You May Not Be Covered For Damages Caused By Wild Animals
Generally speaking, a standard insurance policy will cover damages to your building materials in part or whole from wild animals. Among other species that commonly damage insured property are; squirrels raccoons, opossums, skunks, birds, deer, mousse, bear, raccoon and bats, however, rodent damage, including but not limited to rats, mice, squirrels and chipmunks or birds is usually not covered by a standard homeowners policy, although a window broken by a bird may be an exception.
Animal infestations and damage from animal waste or secretions are also generally excluded from homeowners coverage. For example, if an opossum (a member of the rodent family) take up residence in your attic, your homeowners insurance may not pay for removal, clean-up or repairs to damage, on the other hand, if a raccoon (a mammal not a rodent) and or its family take up residence in your attic, homeowners insurance may help pay for their removal, clean-up and any damage caused, however, your policy may limit or exclude coverage for some or all personal property depending on where it is located in your dwelling.
Insects and or arthropod damages are also excluded from many insurance policies.
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Examples of Animal Damages – No Bull
If a squirrel destroyed insulation, wiring and other building materials, or contaminates your building, you may not be covered. If the damages are caused by a raccoon, you may have full coverage. Depending on your policy terms, you may be limited to building materials coverage but not personal property.
In rural areas deer, mousse and bear crash through large glass openings destroying building materials and personal property before they exit, or are removed by animal control authorities. Depending on your policy, you may be limited to just building material coverage and not personal property, however, secondary damage to personal property resulting from a freeze-up, water damage and or fire initially caused that animal may apply, .
In other words, if a bull crashes through your sliding glass door and destroys the china closet in your living room you may be covered for your building damages (sliding door, flooring, walls, etc.), however, you may not have personal property coverage for that event. On the other hand, if the temperature inside your property drops to below freezing due to bull’s entry and your pipes freeze, burst and create an electrical short and fire, the perils of freeze, water damage and fire should cover all your damages, excluding the china closet and china initially destroyed by the bull.
There have been varying courts arguments that animal damages should be covered under vandalism, however, others argue that vandalism coverage does not apply because wild animals don’t have the ability to intentionally and needlessly destroy, rather it is their fear and confusion that causes the damage.
NOTE: Raccoon nesting damages can be highly toxic to humans even causing death. The expense to decontaminate different levels of infectious waste can run into tens of thousands of dollars.