If you’re on the fence about purchasing extra coverage, you should know that a standard homeowners insurance policy will cover damage done to your fence. Though if you have a particularly expensive fence, or just want to be prepared for more unique perils, extending your coverage may be a good idea.
Just like a fence is meant to protect your home from intruders, noise or weather, homeowners insurance is going to protect you from financial loss due to accidents or mishaps. Therefore, any accidental or unplanned destruction to a fence is usually covered by your policy.
Your standard policy will usually have your back. Though, there are some situations in which you won’t have coverage — for example, preventative maintenance issues like termites. Below, we’ll discuss when home insurance covers fences and the few times it doesn’t.
Basically, fences won’t be covered when the damage is your fault. For example, your insurance coverage won’t protect your wooden fence if the damage is due to termites. Other standard exclusions in fence coverage include wear and tear, mold and neglect.
Damage to fences caused by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and mudslides will also not have standard home insurance coverage. In these situations, the damage will be covered by the insurance specific to the type of natural disaster that destroyed the fence. If your home location is in a flood zone or hurricane-prone area, it may be wise to purchase additional insurance to cover these disasters.
Sewer backups and government seizures are other instances in which a fence wouldn’t have coverage.
Fences have protection under dwelling insurance, which covers your home and any other structures on your property. Dwelling insurance is an open peril policy, which means that it will cover your fence in all events except named exclusions. Here are some of the most common fence-damaging events included in the open peril policy:
If a tree falls on a fence and no one is around to hear it, will it be covered by insurance? If it’s your tree, maybe. Determining the cause of the fall is first and foremost. If the tree fell because of a storm or fire, coverage will come from your insurance. However, if the tree fell because of rot or neglect, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for tree removal and fence repair.
If your neighbor’s tree falls on your fence, you’ll still file the claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance provider will open an investigation into why the tree fell. If the decision is that the tree fell due to your neighbor’s neglect, your insurance company will then work to get payment on your behalf.
Wind-related damage from tornadoes or fierce storms are typically covered by insurance. Lighting strikes and hail damage are also covered. Some storms, however, will require a separate insurance rider if you want coverage.
Hurricanes and floods have coverage under their own plans, so damage to a fence from a flood wouldn’t be covered under a standard policy. To get coverage in this scenario, you’d need to purchase separate hurricane or flood insurance to cover that damage.
If your neighbor crashes their car into your fence, you’ll most likely be covered. However, it’s usually better to file the claim with the driver’s car insurance in this situation. After the accident, exchange insurance information with the driver — they’ll pay the damages with their liability car insurance.
If you hit your fence with your car or the motorist doesn’t have insurance, you still can file the claim with your home insurance provider. In this scenario, however, you’ll most likely be responsible for the deductible towards the repairs, and it may end up raising your insurance premium down the line.
A damaged fence is an annoyance — luckily, the insurance claims process is generally pretty simple. Hippo is there every step of the way to make the process as quick and easy as possible. For Hippo customers, all you need to do is take photos of the damage as soon as possible and then call Hippo, who will set up a contractor appointment to assess the damage. If the damage was due to reckless driving or vandalism, you’d also want to contact the police to file a report.
Once the damage has been assessed, you’ll want to determine whether or not it makes financial sense to file the claim. That can be done by first checking how much fence coverage you have, detailed below.
To determine how much coverage you have, check the “Coverage B: Other Structures” section of your standard insurance policy. Though dwelling insurance covers your home and other structures on the property, such as detached garages, sheds and fences, it may make more sense in the long run to pay for repairs out of pocket.
No matter the cause of the damage to the fence, you’ll be responsible for the deductible. It’s also important to note that filing claims may also raise your insurance premium. If the cost of the repairs exceeds the deductible cost, it makes financial sense to file the claim. If the cost of the repairs is lower than your deductible, you may want to pay out of pocket for the repairs to avoid higher insurance premiums in the future.
“If the cost of the repairs exceeds the cost of your deductible, it may make financial sense to file a claim; if not, you might want to pay out of pocket.”
Your yard is a sanctuary — a place for relaxing, playing or letting the dog out. Damage to a fence is an annoyance that can take away from your space — luckily, Hippo can help restore your yard to its full potential by facilitating fence repairs painlessly and quickly. For information on more ways Hippo can help protect you and your home, get a home insurance quote today.
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