When will homeowners insurance not pay for squirrel damage?

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As with most insurance policies, nuisance animal damage and repair often comes with some sort of small print in homeowners insurance, which you will need to make sure you have read before you take any action. You will not want to pay out a lot of money to then not be able to claim it back from your insurance company. In some cases, the repair work can run into hundreds and thousands of dollars.

In almost every policy that covers homes or other properties, there will be some sort of clause which excludes rodent damage that happens over a long period of time. The reason for this? The damage is preventable with due diligence. If the property were to have been taken care of properly, the rat or mouse infestation would have been spotted and the damage wouldn’t have been as extensive as it ended up being. The same applies for other non-rodents too. A squirrel problem that has only been around for (for example) a couple of months is likely to have not been spotted before that point, therefore the policy would cover you. On the other hand, a squirrel problem that has been ignored by the property owner for a couple of years and has been left to cause considerable damage, heading into the many thousands of dollars to put right, will not be covered. This could have been easily avoided. The insurance company won’t cover you for something that you have — in their eyes — left to happen intentionally.

The damage you WILL be covered for, rats and mice aside, is damage caused by nuisance wildlife, and is unexpected and sudden. If you have a hole in the attic that you have known about for months, and then a squirrel moves in and starts peeing all over the place, causing mold and spreading disease, as well as the urine dropping through and leaving rotting damage to your ceiling, you probably won’t be covered. You knew the hole was there, therefore, allowing any ol’ animal to come in and take advantage.

If a hole in the attic was caused by a bad storm, however, you would be covered for the damage that happened as a result of squirrels moving and causing damage over a few months. To start with, you didn’t know the storm had caused that hole in the attic. Secondly, you dealt with the situation as soon as you knew there were squirrels up there. You didn’t ignore it and hope it went away, making the problem worse and the damage much more costly to repair.

You should have a look at the documents that came with your homeowners insurance policy, or give the company a call to find out if you are covered. If you haven’t sat back and watched the problem happen, there’s a good chance that you will be covered.

You can certainly learn a lesson from this — it pays to inspect your home for wild animal invaders from time to time!

Go back to the Squirrel Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Squirrels guide.

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