When a wild animal decides to make itself at home in your house, it can be a stressful situation. Even the least dangerous animals can cause damage to your home. Every year, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control helps thousands of homeowners remove wildlife and protect their homes against future intruders.
Unfortunately, in some cases, wildlife may do significant damage to homes before anyone notices their presence. This can mean a significant bill for cleanup and repair. This brings up a common question: Will homeowner’s insurance cover this?
What Does Home Insurance Cover?
It is probably no surprise that the answer to this question depends on the policy. Some insurers may cover damage to the home from wildlife and others won’t. So, it is best to check with your insurance company and review your policy documents.
Nevertheless, there are some general trends. Typically, insurers are more likely to cover damage by larger animals. For example, a bear getting into your home and causing damage is likely to be covered by your insurance policy. This is likely the case because there is very little you can do to keep a bear out if it wants to get in.
Similarly, some animals, such as raccoons, may be covered. Again, having raccoons in your home is unusual and hard to avoid the issue. Depending on the insurer, you may have trouble having a claim accepted if you have done anything that would attract raccoons, however. For example, uncovered trash cans could cause a problem.
Smaller animals are often not covered. Animals such as mice, rats, and squirrels are often excluded from insurance policies. Similarly, your pets are almost always excluded.
Depending on the type of animal damage, your policy may only cover damage to the structure of the house. This could leave you on the hook for any damage to your personal property, such as furniture and clothing.
Checking your policy carefully can help you avoid any financial surprises if you have an unwanted visitor. If your policy doesn’t cover damage from wildlife, consider planning a safety net to help with any unexpected expenses.
How Much Damage Can Wildlife Do?
If a wild animal gets into your home, you may be surprised at the amount of damage they can cause. Even small animals could do enough to require significant cleanup and repairs. For example, one family from Atlanta, Georgia, returned home after a holiday vacation to find a single squirrel had caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
The squirrel seemingly fell down the chimney while the family was away. It then went all over the house, creating a nest in the couch and chewing away at the window frames, baseboards, doors and more. It seems that the squirrel was trying to escape and get back outside. Ultimately, an animal removal technician was able to get it back outside.
Unfortunately, this damage was not covered by the homeowners’ insurance. This is likely because squirrels are often classified as pests in insurance policies. It could all have been avoided with a screen over the chimney opening.
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we have seen even worse situations caused by squirrels and other animals while homeowners were away. Animals are very resourceful and will happily make use of your home, food and possessions for their benefit. In short, the bill for an unwanted wildlife incursion can be significant.
What Can You Do About It?
The best way to avoid paying for these types of repair is to address problems as soon as you notice anything strange. If you see chew marks, droppings or any other sign that an animal may be either living in or frequenting your home, call for professional help.
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we use an approach that is focused on protecting homes against wildlife. We find the places where they are entering and seal them up. Frequently, for small animals, such as squirrels and mice, we will use one-way doors that let them leave but not return. This approach is more effective in the long-term than conventional traps or poisons. It is also safer for your family and pets.
Although there are some outlier situations in which an animal may do significant damage in a short time, most cases of wildlife damage happen over time, especially with small animals. The longer you leave the problem, the worse the problem will become.
You can also help prevent the problem with an assessment of your home. The experts at Skedaddle can let you know what you could be doing differently to avoid wildlife problems.
If you need help removing wildlife from your home, keeping critters out or any other wild animal-related problem, call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. We have decades of experience helping homeowners like you with wildlife problems. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.