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Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Wildlife Damage? 

Even though the wildlife population has decreased by more than two-thirds in the past 50 years, critters still find ways into our homes.  

Life is full of surprises, right?  

Tis the season to guard against this invasion. With colder months around the corner, you may notice critters trying to sneak into your house, or maybe some that already have, seeking a warm place to wait out winter.  

Even if you’re an animal lover, you probably don’t want uninvited furry – or scaly or feathery – stowaways in the attic, or anywhere else; wildlife that gets indoors can damage a home. A squirrel, for instance, might shred your insulation and wood frame to make a bed or chew through electrical wiring, putting you at risk of fire. Even gaining entry to a house an animal can do damage. 

You may wonder what damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Is rodent damage covered by homeowner’s insurance? Is squirrel damage covered by homeowner’s insurance? Is raccoon damage covered by insurance? 

Usually coverage is provided, but how much is provided depends on your policy. There is an aspect of homeowners insurance called “dwelling.” According to Allstate, dwelling insurance is a part of your homeowner’s insurance policy that in certain circumstances will help with the repair or rebuilding needs from certain kinds of damage. Besides animal damage, this coverage might include explosions, fire and smoke, or damage from an aircraft. 

But wildlife damage covered by homeowners’ insurance would need to be viewed as “nonpreventable,” such as that done when a bear or deer runs through your sliding glass door. Damage seen as preventable would include: 

  • Damage from small animals such as squirrels and other rodents 
  • Infestations  
  • Damage to personal belongings 

Make sure to take extra steps to prevent uncovered damage in your home. Here are tips on obtaining what is called “other structures coverage” that can assist with detached structures such as your fence or shed.  

Your Policy’s Details  

It’s crucial to take a look at your homeowner’s policy details so you are aware of exactly what it entails in case of an animal emergency. Similar to how most health insurance plans work, it’s important to know what your deductible is. A deductible is an amount you are required to pay out of pocket before you are able to get all the benefits from your insurance. There is also what is called a coverage limit, a coverage limit the maximum amount your policy will pay if you suffer from any wildlife damage to your property.   

Raccoon Revenge 

In this article, you can read all about a “raccoon rampage” that occurred in Boston in 2019, resulting in $80,000 worth of damage. Insurance didn’t cover any of the destruction. It’s hard to believe damage worth more than most of our vehicles was caused by just two raccoons. From dishes and food scattered all over the kitchen to the carpet’s being ripped to pieces, almost every square inch of this Boston home was destroyed. While it may have first come off as a burglary, the police were able to determine this was two wild animals by examining the damage to window treatments and woodwork. The raccoons found their way into the home by what looked like a graceful fall through a skylight screen. Eventually, the two troublemakers were found stuck in an upstairs bathroom and were released back into the wild by the police.  

Be Prepared  

Don’t find yourself in a situation that could have been prevented. Check in today with your homeowner’s-insurance provider to see how much your deductible is in case you come home to find an unexpected new tenant. WNY Wildlife & Exclusion is here to help you with any surprises you may come home to. From bird to bat management and much more, we would love to assist you. You can contact us at 716-203-1166. 

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