Homeowners insurance includes coverage for the structure of your home, your personal property, as well as other structures on your residence. Just like with your walls, floors, roof, and belongings, a standard home policy will pay for the costs of repairing your garage if it’s damaged by a covered event, like fire, vandalism, or windstorm damage.
Homeowners insurance policies are made up of different coverage components, and the type of coverage that protects your garage will depend on if the garage is attached to or detached from your home. If it’s attached, the garage will be covered by the dwelling coverage component of your policy, and if your garage is detached from the structure of your home, it’ll be covered by other structures coverage.
When does home insurance cover garages?
Homeowners insurance covers your garage if it is damaged by a covered peril, but the specifics of your coverage will depend on whether your garage is attached to your home or a free-standing structure. Below are some common causes of damage to a garage that are covered by homeowners insurance.
Fire and lightning
Windstorm or hail damage
Weight of ice or snow
Vandalism or burglary
Damage by vehicle
Falling objects (like a healthy tree on your property)
That means if your garage catches on fire, or someone graffitis or damages your garage, you’ll typically be able to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company and get reimbursed for the repairs. If you accidentally back into your garage door with your car, your homeowners insurance may help pay for the damage to the garage, but not to the car itself (that’d be covered by auto insurance).
Each category of homeowners insurance coverage has its own coverage limit, meaning the maximum amount an insurance company will reimburse you for a covered loss. Since attached and detached garages fall into two different components of coverage, the maximum amount you could be paid out in the event of a claim will differ between the two.
How does homeowners insurance cover attached garages?
Both attached and detached garages are protected against the same covered perils. However if your garage is attached to your home, it is considered part of the structure of your home and covered under the dwelling coverage portion of your homeowners insurance.
Dwelling coverage is the backbone of a homeowners insurance policy, and pays out the replacement cost in the event of a covered loss. It’s recommended you purchase enough dwelling coverage to fully rebuild your entire home in the event of a total loss. If a fire destroys your home and garage, for example, after you paid your deductible, your dwelling coverage would help pay to rebuild both your home and garage from the ground up.
How does homeowners insurance cover detached garages?
Because detached garages are separate from the permanent structure of your home, they are covered under the other structures component of your homeowners policy. As mentioned, detached garages are still protected from the same perils as an attached garage, but how much you’d be paid out in the event of a loss differs. Other structures coverage typically has a coverage limit of up to 10% of your dwelling coverage.
Say your dwelling coverage limit is $300,000, for example, coverage for your detached garage would be capped at $30,000 maximum.
Like with dwelling coverage, other structures claims also require you to pay a deductible first before your insurer covers the rest. If you are filing a claim for damage that affected your home, detached garage, and personal property, you’d only need to pay one deductible, not multiple.
When does home insurance not cover garages?
Homeowners insurance won’t cover your garage if it is damaged by the following:
General wear and tear or maintenance issues
Certain types of water damage
Mechanical or equipment breakdown or power surges
Earthquakes or any type of earth movement
You may want to consider buying a standalone flood insurance policy or adding earthquake coverage to your home policy to protect your property if you are at risk for either of those natural disasters.