When you own your home, you have to think about every little detail. Suddenly, things that never mattered before, like your garden fence, become paramount. Most homeowners will have some form of home insurance, taking the bulk of the concern off their shoulders. But even with insurance, some things can be a concern – like what happens if your fence falls down? Is my fence covered by home insurance? What if it’s damaged?
Here’s what you need to know with tips from Fence Forge.
Does homeowners insurance cover fences?
Generally speaking, most home insurance policies will provide some level of coverage and protection for structural elements. This includes gates, fences, and sheds. However, it is always important to check your own documentation. It is also important to ensure that the garden fences are actually within your property boundary line, as otherwise, they will not fall under your home insurance policy.
The most common homeowners insurance covers fences and gates to protect them from things like fire or vandalism. Your insurance company may cover for more or less than this. It will say in the fine print.
Can you make a homeowners insurance claim for storm damage?
Often, the culprit when it comes to fence damage is a storm or bad weather. Storms and ultra high winds are a staple of the winter weather forecast, and they can often cause serious damage. Generally speaking, a homeowners insurance policy will protect your home against any damage, however when it comes to your garden fences, you may need to look for specific coverage with an insurance provider, or ask your insurance company if they typically cover garden fences. Most insurance companies will not provide coverage against storms or floods.
If your garden fences are covered by home insurance, then you may be able to make a claim for storm damaged fences, so long as it says so in your documentation. However, it’s important to note that your homeowners contents insurance will likely dictate that your fences must be in good condition and well maintained all year round in order for claims to be valid. It’s always useful to read the fine print to know.
Does home insurance cover me against vandalism?
The vast majority of home insurance policies will cover vandalism. In fact, vandalism is even covered by home insurance policies when the culprit can’t be found. As long as you are not to be blamed in any way for the vandalism (i.e., by allowing access to the home) then you should be able to make a claim and it should be covered by home insurance.
What happens if…
Storms are of course not the only danger to fences. Here’s what to expect if other damage occurs to your garden fences.
A car crashes through and causes fence damage
If a vehicular accident causes damage and the fence belongs to you, the money to cover this will usually fall onto the driver and their car insurance. To get this, you will need the driver’s name, address, registration number and insurance company. You should be sure to take photos of the scene, and report the incident to the police. Your home insurance company will need to be made aware.
If the incident is a hit and run and the driver cannot be traced, you may be able to claim on your home insurance. However, it’s important to note that you might lose your no-claims bonus.
A tree falls on my fence and causes fence damage
Generally, homeowners insurance will cover you if your fence is damaged by a falling tree. You should check the exclusions on your cover though, as policies vary greatly. If you owned the tree and you were responsible for taking steps to maintain and ensure safety, and you failed to do so, you are unlikely to receive any money for your claim.
Should a neighbour’s tree fall on your fence, you won’t be able to claim against them. If you can prove they were not maintaining the tree sufficiently, you may be able to claim on your own insurance.
The best way to avoid damage in this situation is to regularly check trees on your property and remove dead wood as often as possible.
A burglar causes fence damage when accessing the property
Most insurers will pay out on a claim like this. If your property (including fences) has been damaged during a break-in, you will likely be able to make a claim on your homeowners policy. You may need extra cover in order to successfully claim – it is worth checking through the documents provided when you took out your insurance policy and flicking through the fine print.
Is it worth getting fences covered by home insurance?
If your policy does not already cover your fences and you live in an area that means you are prone to fence damage i.e., through felled trees, vandalism or perhaps you live on a dangerous bend on a road, then it may be worth considering extending your home insurance. This will allow you to live without worry, knowing that in most situations, your fences are safe and will be able to be repaired should they fall or become damaged in any way. A cheaper way that is more resilient to weather is to plant a hedge to act as a fence.