A Whanganui home owner is having her front fence repaired for the second time in six months after speeding drivers smashed into it.

Now her insurance company says her excess payments will increase from $400 to $1000.

Sandra Watson, who lives in Tawhero where Totara Street intersects with Fitzherbert Avenue believes she is being penalised for a situation she is unable to control.

"There are signs warning drivers to slow down for the bend but they either don't see them or choose to ignore them," she told the Wanganui Chronicle.


"My fence has been taken out eight times in the 14 years that I've lived here.
"Twice in six months is getting ridiculous."

Ms Watson has asked Whanganui District Council to address the problem, but roading engineer Rui Leitao says speed bumps are not appropriate at the corner.

Hpwever, he said he would investigate the causes of the crashes and undertake the appropriate action.

Although Ms Watson has been able to claim the excess amounts from drivers who had damaged her fence, some of them did not have insurance.

"One driver went to court and was ordered to pay reparation, but some crashes have happened when I wasn't here so I've come home to a smashed fence."

The most recent collision has more than doubled Sandra Watson's insurance excess amount.
The most recent collision has more than doubled Sandra Watson's insurance excess amount.

Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said the practice of increasing premiums or excess payments was standard and ensured that insurance remained affordable for everyone.

"A principle of insurance is to provide protection to customers for loss or damage arising from sudden and unforeseen events."

He said where claim history suggested the cause was no longer sudden and unforeseen it became a case of when it would happen again, rather than if it would happen.

"This example highlights the need for loss prevention rather than loss compensation," he said.

"The property owner is doing the right thing by trying to get local government to look at the road design."

Ms Watson said she was also concerned for the safety of schoolchildren in the area.

"There are three schools nearby and I worry that if cars are coming on to the footpath to hit a fence, they could easily hit a child."

The contractor repairing Ms Watson's fence did not wish to be named but said there was no way to make the fence resistant to vehicle damage.

He said a metal barrier placed on the bend at the intersection would solve the problem.