“What to do when you’re not covered?”
Most people are surprised to find that wildlife is capable of causing as much damage as it does. Most are pleasantly surprised when we inform them that most insurance companies cover damages caused by raccoons and in some cases bats. We give them an estimate and then they come back equally saddened and tell us that their insurance company said they don’t cover it. Usually what happens is that they called their agent, instead of the claims number. Agents rarely run across animal damage and some mistakenly claim that it is not covered.
When this happens, you can look at your terms and conditions of your policy. Most insurance policies exclude domestic animals, insects, birds, and rodents. Raccoons, opossums, and bats don’t fall into any of these categories. Squirrels can cause a lot of damage in an attic but happen to be a member of the rodent family so there’s no help with squirrels.
We probably restored close to 20 attics this year for State Farm customers but just last week we had an agent tell a customer they don’t cover raccoon damage. I assured him that they do. He just needed to call his claim department instead of his agent! We have seen a couple of insurance companies stop covering damage caused by bat guano. One of the exclusions in the terms and conditions is hazardous materials and they are claiming that bat guano is a hazardous material.
I hesitate to make a comprehensive list of insurance companies that do or don’t cover wildlife damage. Most of the big ones do and a lot of the smaller ones. State Farm, Safeco, Farmers, Allstate have all been wonderful to work with for raccoons. Like I said previously, some companies were getting funny about bats. Best way to approach them is to call and ask.
Sometimes you need to advocate for yourself. It’s worth it if you do. Failure to fix the damage caused by bats and raccoons leaves you susceptible to many future problems. Raccoons can leave holes in your roof causing possible future water damage, and when they walk in your attic they trample down the insulation causing you to have a higher utility bill, set aside the fact that their urine can soak through the drywall and stain your ceilings. And, maybe one of the most important reasons but not one covered by insurance, more of an ancillary benefit is economic damage. Most people buying homes nowadays are using buyer’s inspectors. When that buyer’s inspector sticks his head in your attic and sees that a raccoon was in there, he is going to note it and you are going to wish you would have gotten it fixed earlier. At that point it may cost you the sale!
Get rid of wildlife and call us for all your wildlife control needs today!
Attic Restoration and Insurance Companies
Illiana Wildlife Services
(317) 203 – 6083