Which side of the fence do fall on when it comes to fence damage and repair?

According to the 2016 PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, half of Washington and Oregon homeowners (50 percent) think they own the longest fence dividing their land from their neighbor’s, and about half (49 percent) also agree that they are legally responsible for maintaining that fence. On the other hand, fewer – about one-third (32 percent) – think maintaining that fence is a shared duty, and just 18 percent – are prepared to accept responsibility for repairing the damage if something (like a tree falling from a neighbor’s yard) should occur. Instead, significantly more (50 percent of homeowners) wrongly believe their neighbor’s insurance policy is liable for the damage. Translation: Most people think they own their fence, but don’t want to pay to repair it if it gets damaged by a neighbor’s tree.

How about you? What are your thoughts on fence ownership and responsibility?

Is there a fence between you and any of your neighbors?
Total OR
80 85 Yes
20 15 No
Thinking of the longest fence you have separating you from a neighbor, do you own this fence, does your neighbor own it, or is the ownership of this fence shared?
Total OR
50 49 I own it
10 10 My neighbor owns it
32 34 Ownership is shared
8 7 Don’t know
To the best of your knowledge, who is legally responsible for maintaining that fence?
Total OR
49 49 My household is responsible
10 10 My neighbor’s household in responsible
32 33 The responsibility is shared equally
9 8 Don’t know
Imagine that a tree on your neighbor’s property fell and caused damage to your house, fence or some other structure on your property. Whose insurance company is responsible for fixing the damage to your property?
2011 2016
60 53 Your neighbor’s insurance company because it was their tree
10 18 Your own insurance company because it’s your house
21 24 A combination of both insurance companies

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold to consumers by the method they choose – phone, local community agents, or online. For more information, visit pemco.com.

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