Does Your Home Insurance Cover Bat Removal? Understanding the Fine Print

Posted on March 31, 2024

Stumbled upon bats in your attic? You’re not alone. Many homeowners grapple with this unexpected problem, and it’s one that can cause a real headache. Not only do you need to call in a professional to remove them safely, but you’re also faced with the potential for structural damage to your attic and health risks from bat droppings.

You’re probably wondering if your home insurance will cover bat removal. Unfortunately, it’s not the news you might hope for. Many insurance companies view bat infestation as a maintenance issue, and hence, won’t cover the costs. This leaves you footing the bill for both the removal and any necessary cleanup.

Understanding Home Insurance Coverage for Pest Control

Home insurance typically covers repairs or replacements due to fires, lightning, or hail, but when it comes to creatures like birds, vermin, rodents, or insects, it’s a different story. Policies frequently state that they do not cover damage caused by these critters, which unfortunately cause the most harm to homes. Interestingly, bats often do not make it to this list.

In some cases, your policy might cover damage caused by bats. But, this usually comes with stipulations. Many policies state that damage will only be covered if it hasn’t been left unattended for an unusually long period. Meaning, if you discover a bat infestation and leave it for six months before finally dealing with it, the damage caused during that period probably wouldn’t be covered. Timely action is critical.

Note that firsthand damage from pests is seldom covered by your policy. Still, secondary damage might be. Consider this – if a mouse chews through a wire in your home and sparks an electrical fire, your insurer might compensate you for some of the fire damage, but not for the cost of replacing the damaged insulation or managing the mouse infestation itself.

Exploring the tricky terrain of homeowners insurance and pesky bats doesn’t have to leave you feeling lost. While home insurance options can often seem complex, understanding the finer details and acting in a timely manner can help manage any unexpected invaders and their potential effects on your home.

What is Covered by Home Insurance for Pest Infestation?

Exploring through the complexities of home insurance coverage, it’s crucial to understand the level of protection you’re getting, particularly for pest infestations.

Common Pest Control Services Covered

Know what your home insurance policy covers. It’s crucial to note that most policies will classify pest control as routine home maintenance, meaning it’s generally not covered. But, exceptions exist, notably when it comes to secondary damage linked to pests.

For instance, let’s imagine a noticeable event – a squirrel nibbles through your attic wires, resulting in a significant house fire. Though the instigator was a pest, an incident like this sees chances of insurance covering the cost; an event that’s unexpected and large-scale. This exception also applies to similar instances involving pests like mice or rats chewing through wires.

closeup mouse sits chewed wire apartment kitchen background wall electrical

Exclusions for Pest Removal

As crucial as knowing your policy’s coverage is learning the exceptions. Broadly, any damage directly linked to pests usually won’t get insurance coverage. From the chewed wires by rats, the gnawed attic insulation, down to the accumulated droppings – these damages are generally labelled under firsthand damage due to pests, hence not covered under most insurance policies.

Covering the aftermath of a bat infestation is an ideal example here. If you discover a bat problem but leave it untreated for a significant period, then any resulting damage is generally considered your responsibility due to inaction. As a result, you’re less likely to receive coverage for the impairment incurred.

Apart from the aforementioned, pest removal services and subsequent cleanup aren’t typically covered elements. So, if a raccoon family claims your attic as their new home, the costs of removing these unwanted tenants plus restoring your space will probably be on you. Nevertheless, some insurance policies may provide for the damage caused by larger, uncontrollable animals such as bears, provided little could have been done to prevent the invasion.

Does Home Insurance Cover Bat Removal?

If you come across bats in your attic, the immediate step is to procure professional help to remove them safely. But, you’ll quickly realize that most home insurance policies do not cover expenses for bat removal and any consequent clean-up.

The reason behind this is that most insurance providers regard an infestation, such as bats entering pre-existing cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior or roof, as a maintenance issue. This signifies that they see it as routine home maintenance, an excess which falls upon the homeowner.

Besides, the perils that could follow a bat infestation in your attic extend beyond the initial fear. Bats may cause severe structural damage to your attic by chomping on wood, insulation, and electrical wiring, leading to potentially costly repairs. Besides, their droppings could contain harmful pathogens, including fungal spores that could be hazardous when inhaled.

Finally, bear in mind the bat colony’s size if you have an infestation. More bats mean a more challenging and more hazardous removal process. Yet again, the insurance companies typically regard pest removal as part of regular property maintenance, and hence, they tend not to cover you for the pest removal cost.

To remain fully covered and for peace of mind, it’s always wise to know the ins and outs of your home insurance policy. Make it high on your priority list to clarify this with your provider.