Garages or huts are suitable places for storing things like bicycles, garden equipment, and power tools. Unfortunately, this can make them easy targets for vandalism and burglary. It can be devastating to have your items stolen or vandalized – and replacing them can be expensive. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for outbuildings and similar structures on your property. However, your document may contain a limit or cover only certain elements. Here’s what you should know before making a claim.
Insurance coverage for items stored outside the home
Homeowners insurance policies typically include coverage for outdoor structures such as cottages, garages, greenhouses, and other outbuildings on your property and contents. Review your policy to make sure you understand what’s covered—and not covered—and if you don’t, ask your insurance agent to explain your coverage.
Some insurance policies cover damage to the exterior structure during break-ins and theft, but not items stolen from the structure. If this describes your coverage, you may want to consider adding contents insurance, which typically covers 40 percent of the item’s monetary value or 70 percent for a replacement. Also known as personal property insurance, contents insurance may be available as an endorsement of an existing policy or as a separate policy, depending on your insurance company.
If your policy already covers contents, make sure you know the individual item coverage limit, especially if you’re storing expensive belongings in your outdoor structures. Make a list of important items stored in your garage or shed, along with their values, and add them to your policy. A complete inventory of everything stored in outbuildings can be useful when filing a claim after a burglary or vandalism.
Compensation for damages after theft or vandalism
File a police report and notify your insurance company of any theft or vandalism as soon as possible, which protects your rights and allows you to file a claim for damages recovery. Provide your insurance company with a copy of the police report and other evidence to support your claim.
Still not sure what you will and won’t cover by agreeing to the contents on your homeowners insurance policy? Keep in mind the following. If a door or window is broken during a burglary, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of the repairs, up to the limit of the policy. Items taken from the outbuilding may be covered by a contents insurance. However, these policies usually do not cover damages caused by a homeowner’s negligence, which means that items left uninsured outside a structure likely won’t be covered by insurance if they are stolen.
Is your insurance company acting in bad faith?
When you made a claim with your insurance company, did they:
- Failed to investigate your claim?
- Offer only partial replacement for your damaged or items?
- Do you refuse to resolve your claim in a timely manner?
- Pressure you to take a settlement less than your claim is worth?
- Reject your claim without providing a reasonable explanation?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, the insurance company may not act in good faith. Don’t let the insurance company unfairly reduce or deny your claim for theft, vandalism, loss, or damage. At The Voss Law Firm, PC, our exceptional team of Texas insurance claims attorneys helps clients protect their rights and pursue the recovery they deserve. Are you ready to learn how we can help increase your claim for your damaged exoskeleton or its contents?
Talk to us about your claim
When your insurance company doesn’t treat you fairly, there’s a lot at stake to do it on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Our knowledgeable and experienced Texas insurance claims attorneys will help you understand your rights, explore your options, and fight for fair coverage. Complete the online contact form or call our office at 888-614-7730 To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.