No, most standard home insurance policies do not explicitly cover garden walls for general wear and tear or gradual deterioration. However, they may provide coverage for specific events that damage your walls, depending on the policy and the cause of the damage.
Coverage for Landscaping and Garden Features
Garden walls are not the only features in your garden that may be covered by your house insurance. Depending on your policy, you may also have coverage for other landscaping and garden features, such as:
- Fallen trees: If a tree falls on your garden wall and damages it, your house insurance may cover the cost of repairing or replacing the wall, as well as removing the tree. However, you may not be covered if the tree was already dead, diseased, or damaged before it fell, or if it fell due to negligence or lack of maintenance. You may also have to pay an excess fee for this type of claim.
- Damage from natural disasters: If your garden wall is damaged by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption, your house insurance may cover the cost of repairing or replacing the wall. However, this depends on whether your policy includes coverage for these events, which are often considered as optional extras or add-ons. You may also have to pay a higher excess fee for this type of claim.
- Other common risks: If your garden wall is damaged by other common risks, such as fire, theft, vandalism, storm, flood, or impact, your house insurance may cover the cost of repairing or replacing the wall. However, you may have to prove that the damage was caused by an unexpected and unavoidable event and that you took reasonable steps to prevent or minimize the damage. You may also have to pay a standard excess fee for this type of claim.
Understanding Exclusions for Earth Movement and Erosion
One of the most common exclusions for garden walls is damage caused by earth movement and erosion. This means that your house insurance may not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your garden wall if it is damaged by:
- Retaining walls: If your garden wall is a retaining wall, which means it holds back soil or water from a higher level, your house insurance may not cover it at all. This is because retaining walls are considered as high-risk features that are prone to collapse or fail due to earth movement or erosion. You may need to buy a separate policy or endorsement for your retaining wall, or check with your local council if they have any responsibility for it.
- Protection for land erosion: If your garden wall is damaged by land erosion, which means the gradual wearing away of soil or rock by water, wind, or other natural forces, your house insurance may not cover it either. This is because land erosion is considered as a gradual and predictable process that is not covered by most policies. You may need to take preventive measures to protect your garden wall from land erosion, such as planting vegetation, installing drainage systems, or reinforcing the wall with concrete or steel.
Securing your Garden for Summer
Summer is a great time to enjoy your garden, but it is also a time when your garden walls may be more vulnerable to damage. Here are some tips to secure your garden for summer and avoid unnecessary claims:
- Locking gates and doors: If you have gates or doors that lead to your garden, make sure you lock them when you are not at home or at night. This will prevent thieves or vandals from entering your garden and damaging your garden walls or other features. You may also want to install security lights, cameras, or alarms to deter intruders.
- Securing sheds and outbuildings: If you have sheds or outbuildings in your garden, make sure you secure them with locks, bolts, or padlocks. This will prevent thieves or vandals from stealing or damaging your garden tools, equipment, or furniture, which may also be covered by your house insurance. You may also want to mark your items with your name or postcode or register them with a national database, such as Immobilise, to help identify them if they are lost or stolen.
- Protecting garden furniture and equipment: If you have garden furniture or equipment in your garden, such as tables, chairs, parasols, barbecues, or lawnmowers, make sure you protect them from damage caused by weather, animals, or insects. You may want to store them indoors or in a shed when you are not using them or cover them with waterproof covers or tarps. You may also want to clean them regularly and check them for signs of wear and tear.