Why You Should Address Driveways, Garages, and Gardens in Residential Inspections

Why You Should Address Driveways
Homeowner’s insurance coverage is something that most property owners don’t think much about until they need it the most. When homeowners don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the type and level of coverage that their policy provides, they set themselves up for financial distress and heartache.
According to a 2018 study, nearly half of the homeowners surveyed didn’t understand the level of insurance coverage they had in place on their homes. This alarming statistic creates a huge opportunity for insurance carriers to add value by walking insureds through their homeowner’s insurance policies and helping them to understand what their coverage entails.

If strengthening relationships with insureds is a priority for your business in 2019, we encourage you to use a residential inspection as an opportunity to educate homeowners about their policies. By conducting a residential inspection, insurance carriers can help homeowners identify any gaps in coverage and uncover additional ways to serve the insured.

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Driveways, Garages, and Gardens
Our team at Insurance Risk Services has been partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers to conduct in-person property inspections for nearly 40 years. When performing a residential inspection, we commonly hear homeowners ask if their policy covers driveways, detached garages, and gardens. Since damage coverage for these three areas is a question that many homeowners have, we wanted to take a moment to address them:

Generally speaking, the determining factor on whether or not a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damage to the driveway will depend on whether or not the driveway is attached to the dwelling. In most cases, driveways are poured concrete or asphalt that is separate from the home’s foundation, which would make it detached and not covered by insurance.

If a garage is separated from the dwelling by a clear space, most homeowner’s insurance policies would not cover damage to the garage as they would view it as a detached structure. However, if an addition or architectural update has been made to the detached garage to securely connect it to the main dwelling, the garage could potentially be covered. Having a residential inspection performed would offer clarity as to whether additional insurance coverage is needed for the garage.

By definition, unimproved land is in its natural state and does not have anything that has been designed or constructed on it. However, some components of a garden could potentially qualify as structures, such as rock formations and gravel paths. If wind created considerable damage to these garden structures, it is possible that insurance could cover the damage, depending on the policy.

As you can see, there are several factors that impact whether or not the typical homeowner’s insurance policy covers these areas. The homeowner’s best bet is to have a professional residential inspection performed to identify any gaps in coverage.

Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn how we can help you to better serve your insureds with an in-person residential inspection.