Does homeowners insurance pay for rodent damage? This can be a tricky question. For the most part, a homeowner’s insurance policy does not protect against rodent damage. This is the case because on most policies rodent damage falls under the category of home maintenance. However, sometimes rodent damage is caused by unavoidable circumstances and it may be covered. Read on to find out when homeowners insurance may cover rodent damage and when it may not.
You might not realize there is a problem if you never actually see a rodent. According to a guide from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are signs you can look for to tell if your home is infested by rodents.
If you do nothing to protect your home from rodent infestation, your policy may consider the damage to be due to neglect. This means that the policy will not pay out if you have not taken the necessary precautions to prevent rodents from entering your home.
Policies can also take into account whether or not the rodent infestation has been present for some time. If the insurance company determines that rodents have been present in the home and nothing has been done to remove them, you may be liable for the damages yourself. This is considered improper maintenance.
For example, if an electrical fire were to occur due to rodents in the attic or other parts of the home where wires are present, and you did nothing in terms of maintenance to resolve the issue, you could be liable for the costs incurred from any damage.
There are times when rodents are caught early enough and a homeowner makes an effort to rid the dwelling of rodents. In such a case, rodent damage may be covered by your home insurance policy. If you can prove that the rodent damage is not due to neglect, and that you have performed the necessary maintenance or attempted to control the problem, then you may be off the hook for repair costs.
Homeowner policies tend to understand that not all situations of rodent damage arise from neglect or poor maintenance. In fact, if you can prove that the rodent damage was not due to neglect, then you have a good chance of having the damage covered.
It is important to take into account the “fine print” of your homeowner policy. A thorough review of your policy and/or contacting your agent should give you a better idea of exactly what your policy covers with respect to rodent damage. Every policy is different. Don’t assume you have coverage just because someone else with the same company does.
Just as you can see signs of other pests such as termites, you’ve learned from this article that there are signs that will alert you to the presence of rodents. Contacting a local pest control company at the first sign of trouble will go a long way to mitigating the damage to your home. It may even be the deciding factor in whether or not you’ll be covered by your homeowners insurance.