Will homeowners insurance pay for rat damage?

Lots of homeowners live with a belief that their home insurance will cover the damage inflicted on their property due to a rat infestation. However, this is not the case. The majority of insurance policies don't cover damage from rats. Actually, the majority of insurance policies have a clause that strictly excludes coverage for damage inflicted by rats.

Insurance companies consider rat infestation as a long-term problem that took a certain time to develop and which the homeowner obviously didn't take care of properly right away. Rat infestation damage is considered as a long term problem that could have been prevented by a homeowner, which is a reason why an insurance company will not cover rat damage.

There are just a few (very limited) insurance policies that cover damage from rat infestation, but this type of policy is rather costly and has very specific requirements, inclusions and exclusions. Certain types of damage inflicted by a rat infestation can be covered by a standard household policy; however, this usually covers only some types of collateral damages that are in relation with rat infestation. For example, if a hurricane takes the roof off your garage and rats get inside and make your garage their new home, the insurance will probably cover the damage caused by rat infestation (because the storm is directly connected to it, i.e. rats wouldn't get into the garage if there was no hurricane). In a nutshell, sudden damage that couldn't have been predicted or prevented is covered by a household insurance policy, while temporal damage, one that happened over a certain period of time (and this is evident and provable), isn't covered, or is covered only by certain policies and under very strict conditions.

However, to be sure what you are covered against, it is important to contact your insurance company and discuss with an insurance agent all the details about the possibility for coverage against the rat damage.

Generally, it is important to have in mind that the majority of insurance policies don't cover rat damage, which is a reason why it is so important to act in prevention. Protect your home from rats before they invade it in the first place. As soon as you notice signs that rats have entered your home, it is advisable to call the pest company. Don't wait because the situation will only become worse, because rats breed very fast and in no time you could be facing a huge infestation.

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about Will homeowners insurance pay for rat damage?