Does homeowners insurance cover wild animal damage?

Homeowners insurance generally only covers wildlife damage caused by animals like deer or bears. Damage from smaller pests like squirrels and other rodents generally isn't covered by your home insurance policy because the infestations are considered preventable. If the wild animal damage is covered, it usually only applies to your home's structure. Personal property coverage usually excludes wild animal damage, so any personal belongings damaged by wild animals typically aren't eligible for a claim.

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How does homeowners insurance cover animal damage?

Wildlife damage may be covered under your home insurance policy's dwelling coverage and "other structures" coverage. Dwelling coverage protects your home's structure and anything attached to it, such as an attached garage. Other structures coverage coverage protects the detached structures on your property like a fence or shed.

Example:If your fence is damaged by a deer, you would file a claim under your other structures coverage to get reimbursed for the repair costs minus your deductible. As with some home insurance claims, you may need to submit photos of the damage before your claim is paid.

Does homeowners insurance cover squirrel damage?

Unfortunately, squirrel damage isn't covered by homeowners insurance because it's considered preventable. It's not unheard of for squirrels to take up residence in a home's attic, and they can chew through beams, insulation, and even electrical wires in the process. Here are some tips to prevent squirrels from getting into your attic:

  • Trim tree limbs away from your home's roofline
  • Make sure to cover chimney caps, attic vents, and exhaust fan openings
  • Remove potential sources of food and water from your yard, such as bird baths and feeders

Is rodent damage covered?

Damage caused by mice and rat infestations is generally not covered by your home insurance policy. Like squirrels, these small critters tend to take up residence and gradually grow in numbers over a long period of time, so your insurer considers the damage preventable and expects you to take necessary steps to eliminate infestations before they cause damage to your home.

Example:You notice a few mouse droppings in the corner of your basement and decide a single mouse isn't worth the expense of calling an exterminator. A few months later, you discover that the mice have multiplied and built a nest within the walls of your home, chewing through the foundation in the process.

Since homeowners insurance doesn't cover mouse infestations, you'll be responsible for the removal, cleanup, and repairs out of pocket.

Here are some ways to keep rodents out of your home:

  • Keep both pet food and garbage in sealed containers
  • Seal off any small openings in your home's foundation or crawl spaces
  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors to seal the gap at the bottom

What about raccoon damage, is it covered?

Raccoon damage is a type of animal damage that is generally not covered by a homeowners insurance policy, including damage to your home's structure and personal property. Damaged caused by other vermin, such as skunks and opossums, is usually not covered as well.

Is woodpecker damage covered by insurance?

Woodpecker damage is generally not covered by homeowners insurance as it's considered preventable. If you find cone-shaped holes in your siding or near your roofline, then you likely have a woodpecker infestation. Repairing the damage will help prevent more serious issues, but you'll also need to find a way to keep the woodpecker from coming back. Here are a few preventative steps you can take to keep these unwanted guests away from your home:

  • Install ultrasonic bird repellant devices around the outside of your home
  • Wrap brightly colored Mylar tape around gutters and roof soffits
  • Seal any existing holes in your attic or siding

If the woodpecker keeps coming back, call a pest control specialist to come and remove it and its nest.

Does home insurance cover bat removal?

If you discover bats in your attic, you'll need to call in a professional to remove them safely. Your insurance won't cover this expense, and any necessary cleanup will also be your responsibility.

Does insurance cover animal damage to cars?

Wild animals can also cause considerable damage to your vehicle — even if it's parked in your driveway. While home insurance won't cover this type of animal damage, your auto insurance policy may pay for repairs if you've purchased comprehensive coverage. Whether you hit a deer while driving or rodents chew up your car engine's wiring, a comprehensive policy can help protect your car from wildlife damage.

How to file a claim for wildlife damage with Progressive

Call 1-800-776-4737 and we'll connect you with your homeowners insurance company. You can also find your insurer's contact info and learn more about the process on our property insurance claims process page.

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