Is your nuisance animal damage covered by insurance? We often are asked whether the damage caused by nuisance wildlife is covered by homeowner’s insurance. This is sometimes a complicated question, but it is usually worth pursuing because it is not uncommon for nuisance wildlife to cause thousands of dollars of damage before you as the homeowner are even aware f what is happening.
Most homeowners’ insuarance policies exclude damage caused by “vermin.” However, what constitutes “vermin” may be anything but clear. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines vermin as “small insects and animals (such as fleas or mice) that are sometimes harmful to plants or other animals and that are difficult to get rid of.” (A secondary definition is “very bad, unpleasant, or offensive people”!)
Many insurance companies consider rodents to be vermin, but many do not consider raccoons to be vermin. As a result, in many cases, damage caused by raccoons is covered by insurance. When a policyholder first contacts an insurance company about an animal damage claim, the insurance company representative may state that the claim would not be covered due to the vermin exclusion. We recommend that you file a claim anyway and press your case. We would be glad to help you out by meeting with your insurance adjuster to make sure he or she sees and understands the scope of the damage to your property caused by nuisance wildlife.
In some cases,courts have held that even squirrels, rats and mice, all of which are rodents, may also not be considered vermin under your insurance policy and then be eligible for coverage. That is not the norm, but it may be worth pursuing, depending on your situation.
Here is a link to an article on the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog, which discusses the insurance coverage issues related to nuisance animal damage.
Feel free to contact us of we can be of assistance.
Wildlife X Team is your best choice for humane nuisance wildlife control in Memhis and the Mid-South. Schedule service now.