The Garage and Home Insurance

On average, only about 50 percent of people with garages actually park their cars inside of them. Garages are widely used for storing other things. There is nothing wrong with this, but it could mean that you are missing out on insuring some of those items you keep in the garage. Unlike your car, which is insured on its’ own policy, the rest of the items in your garage should be insured on your home insurance policy. However, for many homeowners, the fact that these items are somewhat out of sight means they are also out of mind when it comes to insurance.

When you are going through the process of establishing the values for your personal property on your home insurance policy, don’t forget items that are in your garage. In some homes, expensive items such as deep freezers, extra refrigerators, and the washer and dryer are kept in the garage. All of these can add up to a lot of value that, if not properly insured, will result in a significant loss in the event of an accident. Anyone who uses their garage as a workshop will undoubtedly have valuable tools and equipment. These types of items should be kept in mind when making decisions on your home insurance.

Once you’ve properly accounted for your personal property in the garage, you need to give some consideration to the garage itself. Depending on whether or not your garage is attached to your home, there can be some different insurance implications. Attached garages are the easiest to insure because they are considered part of your dwelling coverage, which covers your house itself. However, if your garage is not attached, you’ll need to pay a little more attention to how your policy defines dwelling extensions. In most cases, the policy will cover other structures as long as they are physically on your property. If, however, your garage is not permanently attached to your property, it will likely not be covered. For example, if you are using a portable shed-type structure to house your car and personal property, that structure is not considered to be an “other structure” as defined on the policy. You need to also keep in mind that if you use your other structure for any business purpose, it will be automatically excluded from the policy. While the use might seem very incidental, the effect can be significant. Before you do anything that can be considered a business use, read through your policy. Your garage is an important part of your home and lifestyle. Make sure you don’t forget about it when it comes to your insurance policy.