In our last post, we addressed the question – Will Homeowners Insurance Pay for Raccoon Damage? In this post, we will address the question – Will Homeowners Insurance Pay For Rodent Damage? When it comes to homeowners insurance, knowing whether your coverage will pay for rodent damage can be confusing. Generally speaking, homeowners insurance does not typically cover rodent damage because it falls into the category of home maintenance. The idea is that if home maintenance is being kept up, then damage will not occur or at least will be noticed before any major damage occurs, thus negating the need. However, rodents can unexpectedly cause damage so there are times when insurance coverage for such matters will come into play. Listed below are some probable situations that may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance to help you gauge whether your homeowners insurance will pay for rodent damage.
WHAT HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE MAY NOT COVER
When Rodent Damage Is Caused By Neglect
The one thing that every homeowner needs to be doing is staying one step ahead of potential rodent damage to their home. Most insurances will not cover damage if they perceive that the home has been neglected or damage has been ignored. For instance, if a mole starts to dig around your yard and you ignore trying to get rid of it only to later find that the mole dug around gas pipes causing a leak, your homeowners insurance may not pay for the damage. Similarly, if you start to notice the smell of gas coming from your yard and ignore it by not calling the gas company, not only is that dangerous but any damage or repairs is likely to not be covered.
In another scenario, if rats get into your attic and start chewing through wires which eventually leads to an electrical fire causing damage to your home, insurance may not cover the damage if it is perceived that those rats have been dwelling in your home for some time. How long rodents can be in a home before being noticed is subjective, so it really blurs the lines when it comes to deciding what damage will be covered and what damage will not. Staying on top of suspected concerns will lessen the chances of damage to your home and/or spending too much out of pocket.
WHAT HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE MAY COVER
When Rodent Damage Is Out Of The Homeowners Hands
If the rodent damage done to your home is caught as quickly as possible and clearly not an issue of neglect or poor maintenance, then your homeowners insurance is likely to cover the damage. Let’s say that the rat situation you have going on in your attic caused you to become privy to overhead sounds. Those sounds led you to call a pest control company which later determined that you had rats. Well, any damage done by those rats may be covered by your insurance. Lets face it. Rodents can enter into our home in numerous ways. Once they are in they are unlikely to leave and inevitably going to cause damage to some degree.
In another scenario, if those rats gnawed their way through pipes in your attic causing flooding, the likelihood of your insurance covering the damage is good. Another situation that may be covered is if pipes connected to your fire sprinkler system are damaged by rodents, causing any variable of situations, your insurance should cover the damage. These situations are based on events that are out of the homeowners control and can likely be determined as unrecognizable by the homeowner. However, every situation is assessed individually and the details will definitely come into play when determining coverage.
The one thing you can expect when it comes to your homeowners insurance coverage is that it all comes down to the fine print. Nobody wants to hear that answer but it’s the reality that needs to be faced. Make sure you go over your policy and are aware of all of its ‘ins and outs’ to ensure that you don’t end up with a larger bill than you can carry. If something in the policy is not to your satisfaction, then work with your insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you desire. Pay close attention to ‘clauses’ and ask your agent for clarification. Sometimes the fine print is vague, so it’s important you know what those clauses pertain to. All in all, if you believe you are at risk of rodents damaging your home because of where you live, you’ll want to find out if your homeowners insurance will pay for rodent damage and what that exactly entails.