Your fence serves as a figurative moat around your house; it keeps your kids and pets safe and provides a sense of privacy. It’s a form of protection on your land. You may not think about the wellbeing of your fence on a regular basis. But what happens if your fence is destroyed, leaving your “castle” exposed and vulnerable? You may not have to worry about dragons or evil queens in the real world, but surely you want to keep your little princes and princesses as safe as possible.
Many homeowners insurance companies have an “other structures” coverage, which applies to structures that aren’t attached to your house. Sheds, detached garages, gazebos, and – of course – your fence are covered under this policy. This form of coverage is aligned to the same type of coverage you have on your entire home. The more coverage you have on your house, the more you will have on your fence.
Most home insurance policies will cover for your fence damage up to a certain amount of the policy’s complete coverage. Many companies – such as Allstate – will cover “other structures” up to a limit of approximately 10% of your total coverage. This means if you have $150,000 of home insurance coverage, your fence will be capped at $15,000 under your “other structures” coverage.
Not all types are damages are treated equally. Just as your home won’t be covered by certain factors if you don’t have a specific coverage on it, your outdoor structures won’t be covered from everything. Repairs needed as a result of certain factors are only covered if you have protection against them in your home insurance policy. For instance, damage from floods, earthquakes, mold, termites, or other causes are only covered on your fence if they are covered on your home itself.
When will home insurance cover your fence damage?
If a healthy tree from your lot falls on your fence.
Your insurance company will not cover an old tree that falls on your fence, as they believe it is your responsibility to maintain the trees on your lot. Make sure you keep an eye on your trees to ensure that no trees in bad health will damage any of your property.
If a neighbor’s tree falls on your fence.
No matter the state the tree is in, if a tree from your neighbor’s lot falls on your fence, you will be covered by your insurance and your neighbor will be held accountable of this damage. Although the ball is in their court per say, letting your neighbor know if any of their trees look weak could save you and your neighbor a lot of trouble.
If you are affected by storms or vandalism.
In the case of vandalism or crime related to damage to your fence, you may also contact the police and file a police report.
Another person’s car hits your fence.
Since it’s an at-fault accident – but on the part of the other person, not you – your homeowners insurance should cover this. You might want to file a claim against the driver’s property damage liability car insurance rather than filing a claim with your own insurance, as the latter will cause your rates to rise.
If you live in a location in which natural disasters are common, for example, investing in a home insurance policy that covers these damages is the best judgement call. Fences can be expensive to repair or replace; being prepared for natural disasters or damages due to wildlife could save you hundreds of dollars. While you aren’t required to invest in these types of home insurance, they might be the best idea for your geographical location and lifestyle. With fence repairs, it’s on you to make sure your homeowners insurance will come through for you.