"Granny Flat" and the homeowners insurance policy

"Granny Flat" and the homeowners insurance policy

June 20, 2022

As our parents age, many of us are planning how to best care for them. It's not a decision time many of us look forward to - but it's a reality we'll need to face.

One option you might consider is the granny flat - or some call it mother-in-law quarters, or garden flat - or guest house. The technical term is ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit. The questions to ask are - 1) how will this affect my property value, and 2) how does my home insurance policy treat this addition.

The nice thing about it - build this separate structure, and you could also use it for your shop, or your "she-shed", or your office, or your guest house. The possibilities are endless! And yes, it will probably amp up your home value.

When you call your agent, they'll likely ask if these quarters are attached to your home, or a separate structure. This is important from an insurance standpoint. Your home policy typically includes an additional 10% for "other structures". If your home is insured for $400,000, you'll have an additional $40,000 for these structures. Is this enough? And if this is attached to your home, it will definitely impact the amount of insurance needed to replace your dwelling. 

And if someone else is living in this granny flat - should you require them to carry renter's insurance, to insure their property, and to be sure they have personal liability insurance?

These are all questions to ask your agent, and yes, you should ask your agent or broker when you're considering  making this move.