Can You Claim Fence Damage On Insurance?

Making an insurance claim can be a little stressful, as you work through what will be covered and how much you can expect to get back.

When it comes to your fences, however, there’s a few other factors you’ll need to consider, including if you’re renting or if you’re claiming for a shared or boundary fence. We’re going to break down a few common questions when it comes to the topic, including the big one: can you claim fence damage on insurance?

Will your fence be covered by your insurance?

The short answer is yes – a fence is generally considered to be part of your property and so will be covered by your home insurance.

However, the longer answer is that it depends. Insurers will take into account a variety of factors when considering your claim, including the damage incurred, who is at fault, and the pre-existing condition of the fence.

What’s covered and how much you can expect to get back will vary from policy to policy and situation to situation. This is why it’s so important to read your policy carefully before agreeing to it and to keep a copy handy so you can access it again if you need to make a claim.

What can you expect to be covered?

What you can claim will depend on your policy, but home insurance policies typically cover fence damage related to:

  • Vandalism and malicious acts
  • Theft or burglary
  • Leaks/floods
  • Wind
  • Storms
  • Lightning
  • Fire, including bushfires
  • Impact, such as a car accident
  • Earthquake and tsunami

Upon discovering any damage, check that the area is safe, and call for help if needed. Remember to take plenty of photos to document the damage.

What isn’t covered?

Your insurance likely won’t cover any damage that occurs as a result of natural wear and tear, negligence, or an accident where you are found to be at fault. Any damage that occurred before the policy came into place won’t be covered either. This also includes any issues that arise as a result of pre-existing damage.

You should also check your insurance policy carefully for any other exclusions. If you live in a flood or fire prone area, for example, your insurer may not provide cover for damage resulting from that. This will vary from provider to provider, so be sure to read any policy offers very closely!

What if it’s a shared fence?

Boundary and shared fences will still be covered, but both parties need their own insurance and will usually have to claim separately for damages. If your fence borders public land, such as park, you’ll be considered as the sole owner of the fence.

It’s a good idea to regularly check over boundary fences, especially if they’re a fair distance from the home. This means you’ll have an idea of how the fence is faring over time and will be able to quickly identify any major issues that insurance needs to look at.

Your payout will also likely reflect this shared ownership, designed to cover only your half of the fence. Keep in regular contact with your neighbour to ensure that repairs are done and that they comply with Queensland’s minimum requirements for a “sufficient fence”; a height between 0.5-1.8m and constructed of an appropriate material, including chain link, timber, or metal panels.

In the event that one neighbour is found responsible for the damage, they will be liable for the full cost of repairing or replacing it. If you suspect your neighbour is at fault, take plenty of pictures and gather as much evidence as you can for your insurance provider.

Rental properties

In a rental property, the owner/landlord should have home insurance in place that includes cover for any fencing.

However, if the tenants or any of their guests are found to be responsible for causing damage, they will be liable to pay for any repairs or replacement.

Hopefully, we’ve covered some questions you might have had about if you can claim fence damage on your insurance. As always, it’s important to remember that your coverage and expected payout will depend on your individual policy and the circumstances under which you’re claiming. Be sure to read any policy offers carefully and reach out to your provider for more tailored information.

References

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