THUNDERSTORMS can cause all kinds of damage to your property and wreak havoc on your garden, including tearing down your fence.
But there is a real gray cloud over the responsibility of putting the pieces back together.
And that’s what puzzled one Redditor, when his insurance company refused to pay for his overturned fence.
On the online discussion forum they said: ‘The insurance assessor came over and said ‘this is normal wear and tear as the bricks are old to the base’.
“‘Also, it’s a bad design for a fence, so we don’t pay’.”
For them, the fence had only fallen because of bad weather – and they did not understand why their insurer did not spit.
But it all depends on what you paid when you first took out your insurance policy.
What can you do if you face a similar situation? We explain your rights if your fence is knocked down by a storm.
Will my insurance company pay for the closing?
You will likely have purchased homeowners insurance to cover your property against damage during major events like fires, storms, and floods.
Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home as well as all fixtures and fittings, which usually includes fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
Under the same circumstances, your fence could also be covered.
But whether YOUR insurer will pay out depends on exactly what’s included in your policy.
Some policies exclude fences, sheds and furniture, gates and hedges because they are not really part of the house.
A spokesperson for the Admiral’s Household team said: “Generally the home insurance will cover the main house, including sheds, garages and garden fences.
“But while some causes of garden fence damage are covered by home insurance, there are usually exclusions.
“A garden fence damaged in a storm would be excluded under an Admiral policy for example, as is common in most home insurance policies.”
What you can claim
According to Confused.com, items you’re likely to be able to claim after a storm include:
- Tiles that have flown away with the winds,
- Damage to the house caused by lightning,
- Bricks and mortar shattered by fallen trees and debris,
- Water damage caused by heavy rain.
You might have separate outbuilding insurance or garden cover which is more specific cover for something like a fence – and if so, your insurer will pay for the damage.
Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, previously told The Sun: “Coverage levels will vary from provider to provider.
“It’s important to check the fine print of your policy to see how much and what you are covered for.”
Who should pay the fence?
If your fence is not covered by your home insurance, it is unfortunately you who will have to pay the repair costs.
It’s also up to you to keep the fence in good repair before damage is done in the first place.
Saga experts say wear and tear isn’t usually covered, so an insurance company won’t pay to replace a rickety old fence that’s falling apart.
This is why it is important to maintain everything on your property and where possible you should keep evidence to show that this has always been the case.
Then you can prove to your insurer that the damage is solely due to the storm and you may have a better chance of recovering money.
You can also consider splitting the cost with a neighbor if your fence also borders their property – if you’re sharing the fence, ask them if they’d be willing to contribute for a new fence together.
But be kind in your approach – you don’t want to run into arguments over who owns the garden divider and who is responsible for fixing it.
A resident’s garden fence fell during Storm Eunice last month, and they argued with their neighbor over who should be coughing.
Another owner was rubbed the wrong way when his neighbor ignored the storm-damaged shared fence – and his dog was left to roam the garden.
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