Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

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  • Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

Whether you’re a homeowner or not, one of the worst phrases you can formulate or hear from a professional is “rodent damage”. Rodents don’t take aim at anything in particular, but yet they seemingly go after everything, which could include your home’s electrical wiring, insulation and much more.

If your home sustains damage caused by rodents, what are your options? Can your homeowners insurance policy come into play? We’ll break down everything you need to know about your policy and those pesky rodents, including squirrels, mice and raccoons.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

Homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover rodent damage to your home because your policy is specifically designed to cover perils that occur suddenly and accidentally. Since rodent damage can typically be stunted through preventative measures, and doesn’t usually occur suddenly, your policy may negate coverage unless it specifically states that rodent damage is covered.

It’s very rare for a homeowners policy to include that language about rodents, though. That’s because lack of upkeep or general negligence is usually to blame for the damage caused by rodents, such as termites. This means much of the damage may have been negated before the rodents were actually terminated or removed from the home.

However, there may be a few scenarios when your homeowners insurance could come into play. Let’s say a rodent, such as a squirrel or mouse, unknowingly made a home inside your attic. If they chewed away wires and caused an electrical fire, your homeowners policy may cover the damage to your home and belongings. You may be covered in that instance if you didn’t know the rodents existed in your attic.

If a homeowner were to be covered, their policy would typically only include coverage for the home itself and things that create it, like electrical wiring, plumbing pipes and AC units. It likely would only include coverage for your personal belongings that were damaged indirectly, such as by fire or water, by said rodents. If the rodents chewed through your couch, you likely wouldn’t be covered. Now let’s take a look at some of the different rodents that may or may not be covered by your policy.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Squirrel Damage?

Squirrel damage to your home and belongings is treated similarly to every other type of rodent damage. While damage caused directly by squirrels, such as them chewing a hole in your roof or through your personal belongings, indirect damage, such as a house fire caused by chewed wires or water damage caused by chewed pipes, may be covered — if you were unaware of the squirrels wreaking havoc.

While you may be covered for indirect damage, you’re usually never covered for direct damage caused by squirrels or the removal of said squirrels from your home. You’d be financially responsible to pay for both.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Raccoon Damage?

Like other rodents, raccoon damage falls into a similar category and ayn damage they directly cause to your home and belongings is likely not covered by your homeowners insurance policy. That’s because raccoons don’t just appear out of nowhere. They’re usually drawn to homes via some kind of lack of upkeep or negligence on the homeowner’s behalf.

However, raccoon damage that’s caused indirectly, such as them unexpectedly chewing through wires or creating water damage by destroying your home’s plumbing pipes, may be covered by your policy. It’s always best to consult your insurance agent to find out what your specific policy covers.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mouse Infestation?

Mouse infestation is usually one of those strict non-coverage examples in every home insurance policy. So whether the damage is caused directly or indirectly, your homeowners insurance typically excludes coverage. There are many measures to prevent mice from living in your home, so any damage they cause typically isn’t considered to be sudden and accidental.

As the [property owner, you’re also financially responsible for getting rid of a mice or rat infestation — and any rodents for that matter. 

Why Are Rodents Typically Not Covered?

Rodents are usually excluded from coverage for similar reasons as pet damage caused by your pet or mold damage to your home. Said damage is not considered to be sudden and accidental, and it probably could’ve been avoided. In the eyes of insurers, you as the homeowner are responsible for the general upkeep of your home — and that includes preventing rodents from coming in and causing damage.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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