Have you ever wondered if your fence was insured or how much it was insured for? Your fence is considered an “Other Structure” per the terms of the homeowners insurance policy. “Other Structures” are covered at 10% of the policy limits on your policy declaration page as a standard. Depending on the replacement cost of the dwelling, the cost to replace the fence, or other buildings on the property (such as a detached garage, storage shed, barn, etc) it may make sense to increase this coverage to 20%, or sometimes even higher to make sure that all of the “Other Structures” on your property are fully insured. Make sure to tell your insurance agent about any “Other Structures” that may be on your property.
What about “Personal Property”, ie. the contents of your house? Standard coverage by the homeowners policy gives you 50% of the policy limit to cover your stuff. If you have a lot of stuff, that can be increased to 70%. There are other special limits on some items, such as money, securities, silverware, coin collections, artwork, firearms, jewelry, watches, furs, precious stones, stamps, just to name a few. The amount of coverage for these items varies between carriers and policy forms, so make sure to read your policy or ask your insurance agent if you are properly covered on these items. Most items of this type, if their value exceeds the special limit, can be scheduled and assigned a specific value of coverage. You would need to get an appraisal on those items if you wanted to schedule them. It is important to note that unless your personal property is scheduled, any loss is subject to a deductible, which may be more than the limit on some of those items.
Important for real estate agents is the special limit on “Business Personal Property”, or property in your home that you use primarily for business. This might include a computer, printer, networking equipment, sales material, samples, signs, tools, or anything else used primarily in the course of your business. There are very small limits on this type of property, and it would be subject to the deductible if not scheduled, so be sure to tell your agent about any business equipment you may have in your home as you may be better off scheduling those items.
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