Will homeowner’s insurance pay for wild animal damage?
If you live near the country, you are probably familiar with the usual fauna that surrounds your area. Cute wildlife visits from birds and squirrels are what drive people to live in the country, and while the chirping of birds, the pitter patter of tiny paws, or even the occasional breath taking sighting of a deer may be the stuff that fairy tales are made of, they are also one of the biggest headaches a country homeowner can experience due to insurance issues.
The probability of your home being victim to damage caused by a wild animal related incident is higher the closer you live to woods, forests, lakes and mountains. Basically, the more remote the area, the higher the chances, but this doesn’t rule out the occasional suburban visit from wild life.
This raises the question of insurance. Everyone wants to make sure they are properly covered against any accidents or unforeseen events in their home, and this obviously includes wild animal damage. Most insurances cover some wild animal incidents like a deer crashing into your window or a raccoon ruining your roof tiles, so this in itself is a relief.
But insurance companies like to be well covered and do not generally accept situations that will represent a higher risk of losing money, unless they are gaining heavily by it. Insurance prices may go up, the more remote your house is, and will definitely not cover rodent infestations, so a mice or rat invasion will not be paid for by your insurance.
Most of them also have an immediate response policy, which means that if the damage happened long ago or they find that you could have done something to prevent it, they may choose not to cover the damages. For example, if you find a family of raccoons living in your basement, they may choose not to cover the damages and repairmen costs as they will argue that you should have noticed the raccoons right away and you could have prevented the damage.
It is therefore very important, that you talk plainly with your insurance representative before signing any contract, and pose any and all hypothetical circumstances to know how your insurance will respond at any given moment so that if and when an incident arises, you can be prepared.
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We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.