policy can help families to save a lot of money over time on one of the biggest investments that most families make. For more information on Oklahoma Home Insurance policies and how to customize an insurance plan to meet the needs of the household, call a Magill Agency agent today at 800-878-7105.