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Need help: Commercial insurance for detached garage


roguebooks
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My wife and I are building a garage on a vacant lot in the Florida panhandle.  Our plan is to store all our personal possessions in this building while we travel all over the country. I am told we need to purchase commercial insurance because we do not live there nine months per year and there is no house built on the lot as yet. The structure is 2x6 frame w/ threaded rods for hurricane and wind, all plywood sheathing roof and sides, metal roof, and cement-based siding (like Hardiboard). The windows are impact resistant with wooden shutters. The structure is built like a tank and climate controlled.  Does anyone have any ideas how to go about getting affordable insurance for our building and contents? The quote we got was quite ridiculously high and I need some guidance. Surely we are not the first people to build a base camp for our RV. We have sewer, water hookup, and 30 amp service.

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roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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While I can't help you with the insurance, I am interested in what this endeavor may have cost, all in, if you wouldn't mind sharing, big round numbers would work. I've been looking-researching doing exactly the same thing.

 

Do you have any pictures?

 

Is the insurance thing a local issue or a state issue?

 

Thanks

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Rougebooks

 

Since you do not have a house built on the property, it appears you do not qualify for homeowners insurance coverage. My suggestion is you contact the State of Florida, Insurance Commissioners Office. To assist you, I am copying the contact information below.  The Commissioner and those in the office cannot recommend a particular insurance, but most of the time they can tell you what type of coverage you should obtain.  Once you have a clear path, I suggest you go to an insurance broker that can write coverage with multiple companies.  Ask the broker to get multiple quotes.  To keep costs down, I suggest you consider a high deductible.  When making contact, I suggest you ask to talk to someone in Property And Casualty, since you want property coverage.

 

Best of luck!

 

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Contact Information

 

Office of the Commissioner

Email: InsuranceCommissioner@floir.com

Phone: (850) 413-3140

 

Communications Office

Email: Press Office

Phone: (850) 413-2515

 

General Inquiries (Main Line)

Phone: (850) 413-3140

 

DFS Consumer Services (Questions/Complaints)

Email: consumer.services@myfloridacfo.com

Toll-Free Helpline (in FL): (877) 693-5236

Out-of-State Callers: (850) 413-3089

TDD Line: (800) 640-0886

 

Company Admissions

Phone: (850) 413-2575

 

Government/Cabinet Affairs

Phone: (850) 413-5042

 

Life & Health Business Units

 

Financial Oversight: (850) 413-3153

Market Regulation: (850) 413-3155

Product Review: (850) 413-3152

 

Property & Casualty Business Units

 

Financial Oversight: (850) 413-3148

Market Regulation: (850) 413-3155

Product Review: (850) 413-3146

Market Research & Technology

Phone: (850) 413-3147

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We have been told that yes, we do not qualify for homeowners policy until we build the home. Until then we have no choice but to have commercial insurance. Progressive and others I have contacted do not offer commercial insurance (as in warehouse, storage facility, not-for-profit). The quote we did get was around $2500 for a year's coverage. The liability segment is ridiculous as nobody will be working there, no employees, no business being transacted. This week I will work with the agent helping me and attempt to get the premium lower by raising the deductible as suggested. Pretty much decided on biting the bullet for now and moving on. Pay the stiff price for protection. Construction on the house itself will most likely be started within ten months to twenty so it is what it is. What is interesting is that after the house is built the garage becomes a simple outbuilding included in the homeowner's coverage.

 

The garage structure will not be finished until the end of April. It measures 15' x 30'.  We have the infrastructure of driveway, sewer, 30 amp service, and city water in place. Sort of a personal campsite. Our progress in our plan is detailed in our blog which we began just before taking delivery of our Oliver. The link is:

 

Clouds So Swift RV 

IMG_1128.jpg.b17e9734e0c3e46e294ba16ea14bbac7.jpg

IMG_1129.jpg.64137ac661ac85720e83525f746ccc50.jpg

roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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Is the insurance thing a local issue or a state issue?

 

 

The insurance problem I believe is a national issue. And the price for what we are attempting to do, if posted, would make us look like fools. None of it makes sense, but our lifestyle was simply too boring and really not worth the time. Retirement on a porch relaxing in nice rocking chairs, eating good food, and watching our favorite television shows was just not getting it. We are pushing the envelope while we still can.

roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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If you are under construction, get builders insurance.  After the garage is finished and you start your home, continue the builders coverage.  Tell your agent that you are building the garage first to store building materials and tools for your home construction.  This is a fairly common practice and builders insurance is fairly cheap

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I will try that. The agent already knows we will be traveling and storing our possessions in there. She says it is a problem with us not being there. But I will ask.

roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
If you are under construction, get builders insurance. After the garage is finished and you start your home, continue the builders coverage. Tell your agent that you are building the garage first to store building materials and tools for your home construction. This is a fairly common practice and builders insurance is fairly cheap

 

 

I thought I should update this thread in case anyone else is considering building a "base camp" such as ours. One cannot acquire "builder's" insurance unless the house is started within eight months. We could very well be away on our first big trip for at least that long and do not want to rush into a decision yet about the house. So that option is off the table.  We also inquired about increasing the deductible to save money and got this response:

 

"Increasing the all other perils (AOP) deductible to 5,000 will save you less than $40. The underwriter responded, 'AOP deductible changes will make very little difference.  1-2%.'”

 

What we did do is forego the "terrorist" protection and also the commercial "liability" as no one but us will be on the property, we have no employees, and we have nothing outside (excluding the Ollie) of any great interest for anyone. So instead of paying $2500 per year we are now going to spend a little over $1800.  It is a lot, but for one year I suppose it is worth it. Surely we will know what we are doing after one year. At least we hope so. Thanks all for the input.

 

 

 

 

roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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Congratulations on finding a reasonable solution

An fyi for others, in many municipalities, including my own, you cannot build an accessory structure before a home.

If you are thinking about following rogue books' route, check zoning and code before buying the lot.

Some rural areas with "open zoning" can be more forgiving. You just have to find the right place. And, apparently, right insurance agent.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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This may not help everyone, but this is what I did. I have a little different situation. I have a home in VA and I am building a garage in KY. We will build a house in about two years. I intended to use the garage for storage, de-clutter our house. before we sell it. I also go there whit my camper. I was told after several discussions with my local agent and the one in KY that since I did not live in KY at the property, I had to go with commercial insurance. I dug a little further, and since my garage has a 10' x 26' room, that would qualify as living space, they will insure me as a second house. Kinda like a lake cottage or cabin. I do have heating & cooling, electrical and water. When the agent asked about a bath room, I told her I had an out house. The cost is around $550.00 per year, including liability and theft. I will set up some cots, and chairs in the room and take some pictures so I can prove I used it as a cabin.

 

 

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GeoFish


Born to Fish / Forced to Work

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The reason I could not do what you did @GeoFish was because the city expressly discourages structures that could be turned into AirB&B's. In my case I had to prove this was not my hidden idea, that no bathroom or plumbing would exist (even though I installed the entire infrastructure for permanence such as sewer, water, electrical), and that I was only building a structure to be used as "storage". I was also required to submit for approval plans for the future house to be built at a later date. In the meantime I have a pretty nice campground and a very safe place to keep our belongings. And for the record: having a different real estate agent would not have made a bit of difference. She did a fine job, was honest with me, and it is what it is. We built on the periphery lot instead of on the downtown lot we owned in the historical district because I would never have been permitted to build what I wanted to there and park my RV.  It was my fault I did not know typical homeowners insurance cannot not cover a garage until the house is built.

roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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