With the average price for materials ranging between $17-$24sqft, it can cost homeowners about $2,500 to build a typical 10’x12′ DIY shed. Depending on the size, style, siding, roofing, and extra features such as plumbing, electrical, overhead doors, or solar panels, the cost can soar upwards of $10,000 or more. Then, if you consider what’s being stored inside of your shed? The total value of the structure and its contents can undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows and questions, especially when it comes to being vandalized or totally lost due to a natural disaster or fire.
There are several reasons why homeowners might have a shed on their property. In most cases, these structures are covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy; however, there are also cases where they are not. The biggest mistake that some homeowners make is failing to call their insurance company to see if the new shed and its contents will be covered under their current policy. This guide is designed to help the average homeowner understand how it works with some tips along the way, and without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about shed insurance.
What’s Other Structures Protection?
Whether you have a shed, detached garage, gazebo, chicken coop, fence, or in-ground swimming pool located on your property? In the world of insurance companies, this type of homeowner’s insurance policy is known as other structures protection. In general, the standard coverage is about 10% of your entire home’s insurance policy. For example, if your home is insured for $150,000? Under the other structures protection policy, your shed and other outbuildings would be insured for $15,000.
It’s essential to call your insurance company or read the fine print in your homeowner’s insurance policy to know what the number of your coverage limits are. The next thing you need to know is the value that your new shed brings to your home? If your new shed has an amount more than what your current coverage limits are, it’s a good idea to have your insurance agent raise and adjust your coverage limits to protect your investment.
What’s the Value of Your Shed?
DIY sheds generally include just the cost of materials to build it and perhaps a good shed plans from Shedplans.org to work from, but you still need to know what it’s worth before you talk to your insurance company about raising your rates. A simple way to get a rough estimate of your shed’s value is by taking the cost of materials and tripling it. Most professional contractors charge about two thirds above the cost of materials for their labor.
On the other hand, you can expect that most insurance companies will want proof of the structure’s existence and paperwork backing its value, especially if they’re going to write you a check to repair or replace your shed. In cases such as this, it’s always best to have a home appraisal conducted. You can easily find a professional with any appraisal management company. These experts are certified and licensed in their perspective states or countries to determine the value of a structure objectively, fairly, and without bias opinions.
Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover the Shed Contents?
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will have a set amount of protection for personal property. This also includes the contents stored inside of your shed or other outbuildings. The amount of protection is typically determined by the amount of insurance outlined in your home’s insurance policy. While insurance companies cover certain items stored in outbuildings such as ATVs, lawnmowers, power equipment, garden tools, there may be a limit to what your insurance company is willing to fork over.
On the flip side of the coin, items subject to damage from moisture and humidity like clothing, photographs, and other personal effects, in most cases, wouldn’t be covered by your insurance company. Therefore, these types of personal items should be kept safe in your house to qualify as being insurable under your insurance policy’s protection for private property.
Are There Any Limits on Shed Insurance?
In the real world, although your shed and its contents are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s wise to talk to your agent about your policy’s stated coverage limits. This allows you to make a few different decisions based on what best fits your needs.
For example, let’s say your shed’s finished value is $5,000, and you’re basically using it for storing lawn and garden tools and supplies with a riding lawnmower that’s valued on the lower end of the scale? In most cases, this will not affect the limits on your homeowner’s insurance policy, which also includes the other structures protection plan. Meaning, your current coverage rates, and limits will not be affected.
When Does a Shed Limit Apply?
When you have specific items stored in a shed or outbuilding, limits will apply. As an illustration, if you have a $10,000 side-by-side ATV in your shed and a natural disaster or fire occurs? There may be a limit of $2,500 on the entire contents of the shed, including your expensive toy. Other items where restrictions may apply include but are not limited to:
- Guns & Hunting Bows
- Woodworking equipment
- Expensive power tools
- Small farm machinery
- Zero-Turn riding lawn mowers
Pro Tip: To protect expensive items that are stored in your shed, talk to your agent about additional coverage for these specific items. You may discover that it’s best to insure them separately as opposed to raising the coverage and rates on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Is There Anything Else That I Should Know About Shed Insurance?
One key component to shed insurance for theft claims is to make sure that you have either a keyed lock or a paddle lock installed on the doors of your shed. Contrary to what you may believe, some insurance companies will not give you a dime if you don’t have a lock on your shed, and theft occurs.
Anytime that you have a question about what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers, contact them and get it to explain to you because the information you need to know is usually contained in the small print that every homeowner hates to read. And lastly, you can certainly benefit from building a new shed yourself, but make sure you are covered.