My fence or deck was damaged. Now what?

Fence-Damage-Tree-Falling

If you’ve had your fence or deck damaged, you probably have questions. Here are a few that we’ve been asked before; hopefully you can find some answers.

What should I do first?

It can be difficult to know what to do when you experience property damage. Follow these easy steps to address the problem and find the optimal solution.

1. Safety first! Block off access to the damaged area if needed to prevent children or pets from hurting themselves. If there are fallen power lines, suspended trees or other hazards nearby, stay clear and call the appropriate service company.

2. Take photos. Document the damage that occurred and the cause, if possible. These will be necessary if you’re filing an insurance claim. If the damage was caused by a negligent driver, a police report can also provide evidence for your insurance claim.

3. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and determine whether you can and should file a claim.

4. Get your claim approved before starting any permanent repair. Your policy should cover temporary repairs, so save your receipts.

How long will it take to fix my fence or deck?

When your fence or deck is damaged, you may want to have the repair done immediately. If your fenced yard is open to the street, it can be extra dangerous for children or pets. Structural damage to your deck may put you at risk of injury when entering or leaving your home.

If the first company you call isn’t able to respond in a timely manner, don’t be afraid to call around and ask about timelines. Response time and installation schedules vary between companies, and it may be possible to get help sooner from one company than the next.

If you do require emergency service, keep in mind some companies may charge a fee. Be sure to ask about any emergency service fees when getting an estimate from potential service providers.

At Cascade Fence & Deck our extended installation schedule and normal project size means we’re not always the best fit for an emergency repair or replacement. If you’d like to work with us, we’ll be happy to discuss the project with you and recommend alternatives if necessary.

Should I file an insurance claim for my fence or deck?

When a natural disaster or accident damages your home or property, the first call many people make is to their insurance company. It’s natural to think that since you’re paying for homeowners’ insurance, you should file claims for any damage possible.

Unfortunately, that is not always the best move. Even one homeowners’ insurance claim can raise your rates significantly, and after more than one claim insurers may drop your policy for being “high risk”. Instead, experts recommend avoiding claims except for “catastrophic” damage, and seeking the highest deductible you can afford in order to reduce your premiums.

For more information about insurance claims, read this interview by United Policyholders: To Claim or Not To Claim… That is the Question.

Is my fence covered by homeowners insurance?

If your insurance policy has Coverage B (or “Other Structures” coverage), your fence is included in coverage. However, whether or not your claim will be approved depends on the cause of the damage. Generally speaking, fence damage caused by storms, fallen trees, or auto accidents is likely to be covered by your policy. For auto accidents, you may be able to avoid filing a claim against your own insurance by filing a claim against the driver’s liability coverage.

Is my deck covered by homeowners insurance?

If attached to your home, your deck is covered by your policy under Coverage A (or Dwelling Insurance). If you have a detached deck, it may be covered under Coverage B (or Other Structures).

Whether or not the damage is covered also depends on the type of “peril” – the cause of the damage. Commonly covered perils include fire, windstorms or hail, damage from vehicles (except your own), falling objects, riots, vandalism, and weight damage due to snow.

Does my contractor deal with my insurance company directly?

It’s your responsibility to communicate with and negotiate with your insurance company. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will usually pay you directly. Do not sign contracts or make payments until your insurance claim has been approved

A tree fell and damaged my fence or deck. Is it covered by my homeowners insurance?

Maybe. If the tree was healthy, the damage may be covered by your policy.

My neighbor’s tree fell on my fence or deck. Will their insurance cover the damage?

Probably not. Your neighbor is not responsible for wind, snow or other natural disasters. However, if the tree was dead or diseased, your neighbor may be responsible. Be sure to take clear photos before doing any cleanup so that your insurance company can sort out who is responsible.


Do you still have questions? Contact us

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