Homeowners Insurance Coverages - Other Structures, Personal Property, & Loss of Use

Raziel Ungar

March 30th, 2012 - 2 min read
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backyard swimming pool

What the heck are those? Other structures coverage is the amount of money granted by a Homeowners Insurance policy to rebuild the detached structures on the lot owned by the Homeowners. If you picked your home up off of the ground, the structures left on the ground on your lot would be covered by Other Structures coverage. This would include detached garages, pools, sheds, fencing, decking, hardscape, and driveways. The larger the land on the lot surrounding the home, the higher the potential for the existence of Other Structures. A home in Burlingame or San Mateo would likely have more Other Structures than a home on a compact lot size in San Francisco.

Generally, other structures coverage is equal to 10% or 20% of the Dwelling coverage limit on the homeowners policy. Most carriers will not allow the other structures coverage to be decreased and, as such, it is not a premium driving factor on the homeowners policy. But, the Other Structures coverage limit can be increased if necessary to appropriately rebuild detached structures on your property.

Personal Property

Personal Property coverage, also known as Contents coverage, is just like it sounds and covers your belongings in your home. If you picked your home up off the ground and turned it upside down, the items that would fall out of your home are your personal property. While it's easy to think that you don't have a lot of contents in your home, when you add up the cost of every item from your pillows and bed sheets to your pots and pans to your furniture, the dollar amount adds up quickly! Personal property coverage usually provides limited coverage for valuable articles, like jewelry, fine art, silverware, china, or musical instruments. If you'd like to cover these items, you'll need additional coverage.Generally, personal property coverage is equal to 70% or 75% of the Dwelling coverage on the homeowners policy and most carriers will not allow the coverage limit to be decreased. If your home, like many in Burlingame and San Mateo, has a replacement cost (Dwelling coverage limit) of $1,000,000 or higher, you may want to contact me to evaluate Homeowners Insurance options from carriers that allow the Personal Property coverage to be decreased from the standard percentage, saving you premium. Otherwise you might end up with an unnecessarily high personal property coverage limit.

Loss of Use

If your home burned to the ground, where would you live? How would you pay for your living expenses while your home is being rebuilt? The answer is Loss of Use coverage.

Loss of Use coverage is the amount of money granted by a homeowners insurance policy to cover your expenses if you are displaced from your home in the event of a loss. Loss of Use coverage is generally equal to between 10% and 50% of your Dwelling Coverage. Some of the higher end carriers will provide unlimited Loss of Use coverage.

Though the amount of the coverage generally cannot be increased or decreased, it's important to be aware of the amount of Loss of Use coverage granted by your homeowners insurance policy to ensure that you have enough coverage to maintain your lifestyle and living situation in the case that loss leaves you out of your home.

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