What will happen if I build a small structure not covered under my policy?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 2, 2013

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Insurance Question from Marysville, OH

Asked on 04/02/2013

What will happen if I build a small structure not covered under my policy? The structure is a small 5 foot slide for practicing snowboarding, it is NOT a ramp. It is portable and will be kept locked inside the garage after each use. It will be used by myself only no exceptions. Our insurance covers our un-caged trampoline but not this simple structure.

Answer given on April 14, 2013

The standard homeowner policy includes 10% of the dwelling amount for other structures on the premises. You do not need to tell the insurance company about the structure, but if it is damaged by a covered loss, then it will be covered. Since this item is portable and you store it in the garage, it may not be considered a structure but rather personal property. In that case, it will still be insured, but personal property is covered for different perils than buildings. It will be covered for fire, theft, vandalism and the like. Check your policy to see what personal property is covered for. Whether personal property or building structure, both would be subject to the policy deductible.You may want to discuss the item with your agent so you can be sure how it is covered – either as personal property or as another structure.

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