Will homeowners insurance pay for wild animal damage?

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You will need to make sure you've checked your homeowners insurance policy, before you decide to make a claim for the repair work you have needed to do, after a wild animal invasion. Most wild animals will cause serious damage when they are left loose in your home, and as well as chewing of materials, such as wood, plastics and drywall, you will also find these creatures pose fire risks and disease scares, particularly if they are left to chomp on electrical wires.

If you have had a wild animal invasion, and it has been left un-sorted for some time, you will find that the repair bill can run into the thousands of dollars, with many servicemen necessary to get the repairs done. You may need to hire a plumber, if animals such as rats have gotten into the pipe-works of your home, chewing right through them with relative ease. Rats can swim, for the record, and in some places, such as New York, they are well known to thrive in the sewers.

You may also need to hire an electrician, if the animals have been allowed to chew through electrical wiring. If the animals had set up home in the attic, you may need to look at replacing most or all of the insulation material used up there. It will have become contaminated with the waste matter the animals will have left behind, and this is unsafe for you and your family to still live with.

If the infestation was in your garage, you will need to get a mechanic to look over your vehicles, and you will also need to check any electrical items before you plug them in. There have been a growing number of cases in the media over recent years of rats chewing through wires in cars, putting those inside the vehicles in grave danger.

You may need to redecorate after these creatures have been removed from your building, and there will almost certainly need to be some sort of sealant project to ensure further critters can't gain access. All of this stuff can cost a lot of money, and it will all vary from case to case.

When it comes to claiming back from your homeowners insurance, you will need to take a peek at the wording of your policy. You will more than likely find that most insurance covers accidental damage by animals that is not caused over a period of time. A rat infestation, for example, can usually be spotted quite early on, particularly with the feces left in the trail of the rodent.

If you were to NOT see a rat infestation because YOU didn’t perform adequate care and maintenance of your home, it would be YOUR fault. Your insurance company probably won’t cover you for the damage, or the cost repairing that damage.

If a raccoon were to manage to tear the screen away from your window, on the other hand, and cause mayhem in your home, knocking over expensive and prized possessions, or maybe even breaking the fridge, you probably would be covered. There would have been nothing you could have done to prevent that situation from happening. All homes will come into conflict with wild creatures at some point. That's the way of the world.

If you are unsure of where your policy stands on wild animal invasions, and the subsequent damage that can be caused, it might be time to have a read up of your insurance documents today. If you aren't covered, it’s definitely time to ensure your home is as wild animal proof as it can be.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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