Your home insurance typically covers the cost of fixing your fence and outbuildings. Usually, it's covered under Other Structures coverage. However, it's sometimes covered elsewhere, so it's important to ensure that your limits are high enough to cover damage to your fence, shed or other unattached structures.
What's Covered Under Other Structures?
Other structures include fences, guest cottages, sheds and freestanding garages. While your home is covered under the dwelling portion of your home insurance, other structures coverage is a separate part of your policy with unique limits. It pays for damage to your fence due to a storm or vandalism. However, it won't pay for landscaping bloopers that ding or dent the fence. Limits for other structures caps off at a percentage of your dwelling coverage — typically 10 – 20%.
What Isn’t Covered Under Other Structures?
Most home insurance is sold as a package of coverages. It's important to review your limits for each type of insurance since not all damage to fences and outbuildings falls under other structures. Also, you need to understand the loss events written into your policy and the covered perils that your insurer pays for. For example, your home insurance, including the other structures section, usually doesn't cover damage due to earthquakes or floods and additional coverage or policies would be required.
How Do I Pay for What’s Inside My Shed?
The contents of your shed are covered under your contents coverage, which also pays for lost or damaged items in your home for other insured events. How much you get back depends on how your policy is set up. For example, many policies cap the contents of your home to a percentage of your dwelling coverage - 40% for actual cash value and 70% for replacement cost.
Under subrogation, your insurance company attempts to get restitution from another party. Let's say your neighbor cuts down an oak tree and it falls on your fence. Instead of waiting for the neighbor's insurance to pay for the damage, you can file a claim with your home insurance company. In turn, your insurer may sue your neighbor's insurance company to recover the funds. If they’re successful, you could get your deductible back and the insurer will recover the money they paid out.
You may need to boost your total insurance coverage if you store expensive items in your shed or unattached garage. This increases the amount you can seek for damage to your other structures. For example, if you have a $200,000 policy limit, and need $30,000 to protect your separate garage, consider increasing your home insurance coverage to $300,000.