Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fences?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fences?
If you are buying homeowners insurance for the first time, or even for the second of third time for that matter, you may have some questions about the details of what is and is not covered.
They say good fences make good neighbors, but did you know good home insurance can protect those fences? It all depends on the details of your policy, but yes, fences can be covered by your policy if you want them to be.

Fences CAN Be Covered By Your Homeowners Insurance!
A standard homeowners policy will include main dwelling coverage, detached structures insurance, personal property protection, liability cover, and loss of use coverage. You can also add additional coverage as riders if you’d like, for an additional premium.

Fences would be covered under the detached structures component of your policy. This covers detached garages, sheds, gazebos, fences, and more.

The coverage limit is generally set as a percentage of your main dwelling coverage limit – usually at anywhere from 40% to 70%. So if you have $300,000 cover on your main dwelling and a 50% detached structure limit, you have $150,000 as the detached structure coverage limit.

Are Fences Always Covered?
No, fences are not always, automatically covered by your home insurance. As with other coverage areas, it depends on the cause of the damage.

Generally, your fence is covered for lightning strikes, fires, wind and storm damage, vandalism (including by burglars who break into your property through the fence), or by a healthy tree that falls onto it.

You also are normally covered if a vehicle other than your own runs into it – plus, in that case, you can also get reimbursement from the offending driver’s auto insurance company.

Your fence may not be covered, however, in certain other situations. For example, if you intentionally damage it yourself during home renovations, accidentally damage the fence with your lawnmower, run into your own fence with your own vehicle, or it gets damaged by a flood or earthquake, it won’t be covered by a standard policy.

Natural causes like mold, termites, fungus, and general wear and tear, are also generally excluded.

What If My Fence Is Damaged By A Tree?
As mentioned above, many home insurance policies do cover fences if a healthy, live tree falls on it – or a branch from such a tree. But, damage caused by a dead, diseased, or rotting tree will usually be excluded.

The idea is that the homeowner should be able to foresee that a tree like that is likely to eventually fall down, completely or in part, during the next storm – if not sooner.

But what if your next-door neighbor’s rotten tree falls onto your fence and damages it? In most cases, your neighbor would be responsible for paying for the damage. In some cases, he or she would be legally required to pay for only half of the cost of repairing it.

I’m Putting Up A New Fence Soon
If you have just put up a new fence or are thinking about doing so, be sure to contact your homeowners insurance agent so you can discuss how it will be covered on the policy.

It’s important that your insurer is aware of the fence’s existence on your property and that you are aware of what is and is not covered in regard to your new fence.

To learn more, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency in Central Florida today!