My insurance company won’t pay out after my fence blew over in the storm – what are my rights?… – The SunMarch 9, 2022
STORMS can cause all sorts of damage to your property and wreak havoc on your garden – including pulling down your fence.
But there's a real grey cloud over whose responsibility it is to pick up the pieces.
And that's what left one Redditor confused, when their insurance company refused to pay for their blown over fence.
On the online discussion forum they said: "The insurance assessor came round and said 'that’s fair wear and tear as the bricks are old at the base.'
"'Plus it’s a bad design for a fence, so we are not paying out'.”
As far as they were concerned the fence had only come down because of the bad weather – and they couldn't understand why their insurer wouldn't cough up.
But it's all down to what you paid for when you first took out your insurance policy.
What can you do if you're faced with a similar situation? We explain your rights if your fence is blown over in a storm.
You'll likely have taken out home insurance to cover your property from damage during big events like fires, storms and floods.
Building insurance covers the structure of your home as well as any fixtures and fittings, so that typically includes fitted kitchens and bathroom suites.
Under the same circumstances, your fence could be covered too.
But whether YOUR insurer will fork out, depends on exactly what's included in your policy.
Some policies exclude fences, garden sheds and furniture, gates and hedges because they're not really part of the house.
A spokesperson from Admiral's Household team said: "Generally, home insurance will cover the main home including sheds, garages and garden fences.
"But while some causes of damage to garden fences are covered under home insurance, there are usually some exclusions.
"A garden fence damaged during a storm would be excluded under an Admiral policy for example, as is common in most home insurance policies."
According to the Confused.com, things that you ARE likely to be able to make a claim for after a storm include:
You might have separate outbuilding insurance or garden cover which is more specific cover for something like a fence – and if that's the case your insurer will pay for the damage.
Jessica Willock, a home insurance expert at Confused.com previously told The Sun: "Levels of cover will vary between providers.
"It's important to check your policy’s small print to see how much and what you’re covered for."
If your fence isn't covered by your home insurance then unfortunately, it'll be you that has to fork out for the repair costs.
It's also up to you to keep the fence in a good condition before any damage is caused in the first place.
Experts at Saga say wear and tear isn't typically covered, so an insurance company won’t pay to replace an old, rickety fence that gets blown down.
This is why it’s important to keep anything on your property maintained, and where you can, you should keep evidence to show that has always been the case.
Then you can prove to your insurer that the damage was solely down to the storm, and might be more likely to win any money back.
You could also look at sharing the cost with a neighbour if your fence borders their property too – if you do share the fence, ask them if they'd be willing to chip in for a new one together.
But be nice in your approach – you couldn't want to run into any feuds over who owns the garden divider and who's responsibility it is to repair it.
One resident's garden fence fell down in Storm Eunice last month, and they fell out with their neighbour over who had to cough up.
Another homeowner was rubbed up the wrong way when their neighbour ignored the shared storm-damaged fence – and their dog was left roaming the garden.
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