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Thread: House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

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    House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

    Looking at a property with a 50x32' detached shop/garage (house is only 1500sqft including basement). I've heard rumors that this would be a difficult property to insure and would cost $$$$ to do so. Fact or fiction?
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    House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

    Most insurance companies cover outbuildings at 10% of the house value. So if the house is valued at 300K, then the detached garage would only be covered for 30.

    Talk to a broker and get all the details before you put an offer on the property or waive the insurance clause. This place sounds like it could be zoned Agricultural or Commercial. You'll find insurance for them, but it'll be more expensive and not as straight forward as a residential property.
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    We have residential insurance and the square footage of the shop is larger than the house. That is fairly common around here. There is a specific clause in the policy that covers the outbuilding exclusively for a separately assessed value of the structure and contents. The broker came and looked at the shop and catalogue the contents. It was a minimal additional cost from insuring the house and property.

    I'd think half the battle would be getting a broker or agent familiar with rural property and how to properly insure it.
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    House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

    ^ Yup very true about dealing with someone who knows rural properties. I had issues with my last company not knowing or wanting to deal with oil tanks and septic systems.

    But definitely find out about the zoning and any other bylaw issues before you sign off.

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    good to know.

    The property itself is about 0.13-0.20 acres. Downtown Hillsburgh. Previous owner did have a garbage business registered to the address but the MLS info states it is residential and he never had any business vehicles on the property (shop was for pull tractors etc). Ill look into it some more. Its not going back on market till at least spring so there is some time for homework.

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    This should not be an issue. A lot of insurance companies have change from offering coverage at 10% of the home coverage to offering what is called single limit coverage. For example they will provide $1mill in coverage for the house, any detached building, personal property and additional living expenses(cost of a hotel or rent if home needs to be repaired). This coverage is far superior as you can put the money where it is truly needed.
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    get a broker , best I have used is go directly to a farmer mutual company in your area sit down with a broker and get to know him . This has worked wonders for me for insuring things, They are use to woodstoves out building ponds etc.
    My house covers shop to 10% as stated above so I increased the shop value for a few extra bucks.
    Tried Cooperators and statefarm and they couldn't touch the farmers mutual I use. I have had 1 claim and it was dealt with very easily and fairly without any runaround.

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    House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

    I believe that's what the purpose of this section was: "Ask a broker".

    Thank you cormega. Your expertise is very appreciated.

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    Family friend does lots of rural (stratford area) for co-operators - he's super to deal with......give him a call if your lookin for advice prior to purchase.
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    House insurance when the garage is bigger than the house

    I decided not to go with the property. Damn commercial zoning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lil loco View Post
    I decided not to go with the property. Damn commercial zoning.
    Good choice... Plus its "Downtown" Hillsburgh

    Anybody from that area will get that joke. Unless your from the town. If thats the case, just ask your wife who is also your sister and she will tell you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpaholic View Post
    Anybody from that area will get that joke. Unless your from the town. If thats the case, just ask your wife who is also your sister and she will tell you.
    Doesn't help I'm looking at downtown Acton now.

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