Raccoons and other animals such as squirrels, birds, bats, and mice are treated differently by insurance companies. Raccoons exist all over North America and they can cause significant damage to the structure of the home. If you have a homeowners insurance policy and it covers raccoon removal, there are special services that can remove raccoons from your property. This guide will cover raccoon damage and removal procedures including distinctions between animal categorization, to make sure you know if your home insurance company is going to cover it.
Does homeowners insurance cover raccoon removal? Yes, raccoon removal is covered by homeowners insurance and you can hire a raccoon removal specialist to remove them from your property. Most wild animal damage is covered by homeowners insurance and this includes all mammals. Unlike squirrels and rats that are considered to be “vermin” by insurance companies (and therefore ineligible), raccoons are considered wild animals. This means you will be covered with an HO-3 or an HO-5 policy.
Pro Tip: Don’t give up easily even if your insurance company rejects your initial claim. Insurance companies do not provide equal reimbursement for all animal damage, but we suggest you don’t give up easily even if you’re rejected. If an insurance agent says that your raccoon damage won’t be covered, they may still end up picking up the invoice as long as you’re patient enough and follow the procedure.
It’s possible to convince the insurer by hiring a raccoon removal company that will inspect the damage in your home and draft up a report for your insurance company. This will significantly increase your chances of getting the insurance company to pay for the damage.
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Does All Homeowners Insurance Cover Racoon Damage?
Most HO-3 plans cover wild animal damage. Raccoons are considered wild animals and if your home is damaged by raccoons, your homeowners insurance will pay out on the claim. Even if the claim is initially rejected, the decision can be reversed with a signed statement from a raccoon removal expert.
The insurer will pay for damage to the dwelling structure such as the walls, foundation, roof, and patio. This is a general rule and you can consult your insurance agent to find out if wild animal damage for personal property is included.
There are special rules regarding damage to personal property. Personal property is not covered if it’s damaged by a wild animal. This means items such as clothes, electronics, furniture, instruments, are not covered. If a raccoon chewed your personal property the insurance company won’t compensate you.
The only exception to structural coverage is when there is a specific exclusion clause written in your policy that states wild animals are not covered. We advise you to ask for reconsiderations on the decision the insurer makes. Insurance companies will be more likely to cover the removal if the costs are exceedingly high.
How To File A Claim For Racoon Damage
To file a successful claim for raccoon damage, you need to start by hiring a raccoon removal company. Their professionals will arrive at your home and start a decontamination process to clean up the roof (where raccoons usually dwell) and give you a written assessment of the damage.
The removal company is tasked with trapping the raccoon and cleaning up the attic. This includes decontamination efforts and repairs to the insulation that raccoons tend to damage. This is the first step you should take before you consult your insurance company. Raccoons can be quite dangerous for the family and the property value, which is why trapping them on time is paramount.
Reach out to your insurance agent and ask for a claim number. If the agent says that raccoon removal is not covered, this is deliberate misinformation on their part. Raccoons are treated as a gray area by insurance companies and they may deliberately misinform you in order to not pay out on your claim. As long as you have patients and carry through with the procedure, you can make them change their stance on the coverage claim.
What Happens If A Racoon Damage Claim Is Rejected?
If you tried to file a claim over the phone or the internet and you were rejected, you can request a rejection letter from the insurance company. This letter should state the specific reason as to why your claim was denied. The insurance company will express-mail this document to your home or send it to you via email.
- Inside this document, you may have specific phrases such as “vermin” which do not uphold in court. The courts don’t recognize raccoons as vermin and this is why a written response to the agent will suffice.
Many insurance companies have exclusion clauses for raccoons because clients have persevered in lawsuits for raccoon damage. The agents know that property prices plummet if there is raccoon damage that can’t be repaired. Raccoons leave behind feces and bio-hazards that can lead to other damage the insurance company will have to pay for if they don’t compensate you for raccoon damage.
How To Prevent Racoon Damage
There are easy ways to prevent raccoon damage by restricting access and cutting off food sources in your property. The following are the three most effective methods:
Remove Food From the Property
Store food in your fridge or other areas that are impenetrable. If you store food in your attic, this is a raccoon magnet. Raccoons are primarily attracted by the easy food they can get from storage units in the attic or hanging fruit trees that go above your roof. Make sure to fasten all trash cans surrounding your property.
Use Motion Lights and Sprinklers
If you grow fruit trees that attract raccoons in the vicinity of your property, you can use motion-activated sprinklers and lights. The lights activate every time the raccoons get close to the trees and this scares them away. The sprinklers can also deter all animals from trying to sneak into your yard. While this is harmless for humans, it scares animals from returning.
Seal All Entry Spots
Many raccoons end up getting inside your roof by taking the easy points of entry. The easiest entry point for raccoons is the chimney and vents. Check if the roof has any noticeable holes that would permit entry. Even a small hole could lead an army of raccoons into your roof. If you have raccoons stuck in a dem or trapped raccoons, call up a professional removal service to remove them safely and discard their feces.