Cotati, CA asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: How are fences destroyed by wildfire covered under CA law regarding fences?

We lost our home in the Tubbs Fire on 10/09/17 in Santa Rosa, CA. Still dealing with Nationwide. They are saying the fence is under coverage "B", Other Structures. I am arguing the fence should fall under coverage "A", Dwelling because it was attached to the house on both sides. I was told this applies in this situation by a Public Adjuster right after the house burned down. There is case law from a Texas case, Nasser v. Liberty Mutal Fire Insurance Co., and I want to know if CA has a similar case I can utilize.

1 Lawyer Answer
Neil Anapol
Neil Anapol
  • Insurance Claims Lawyer
  • Burbank, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Fences are always considered to be other structures. I don't know of any California cases that hold differently, and I suspect that the Texas case you cited has some unusual nuance to it that led to that result. Given that this fire occurred over five years ago, its hard to see how you could still litigate the issue. Homeowners policies contain a one-year contractual statute of limitations, which begins to run when the insurer closes the claim. Unless the claim remained open beyond October 10, 2021, it is probably too late to file suit. Even so, if you think you have a viable claim, see an attorney as soon as possible, or file suit in pro per as soon as possible.

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