Fencing Craig Moeller asked 2 years ago

We lost our home in the Tubbs Fire 5 years ago and are still not done with our claim. The issue is our fencing. I met with a public adjuster right after the fire in a group meeting and he said if the fencing is attached to the house then it is treated as part of the dwelling. I found a Texas Supreme Court case that confirms this, but we need something that pertains to California Law. Can you help us? The policy language reads as follows; "We cover:The dwelling on the "residence premises" shown in the Declarations, including structures attached to the dwelling". Our fence was attached to the house at two points and I built that fence. All of the above was made clear to the insurance company, but the are still treating the fence under coverage"B".

1 Answers
Troy Willis Troy Willis Expert answered 2 years ago

Good evening Craig,

Without reviewing your policy language, it can go a couple of ways.

  1. Under Coverage B, fences can be considered “other structures” under a homeowners insurance policy. The limit on Coverage B can vary but in most cases, it’s 10% of your dwelling coverage (Coverage A). Coverage B may also pay to repair or replace damage to your fence.

Basically, if your home is insured for $300,000 (Coverage A) then coverage for the fence would be $30,000 which can be used toward your repairs or replacement costs. In some scenarios, the insurance company determines “other structures” by identifying if the home is set apart by clear space.

2. Many homeowners disagree about how coverage is applied or determined because some fences are bolted to the home and secured in the ground by cement. There is no clear definitive answer or any case law that I am aware of in California that supports the claim that a fence bolted to the home is considered part of the dwelling (Coverage A).

With that being said, the policy language will determine if it should be applied to Coverage A or Coverage B.