Somebody asked me: “what is included under the building section of my Personal Lines Insurance Policy. Is my perimeter fence and paving covered?”
Please remember that this is a generic answer – it is important to study your own policy to be sure that you are covered for what you need. There is a reason why we have different insurance companies and different premiums. Ask your broker or contact your insurer.
The short answer is:
“Yes, it is covered, but only for the perils mentioned in your schedule and policy wording.”
I suggest you read the long answer (and your own policy).
The Long Answer
So this is what the wording I use as a basis says:
Your property insured is the private residential structures of your home. The Schedule gives its risk address and wall and roof construction. It includes all fixtures and fittings that belong to you as the owner or that you are responsible for as the owner. It does not include any fixtures and fittings that belong to a tenant or for which a tenant is responsible.
Then in the definitions, it says this:
• fixtures and fittings belonging to the owner of the private residential structures while
in or on the structures;
• fixed recreational and ornamental structures;
• paved and surfaced areas (including driveways) of brick, concrete, asphalt or stone (not gravel);
• boundary and other walls, gate posts, gates (including all the machinery related to the gates), fences (other than hedges);
• tennis courts;
• swimming pools, spa baths, saunas and associated machinery and equipment, but
not including movable swimming pools;
• satellite dishes;
• lightning conductors/masts;
• fixed electric generators;
• borehole machinery supplying water solely for domestic purposes;
• septic tanks
From the above it is clear that paving and border fences and walls are included.
Two Things To Remember
There are two things to remember:
When you decide on the replacement value of your building, it is important to provide for paving and perimeter walls, or you could end up under insured.
The second thing that you need to make sure of in YOUR policy, is what you are insured for. Generally your insurance will cover you against about 11 perils. The question is: did one of the defined perils cause the damage? If the answer is “no,” there will be no cover. That is why you must make sure of what you have.
Retaining walls are bad news, from an insurance perspective. Make sure what your situation is before there is a problem!
- The neighbour reverses out of his yard and into your palisade fence. Will the damage be covered? Since this policy covers
impact with the private residential structures by animals, vehicles, aircraft or aerial devices or other objects falling from them, or falling trees except when felled by someone;
It will be paid. (Your insurance will then claim from your neighbour or his insurance.)
- You see a guy along the road with a chain saw advertising that he trims trees. You hire him to cut a few branches from your tree overhanging your house. In the process one of the heavy branches falls on the roof of your house and causes damage. Will the claim be paid? No, because it is felled by someone.
- It is good to remember that insurance covers things that happens “suddenly and unforeseen.” Any gradual wear and tear or process is not covered.
One of the basics rules of insurance is: disclose. Be honest with your insurer and rather tell him more than less. At the same time, if you have a question like: “Is my paving covered?” contact your broker or insurer. Perhaps it is not covered, but it can be. Perhaps it cannot be covered, for some reason, but then it is important that you know that.
If you have short term insurance related questions, you are welcome to contact me. Or leave a comment below.