So, does homeowners insurance cover animal damage to your home? The answer is: It’s complicated.
There are a seemingly endless list of “ifs” and “buts” at first look, but overall there are guiding factors. Check your own policy to make sure you understand what your parameters are.
- IF your pets or animals in your care damage your home or property, your policy probably won’t cover it.
- IF your pets injure a guest in your home, that person’s medical expenses related to the injury may be covered. This kind of coverage might extend to someone outside your home that is injured by your pet.
Insects, Rodents, Vermin and Wild Animals
As a general rule, animal damage to your home is not covered, except under certain circumstances.
- IF an insect or pest infestation causes visible damage and you don’t address the problem until it’s a major fix, you’ll be considered negligent in monitoring the problem and it won’t be covered.
- IF the damage has been happening and there was no way for you to be aware of it, damage may be covered.
- IF an animal that is NOT considered an insect, rodent or vermin, such as a bat or raccoon, causes damage it might be covered. So, pests might be excluded, but damage by an animal that is not a rodent or vermin might be covered.
- IF something happens that is covered by your policy leads to an infestation and damage, such as an infested tree falling on or by your house, some or all of the damage might be covered.
- IF your home sustains damage due to a large wild animal such as a bear or deer, it will probably be covered by insurance.
As a homeowner, it’s up to you to monitor your home to take care of problems before they cause a lot of damage, although a one time event due to a large wild animal is out of your control.
Ask your homeowners insurance provider to find out what kinds of damage are covered. To learn about dog liability insurance, read our article, Don’t Let Lack of Dog Insurance Come Back to Bite You.