Does Homeowners Insurance Protect My Yard?

An estimated 85% of homeowners have some form of homeowners insurance. However, many homeowners don’t understand what their homeowners insurance covers in relation to their property–specifically their yards. 

So to help clear up this confusion and ensure you have all the coverage you need, here is a quick guide where we’ll talk about what is and isn’t covered by homeowners insurance so that you can compare your policy and protect your yard. 

Understanding Covered Perils

Before we talk about insurance coverage for your outdoor property, let’s discuss the concept of covered perils. This concept refers to the sources of damage that your insurance policy will cover.

Common covered perils include:

  • fire and/or smoke damage
  • certain weather-related damage, including wind or hail
  • water damage not caused by weather-induced flooding
  • theft and/or vandalism
  • explosions
  • certain types of damage caused by snow or ice

In other words, understanding your insurance policy isn’t just about knowing what types of property your insurance policy covers. You will also need to take into account the cause of damage and whether or not it is a covered peril. 

Insurance Policies and Negligence

Keep in mind that your insurance policy won’t apply if the damage was caused by negligence. For example, if a tree that was dead or rotting falls, your insurance may not cover stump removal or residual damage to your property. If, however, a tree falls due to severe wind and wind is one of your covered perils, you may receive coverage for these damages.

In other words, your insurance company will expect you to keep up with routine maintenance and compliance. This can include dealing with known problems, like rotting trees, pest infestations, and soil erosion. It can also include ensuring that all of your outdoor structures, like fire pits or pools, are legally compliant and permitted by the city.

Is Landscaping Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Landscaping here refers to the natural or hardscaped features of your yard, like your lawn, garden, or garden walls. Most of the time, landscaping falls under your dwelling coverage. If your landscaping damage was caused by a covered peril, most insurance policies will provide coverage at a rate of 5% of your overall dwelling coverage.

Is My Deck Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Most decks that connect to the primary home are considered part of the dwelling. However, this is not the case with all insurance policies, so you will want to double-check as it may be covered under the “other structures” section of your policy.

Is My Fence Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Any large standing or permanent structures on your property that aren’t connected to the house may be covered under an “other structures” policy. Most of these insurance policy types will include chainlink fences, wooden fences, and stone walls. 

Are Additional Outdoor Structures Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Additional outdoor structures that tend to be covered under other structures include:

  • pergolas
  • sheds
  • gazebos
  • firepits
  • fountains
  • in-ground pools
  • greenhouses

If you have a large number of outdoor structures or outdoor structures that are high in value, take a look at how much coverage you currently have. It’s possible that you will need to adjust your policy to increase your additional structure coverage.

Is Outdoor Furniture Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Outdoor furniture and other belongings tend to fall under the category of homeowners content coverage. This type of coverage, which is a standard part of homeowners insurance policies, covers indoor furniture and belongings, as well. This is the coverage you would rely on if your lawn furniture, pool, landscaping equipment, or even your barbeque smoker was damaged by a covered peril. 

What If I Use Parts of My Yard for Commercial Purposes?

If, for example, you use your shed as a designated at-home office or your greenhouse to grow plants that you sell from home or from a secondary location, it may not be covered under a homeowners policy.

Specifically, this applies if any part of your yard is designated for 100% commercial use. In that case, you will need to include it in your business insurance policy. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, this same rule may apply if the space is used for both commercial and personal purposes. 

What If I’m Worried About Uncovered Perils?

Unfortunately, many homeowners have discovered that they have no insurance coverage when they need it most. For example, many New Jersey homeowners that were impacted by flooding from Hurricane Ida were left to pay for those damages out of pocket because natural flooding isn’t a commonly covered peril. 

If you are concerned about risks posed by uncovered perils, there is a potential solution. You can purchase additional coverage that will kick in when your standard homeowners insurance coverage doesn’t. The best option is to talk to a knowledgeable insurance agent about your options.

Get the Coverage You Need in Central Jersey

Are you concerned that your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover enough of your outdoor property? Are you looking for a policy that better suits your budget or needs? Central Jersey Insurance Associates can help.

Contact us to speak with an insurance specialist at Central Jersey Insurance Associates today. We can walk you through your coverage options and discuss the best policies based on your property, finances, and concerns.