I’ve found damaged caused by rats. Will my homeowner’s insurance pay to fix it?

UPDATED: Jan 1, 2016

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Asked January 1, 2016

1 Answer

A standard home insurance policy is designed to protect you and your home against a wide variety of problems, known as perils. This includes protection against wind, fire, water, and could even include civil unrest or an airplane crash. However, homeowners insurance is not meant to handle every potential event, including things that could realistically be prevented by the homeowner.

An infestation, whether it concerns rats, termites, or bedbugs, is listed as a responsibility of the homeowner. Since these things could be easily avoided with preventive maintenance, it falls on you to keep the home free of such problems. Worse, if the insurance company finds out that you have allowed an infestation to occur, the company is within its rights to terminate your policy on the grounds of homeowner negligence.

Serious damage from rats does not usually happen overnight. A single rat builds a nest and raises a family of rats that roam under your floors, above the ceiling, and even inside the walls. As the rat population increases, the potential for damages such as gnawed wood or wires goes up as well. Damage caused by rats has the potential of leading to a home fire, and that could mean your family's residence and property goes up in a puff of smoke. For that reason, it is a good idea to have the home treated as soon as the first sign of rodents is detected.

Even if rat damage was covered, it may not always be in your best interest to file a claim. If the damages, for instance, are going to cost $300 and your deductible is $500, filing a claim would count against you in the future but would not be a benefit to you in repairing the home because your deductible pays for more than the damages incurred.

Answered January 6, 2016 by Anonymous

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