As a homeowner, you’ll know all too well how vital homeowners insurance is. It can save you from expensive repairs and renovation when something goes wrong. But one question that’s often overlooked is whether your homeowner’s insurance covers your garage, more specifically any garage door repairs and replacements.
Your garage door is the entryway to a safe shelter for your car, as well as acting as a second entry point into your house and all of the valuable possessions that you store inside your garage. Whether a burglar invades your home for loot or a hurricane passes through your neighborhood, knowing whether your garage door is included in your insurance coverage can not only help you claim any loss or damages, but also give you peace of mind. That’s why it’s important to understand what is covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
How to find out if your insurance includes damages to your garage
Although every insurance policy is different, they’re also infinitely customizable. Insurance companies are only in business as long as they cater to the customer’s needs. Knowing which insurance policy will cover and which doesn’t is a key aspect of insurance shopping.
When you’re shopping for policies, read through the policy document to see if it has everything you want. If one policy has most of what you want, but needs other items such as garage door coverage, then make those changes and take that as your insurance policy.
Sometimes the language that’s used in policy documentation can be quite confusing. Contacting your insurance agent can help you understand what’s covered and what’s not, and how you can negotiate to get what you need. That being said, the good news is that most insurance usually covers your garage door as well. But it can vary depending on the type of damage that’s occurred.
What types of garage door damage are covered under insurance?
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, you can find that your policy will typically cover a few types of damage to your garage door.
Your homeowner’s insurance typically covers any accidental damage that’s caused by you or your family backing into your garage door. What you should know is that this coverage does not extend to your vehicle. Your vehicle has to be separately insured with auto insurance for you to claim money for the repairs.
If other people hit your garage door, like a neighbor or relative, then you’ll still be able to file a claim for damages for your garage door, although the same policy exists wherein they won’t be able to claim your homeowner insurance to pay for their auto repair.
If you’ve suffered a break-in and your garage door is damaged during the burglary attempt, then you can claim that under homeowner’s insurance. Since it’s covered under homeowner’s insurance, you can even cover any damages and property that was stolen during the break-in.
Keep in mind though, that if you regularly store valuable items in your garage, then it may make sense to increase the coverage on your insurance to ensure that if there is ever an unfortunate event, then you’re able to claim for any and all damages that occur.
If someone vandalizes your garage door through malicious or mischievous intent, then you can take that as a claim to recover your expenses for the damages in your homeowner’s insurance as well. But you should also be ready to file a report with the local police to ensure that you are able to catch whoever damaged your garage door.
We all know that fires are typically covered by insurance, so it should come as no surprise that your garage door is also covered for fire damage in your insurance policy. Your insurance company will help with a garage door replacement in addition to any repairs that you perform for the house to repair it from the fire.
But what you should check is if your insurance policy covers wildfiles, since they are considered a natural disaster. Some standard insurance policies do not cover natural disasters as a part of their insurance policy. So if you are shopping around for insurance, then talk to your agent to see if you are in an area that’s vulnerable to wildfires, such as California.
If you are, then it may make sense to upgrade your insurance policy to cover natural disasters like wildfires.
What damage isn’t covered under insurance?
Although insurance can help with a lot of types of damage, it isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. There are some damages to your garage door that won’t be covered.
Wear and tear
Your insurance won’t cover regular wear and tear for your garage door. A good quality door can last for many years, and regular maintenance will ensure that it keeps working flawlessly for a long time, but the cost of repairs and maintenance won’t be covered by your insurance provider.
At best, regular maintenance will only help reduce the premiums you have to pay. If you are maintaining your garage, ensure that you have a professional installation and servicing company to perform the maintenance.
If you or your family members intentionally damage the garage door, then that will not fall under coverage. Any claims that you submit will require evidence, and trying to pass off intentional damage as accidental can be considered insurance fraud.
What happens if the garage and home are separate buildings?
Although this can vary from policy to policy, there are allowances where your homeowner insurance can cover your garage if it’s a separate building. To verify whether or not your insurance policy does, check if there is an “other structures” clause in your policy, which usually grants coverage to other buildings in your home’s area.
In addition to garages and garage doors, they will also offer protection for fences, pools, sheds, cellars, and any other structures that are on your property. While they’re typically not a part of your home, since they are in the same property, they will be considered for coverage.
What you should remember about this coverage is that they usually won’t be covered to the same extent as that of your home. So you will not receive the same amount of money if you file a claim on your other structures, including the garage and garage door.
You should check your policy to ensure whether or not you have coverage for your garage door and if it’s sufficient for the value of what you’ve invested into your garage, including any possessions that you have inside the garage door. Typically, these policies will also cover garage door replacement as well.
When it comes to garage door repairs and replacement, you can rest assured that most homeowner insurance policies will include some form of coverage. If you already have a policy, then you should check to see how much is covered in your existing policy and whether it needs an upgrade.
If you do not have a policy and are shopping around, make a checklist to see what you need as coverage in your policy before you narrow down on one policy.