If a brutal hail storm pulverizes your fence, is the damage covered by homeowners insurance? Generally speaking, yes — but there are some variables you should know about.
homeowners insurance and fences
Whether corralling the kids and pets, or increasing privacy, fences do much in the way of lending peace of mind. And while you may check its sturdiness from time to time, you rarely worry your fence will succumb to the elements. But if your fence is damaged or destroyed, suddenly your yard is left feeling exposed.
In addition to safeguarding the dwelling itself, many homeowners insurance companies (including Esurance) offer other structures coverage. Generally, this type of coverage extends to structures that are unattached to your house, like tool sheds, garages, gazebos, and your fence.
And, typically, your fence is covered for the same losses as your home.
when your fence may (or may not) be covered
Determining whether or not your homeowners insurance covers damage to your fence essentially hinges on whether or not Mother Nature is the culprit, as opposed to poor maintenance. So, if your fence is damaged by strong winds or a tornado, you're probably covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
On the other hand, termites, mold, and fungus are usually not covered since they result from negligible upkeep on the part of the homeowner. Fence damage caused by earthquakes (ground movement) and floods (surface water) are typically not covered either.
If a tree falls on your fence
Your home insurance policy will probably cover the costs (up to the limits on your policy) if a healthy tree falls on your fence. Not only will the average policy likely cover the fence repair or replacement costs, but also the removal of tree debris.
Now, regardless of whether or not the tree was on your side of the fence or your neighbor's, you'd still have to file the claim if it was your fence that was damaged.
However, should evidence indicate that the fallen tree was weakened by disease or infestation, then your neighbor may be responsible for the costs since basic maintenance was overlooked.
Laws may differ depending on the state in which you live. For instance, in many states, if a fence is on a boundary line between 2 neighbors, the responsibility would fall equally on both homeowners. Each would be covered for 50% of the covered loss, and each would share half the cost of the deductible.
If your fence is damaged by vandalism or a vehicle
While fence damage is usually weather-related, most homeowners insurance policies also cover damages resulting from vandalism or vehicles.
If someone else caused the damage, it's imperative that you file a police report in addition to contacting your insurance company. It would also behoove you to have the following items available:
- A copy of the police report, if possible
- A thorough description of what happened
- A list of items damaged, broken, or missing
- Photos of the damaged site (including photos of the fence prior to the damage, if possible)
reliable homeowners coverage for your roof and much more with esurance
If you have any questions regarding a loss, it is always a good idea to contact your agent. And when you're an Esurance policyholder, you can count on us to answer any of your homeowners insurance questions. Just give us a ring at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262), where we're here to help at these times.
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