Maybe you have a small backyard or a detached garage. Or a big, sprawling backyard and a garage attached to your home. Maybe you have a backyard but not a garage, or vice versa. No matter what, it is important for a homeowner to understand what is and is not protected by homeowners insurance in these spots.
Your backyard and garage have insurance risks in them. These areas of your home can get damaged and people may get injured in them. Or the items you keep in these areas may get lost or stolen. AAA is here to help with home property insurance to protect your backyard and garage – no matter their shape or size.
Read on to learn more about home property insurance and how it applies to your backyard and garage.
Why you need home property insurance in your backyard
Do you have a trampoline or a pool in your backyard? A tree house? These are great places, but they are also areas where people can get injured. If someone visits your home and falls from a trampoline or a tree house, you could be held responsible. Liability coverage in a homeowners policy protects you from having to pay hospital bills for an accident on your property.
Also, if a tree falls and damages your pool, it helps to have insurance to cover the damage and help you replace or repair your pool. Similarly, if someone steals property from your backyard or garage, insurance covers the stolen items.
Backyards and garages are particularly vulnerable to insurance risks such as fire, floods and other extreme weather since they are outside. Insurance can give you the funds and peace of mind to move forward after a natural disaster.
Insurance risk in backyard structures
You might have a shed in your backyard, which is a part of your property and should be covered by your home insurance. If a structure is on your property, it needs coverage.
If you have a fire pit, that also carries an insurance risk. Sit a safe distance away from an active fire pit, and be careful when rearranging wood logs or other burning material. Please be careful around open flames, including fire pits, barbeques and grills.
If you want to add a pool to your garage, please follow safety precautions and install a fence with a locked gate outside the pool so children cannot wander in unsupervised. A pool alarm is also advisable as a second layer of protection. An adult needs to watch while children are in the pool. Contact your local government because you might be legally required to install additional safety features.
On that note, if you plan to add a pool, remodel your garage or make major changes to your backyard, please contact your insurance agent first. Your coverage may need to be updated, and the insurance risk may change. Ask if your policy covers renovations and additions to your backyard and garage. This especially applies if you are doing work the work yourself. Even if you hire an outside contractor, ask to see how they cover their workers. Know your coverage in case of an accident while they are renovating your property.
Garage insurance inside and out
Speaking personally, my family uses our garage as a storage area. Our excess furniture tends to find its way into the garage, and it is where we store summertime decorations and pool accessories in the cold months.
What do you keep in your garage? Tools and yard equipment? Bikes and skateboards? Heirlooms? Do you use it as a workspace for your hobbies? If these objects are important to you, or expensive, you should keep a list of them for your insurance company, with attached receipts to show value. If you do not have a receipt, you can have items appraised for their value. You will need to keep appraisals current and updated every three to five years.
Home insurance has some coverage for personal property, but in the case of valuable or rare items, you may want to raise the liability limit or add a rider to your coverage.
A good thing to add to any list of the objects inside your garage is photos and video. This shows your insurance company the condition of any items you keep in your garage in case they are stolen or damaged.
Has your homeowners insurance protected you in an instance involving your backyard or garage? Share your story in the comments.
Home property insurance protects you from both human error and mother nature. It gives you a safety net when things go wrong. The insurance risk from your garage and backyard may sound intimidating, but your insurance coverage is there to protect you. Talk to an agent today or visit AAA.com/Insurance to get a quote.