Does a standard home insurance policy cover the costs of bat removal?
UPDATED: Jun 9, 2014
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Asked June 9, 2014
Homeowners insurance is written to protect against a specific number of named perils, such as fire, theft, or wind damage. As part of the contract, you are expected to use diligence in maintaining the property. Most insurance companies exclude coverage for damages caused by rats, termites or other vermin, including bats. Unless the bats moved in because of a covered peril, you are probably going to have to pay for the costs out of pocket.
Even worse than not covering bat removal, most insurance companies consider any sort of infestation as the responsibility of the policy owner. Since removing pests before they can cause damage is part of routine home maintenance, your policy could even be jeopardized on the grounds that you have failed to provide proper maintenance.
Removing the pests is only your first problem. Once the bats have been removed, you still have the cleanup to do, and must repair any damages the bats caused. Failure to make these repairs could result in a future claim denial if it turns out that the damages were caused or were more serious because of the bats living in your home.
With that said, you may be able to find a contractor who will work with you in filing the claim. If it can be demonstrated that the bat infestation is due to damages that were caused by a covered event, then the removal may be covered. This could be a difficult thing to prove, but it is the only option you have for getting the bats removed under your home insurance policy.
Answered June 9, 2014 by Anonymous