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You know that your homeowner’s insurance protects you from covered things like bad weather and damage to your home. But you can’t be sure about other buildings on your property, including your fence.
Standard homeowner’s insurance includes what is known as coverage for other buildings. As the name suggests, it protects the structures on your property other than your home, including your fence, shed, gazebo, and other enclosures. But home coverage doesn’t always work, so it’s important to understand how it works and when it can protect you.
Here’s what you need to know about home insurance for fences:
Does home insurance cover fences?
Your homeowner’s insurance will cover damage to your fence due to hidden events, also known as perils. The perils that homeowner’s insurance covers are listed below:
The part of your homeowner’s insurance that covers fence damage is different than the part that covers damage to your home. Homeowner’s coverage is a major part of homeowner’s insurance, and it’s designed to cover damage to your home.
Fences are covered by your other buildings, also known as Coverage B. Other buildings cover anything on your property that is not attached to your home, including fences, sheds, guest houses, gazebos, and enclosed porches.
For example, let’s say your house catches fire and it spreads to your outbuildings, including the fence. Not only does your homeowner’s insurance cover damage to the home, it can also cover damage to your fence.
Learn more: The Importance of Personal Property: What and How Much You Need
Limits on fence damage coverage
Like other types of insurance, homeowner’s insurance has a coverage limit – the amount of money the insurance carrier can pay for a claim. Homeowners insurance has coverage limits for different parts of your policy. In most cases, your living expenses will depend on the replacement cost of your home. Some aspects of your policy depend on how much you have.
The spread of some houses is usually set at 10% of your living expenses. So, if you have a $300,000 mortgage on your home, your other mortgages can be paid up to $30,000.
While this may sound like a lot, remember that this applies to everything else on your site as well. No, it probably won’t cost $30,000 to fix the fence. But it can cost more than $30,000 to fix a fence and a detached garage or other building.
When are fences not covered by home insurance?
Although your homeowner’s insurance will cover the fence in most cases, there are exceptions. Your homeowner’s insurance does not cover if the damage is caused by an accident that your homeowner’s insurance does not cover. Examples are:
- Wear and tear
- Pest damage
- Slow water loss
Additional features to protect your fences
Your home usually has additional costs, meaning that your homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs needed to rebuild it to its current condition. But often this does not work for other things, like fences. Instead, the insurance carrier will write off the deficiency, meaning that the amount you receive may not be enough to rebuild the fence.
Depending on the insurance provider, you can buy a rider on your policy that gives you money to add to your fence, just like you have with your house. This way, you will know that you are fully protected if your fence is damaged.
Some important considerations for fence protection are:
- Flood insurance: Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, so consider getting flood insurance to protect your fences and other buildings. You can buy a policy through private insurance or through National Flood Insurance Program.
- Earthquake insurance: Earthquakes can knock down walls. If you live in an area with a high risk of earthquakes, it is a good idea to purchase earthquake insurance.
How to file a claim for a damaged fence
If your fence is damaged by natural disasters or another covered peril, you must file a claim with your landlord for reimbursement. Here’s how to get started:
- Record the damage. When you submit your claim, the insurance agent may want to see photos of the damage. Make a good note of the damage so you can be prepared.
- File a police report (if applicable). If the damage to your fence was caused by vandalism or other crimes, file a police report.
- Contact your insurance provider. The sooner you contact your insurance provider, the better. If you have a local agent, ask that person. Otherwise, call the insurance company.
- Fill out the application form. The insurance agent will ask you to submit a claim form to collect the ball. You may also need to include photos of the damage.
- Meet with a complaints adjuster. After you submit your claim form, an insurance adjuster will visit your home to inspect the damage.
- Get estimates from contractors. Once you know that your insurance provider will cover the damage, you can start shopping around for a contractor to fix it.
- Complete the repair. The insurance provider may send you or the creditor a check for the damage, or they may send the check to the contractor after the repair.
Disclaimer: All insurance related services are provided through Young Alfred.