Will homeowners insurance pay for squirrel damage?
Squirrels, gophers, mice and rats are able to do much harm to any property, including the lawn and the house. Most insurance policies of homeowners exclude the gradual damage that is being caused by rodents. However, most of the time, the insurance policy may cover unexpected damage or sudden damage that is caused by the rodents.
There are some situations in which damage done by squirrels may lead to insurance claims. For example, when windstorms blow away the shingles of a roof and a family of squirrels takes up residence there and causes damage to the ceiling tiles, the insurance company is typically going to pay for these losses. When a family already has squirrels in the residence but the shingles get blown away by a windstorm, you may be paid for the damage on the roof only.
This is the same when a windstorm has blown away a door and the squirrels come in and destroy something. These things may be replaced, but it will not be the same if the damage has been caused by squirrels that entered through an open door.
When the damage has been caused by one identifiable event, it is possible that the insurance company will pay, for example, when the squirrels made a tunnel under the gas line and the gas leaked, which led to a fire. In this case it is possible that the homeowner’s insurance is going to pay, but when the squirrels cause a leak in the gas line but the gas is smelled for many weeks and you did not try to inform the insurance company, then they may refuse to pay.
When squirrels get in the attic and gnaw through the pipes on the overhead sprinkler system that is used to put out fires so that the water leaks on furniture or on the carpet with just a single flooding event, then the homeowner policy can pay, but if the pipe was damaged long ago and the water continued to drip for a long time before you talked to the company, the company may refuse to pay.
The homeowners insurance may also pay for damage that was not detected before buying the house. However, the insurance cannot pay if you did not do any home inspection or if you ignored the home inspection recommendations. Be sure to thoroughly check your policy to see what damages may be covered.
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