The Deck Store has been helping home owners, business owners, and professional contractors better understand deck and patio construction for decades. We hope to expand the reach of that knowledge through our blog.
Now that you can enjoy your new deck you may start to wonder what would happen if it got damaged, it did cost you a good amount of money anyways. A common question we get a lot is if your deck is covered under homeowners insurance. The answer varies from policy to policy but a good insurance policy typically has similarities. Let’s see if you’d be covered in the worst-case scenario situation.
The absolute best way to find out if you are covered is to contact the insurance company that already services your homeowner's policy. Sometimes you can even find this document online without even calling the insurance company. You are looking for any section that mentions decks, structures that are attached to your home, or standalone structures. If you can’t find this information in your document then I would recommend calling your insurance agent. If you are not covered at all then I would recommend you ask if you can add on the protection for your newest home addition. You will be thankful you did in an event that your deck becomes damaged.
If your new deck is attached to your house or that's what's in the building plans. Then you are likely covered under the “dwellings portion” of your insurance policy. The majority of insurance companies have a section outlining any structure that is attached to your house, which is how most decks are built.
If your deck is not attached to your house and is rather a standalone structure, then you will need to check the “other structures” of your policy. This is typically when decks are built by themselves in the middle of your backyard.
The coverage you will receive for any damage varies for each insurance policy. It’s best to always find out in advance in case of the event you need it.
There are limits to what kind of damage your deck is covered by. Homeowner's insurance will not cover damage caused by age or neglected maintenance. Homeowner's insurance will not replace broken deck boards or rotting wood. There are still plenty of things that homeowners insurance will cover though and let us go through some of the more common claims.
BBQing on the deck is a summer pastime enjoyed by many but sometimes your unattended barbeque can cause a fire and char some deck boards or destroy an entire deck. Accidental fire damage is usually covered by many homeowner policies.
Your big oak tree covering your deck with much-needed shade can also be quite the liability. All it takes is a precise lightning bolt or whipping winds to bring down that tree right into your deck. This can cause a lot of damage, but it doesn’t take an entire tree to do this. Even a good size branch can destroy your deck. This would be covered just like any other part of your house being damaged by falling lumber.
Yes, a deck is supposed to be a relaxing and peaceful area of your home. But just like any other part of your house with stairs - slips and falls can happen. If you have some friends over and one accidentally injures themselves on your deck. Your homeowner's insurance can help cover any liabilities such as medical bills or costs.
To make sure your deck is covered under your homeowner's insurance policy, you should follow the steps below.
Building a deck takes a lot of time and energy, before you add your deck to your policy make sure your project follows local codes and is completed.
Adding a new deck to your home can add a lot of value to your house, sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars. This number is important to know for your insurance policy.
This may add a couple of dollars to your monthly premium, but it is worth it when you need it. Plus it will give you a piece of mind that your home investment is protected.
For many, your deck will already be covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. If not, then I would recommend adding it on immediately. It will be well worth it if there is ever a time when you need to use it.
The Deck Store has expert deck and patio builders on staff that are available to answer any question you might have.