One cause of household damage that most people don’t think about is animal damage. A skunk might enter your home and spray the house, a spooked deer might crash through your window and do a number on your living room. In any case, the recovery costs are likely to be high, and lucky for you, your homeowners insurance might help you pay them.
Still, the key word about homeowners insurance covering animal damage is might. Therefore, if you face animal damage, you still need to check your policy to see exactly how its specific terms and conditions will apply.
Are All Animal Claims Covered?
There’s always a chance that your own pet might damage your belongings. However, this is a risk that you agreed to accept when you brought your friend home. Therefore, your homeowners insurance won’t cover damage done by your own pet.
Still, plenty of other animals could infiltrate your home without your knowledge; squirrels, skunks, mice, raccoons, birds, ands and more might get in, and you might not even know they’re there. If you could have reasonably prevented this damage, such as by having regular pest inspections and sealing potential entryways, then your homeowners insurance is unlikely to cover your claim. Only if damage occurs suddenly and without warning will your plan help you repair your home and replace damaged possessions.
How to File a Claim for Animal Damage to Your Home
As soon as you notice any signs of animal damage or pest infestation, take action. Do not let the damage spread, and immediately call your local animal control system, pest exterminator and someone who can make the necessary repairs.
However, always take stock of your damage before you attempt to contact your insurance company. If you can afford to make these repairs yourself, then you should do so. Making a low claim on your insurance policy might mean that you will only receive a small payout, particularly considering if your deductible reduces your settlement considerably.
All the same, you might face rising insurance premiums simply because you made such a claim. The more claims you make on your policy, the more of a risk your insurer might consider you to be. Therefore, they might have to charge you more in the future because you have cost them more money in the past.
Still, if you realize that your home has sustained significant damage because an animal got into a place where it wasn’t supposed to go, then it never hurts to reach out to your home insurer. They will work with you to determine exactly how your plan will pay for damage, and how much compensation you are entitled to receive. In the end, you’ll never have to wonder about where your responsibility for paying for animal damage lies.