Will homeowners insurance pay for squirrel damage?

Squirrels can cause a large amount of damage to a house or lawn, and it may cost thousands to repair. Most homeowner insurance policies contain a clause that says that they will not cover gradual damage which is caused by rodents. However, the insurance policy will cover unexpected and sudden damages that are caused by rodents to the home or property. The language used in the policy says that it covers anything unless it is the result of a loss which had not been insured.

Sometimes a windstorm may blow the shingles off of the roof, allowing a family of squirrels to turn the attic into their home. Their waste then leaks in the ceiling tiles before you get the roof repaired, so the insurance company will pay for the damage on the roof and on the ceiling. When a squirrel family has taken up residence in the attic after a windstorm blows the shingles away from the roof, you may be paid for the damage to the roof only. Another situation is when the wind blows the door to your home away and the squirrels come in and damage the sofa. Then the homeowner insurance policy can replace the sofa, but if you leave a door open and a squirrel comes in to damage your sofa, then the damage may not be paid.

When the squirrels get in the attic or gnaw on the pipes, and the sprinkler system leaks on the carpet or the furniture in just one single event, then the insurance policy will pay up. However, when the squirrels cause the damage on the pipe and it leaks for six months before you find out about the damage, then the insurance policy is not going to pay up.

In some cases, the coverage of the homeowner can pay the bills if the damage had been undetected during the inspection of buying your house; then the insurance will pay. However, if there was no home inspection or if you ignored the advice of the home inspection, the damage cannot be covered.

There is a time that the homeowner will cover for damage which has not been included in the policy. This is when the house has been inspected before you buy it and there is a major effect that was missed like a sewer vent which lets in a number of squirrels. Even if the homeowner policy may not cover it, the professional liability policy of the inspector may cover it. You should also talk to an attorney about how you can collect for the major damage on the house if you are not at fault.

Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page.

Will homeowners insurance pay for squirrel damage?