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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Bat Removal?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Bat Removal?

Bats in the home aren’t exactly a common pest problem, but when bats do happen, they can cause expensive damages that you probably don’t want to pay for. When bats enter the home, they don’t just bring themselves, they bring along plenty of other parasitic pests. Once bats are living in the house, you can also expect bugs, fleas, mites, and ticks. All the things you probably don’t want wandering around your living space. 

Bats can also cause structural damage and their feces can spread bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It goes without saying that if bats are in the house, you want them out fast! Unfortunately, bat removal can be quite expensive for the average homeowner. Leaving many to wonder whether or not their homeowners insurance might foot the bill.

Does homeowners insurance cover bat removal? Well, the answer is complicated.

When It Comes to Bat Removal, Expect to Foot the Bill 

Many homeowners insurance companies view any kind of infestation (including bats) as a maintenance issue. That’s because they often enter the home through pre-existing holes or large gaps in the exterior walls or roof. With that in mind, most homeowners insurers will deny any claim related to bats in the home. In other words, they will not cover the expenses directly related to bat removal. 

While some companies may help, it is definitely not the norm. Those that will help will look at determining factors such as the size of the bat colony, the type of building, and all of the bat doorways that should be closed. At the end of the day, it will all come down to how severe the problem is and whether or not the bats are causing any damage. For the most part, don’t expect your insurance company to cover the costs of removing the colony, which will largely fall on your shoulders.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Damages Caused by Bats? 

While the majority of insurance companies will not cover bat removal, many will cover repairing any devastations that bats have caused in your home. If there is unintended physical damage (unrelated to the removal process), your policy would likely kick in to pay for the repairs. However, there are still some cases where your claim can be denied. 

Many homeowners policies explicitly state that damage will only be covered if it has not been left unattended for a long period of time. For example, if bats damaged your home and you left the situation go for eight months before you called the insurance company or a bat removal service, your claim is not going to be covered. This would place the fault for the damage on you, rather than the bats themselves.

Insurers will argue that if you don’t do anything about the bat colony in your attic as soon as possible, then you’re at fault for letting them cause irreversible damage. Simply put, insurance may pay for damages caused by bats, but only if you deal with the expulsion of the bats promptly and contact insurance about any issues as soon as you can. 

Is It Difficult to Rid Bats from the Home?

No one wants to shell out for bat removal, but fortunately, the process isn’t too involved. Bats tend to drift towards older homes since they have an abundance of entry points. Loose roofs, attic windows, and warped materials make great havens for bat colonies. Of course, even an updated home isn’t immune to bat issues. Once you know your insurance company’s stance on bat removal, you’ll want to contact a licensed pest professional right away. 

Do not try to remove the bats by yourself. With bats come mites and bat bugs which can cause serious health complications. Not to mention, where there are bats, there are droppings. Droppings should be sanitized and disposed of. Since bats are threatened, it is always best to trust a removal professional, not an exterminator. 

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