Standard homeowners insurance policies usually cover animal damage to your property under dwelling coverage. This coverage applies if a wild animal damages your house's structure. Damage to personal property, however, is usually not covered.
You could also request additional living expenses coverage if you find that the wild animal has made your home uninhabitable. But remember that homeowners insurance can probably handle the cost of repairs as long as the animal damage was unforeseen and the damage is a structural element, such as damages to your home’s foundation, attached garage, front or side porches or windows.
Property damage resulting from specified perils, including animal damage, is usually covered by homeowners insurance. The coverage, however, is limited to structures themselves. Therefore, the belongings stored in those structures are not covered under your dwelling coverage.
In this article:
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Animal Damages?
Generally, homeowners insurance covers animal damage depending on which animal caused the destruction and what damage has been caused. It’s important to remember that covered animal damage only refers to wild animals and not your pets.
- You are covered if a wild animal damages any structure of your home, which includes its foundation, frame, flooring and windows, roofing, fireplace chimneys, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems, built-in fixtures, built-in appliances or an attached garage.
- If the wild animal damage is unforeseen, your homeowners insurance can mostly cover the cost of repairs.
- If the wild animal makes your home unlivable, you could also file an additional living expense claim.
Perils covered by an insurance policy have their limitations. For example, your homeowners insurance policy will not cover animal damage to your home if the destruction is caused by your pet. It also doesn't cover your personal belongings. Ultimately, it’s wise to review your policy details and talk to your insurer.
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Animal Damages?
There are several instances when homeowners insurance does not cover animal damage. Pet damage and avoidable wild animal damage from rodents, squirrels, termites and other wild animals fall under this category.
Detached structures are also not protected in the event of damage caused by a covered peril. Keep in mind that your insurance policy should be used only in case of emergencies or accidents and not for routine maintenance.
How to Protect Yourself From Animal Damages
Having the best homeowners insurance will protect you financially, but you'll be even better off if you can prevent animal damage altogether. Home damage prevention can be achieved by maximizing security, cleaning up and doing minimal repairs. MoneyGeek outlines preventative measures you can implement to avoid dealing with damage from animals.
Check Your Property
Check for signs of animal activity under sheds and outbuildings. Also, look for burrows. Make sure that all pipe entrances, as well as cables like TV aerials, are in good condition. Make sure there are no cracks or holes where animals can get in.
The best way to prevent wild animals like bears and deer from damaging your home is to invest in security measures such as installing a fence and staying vigilant.
The presence of food and clutter provides rodents and pests with food and materials to build nests, which is why it's important to clean all rooms and surfaces if you want to prevent infestations. In addition, holes and damages in your home can allow rodents to enter. If you notice any damages after an inspection, make sure you fix them as soon as possible. If necessary, seek professional assistance.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
Almost every major insurance company, like State Farm, as well as smaller ones, such as Lemonade, offers home insurance. The average monthly premium for homeowners insurance is $175 per month.
Costs can differ between companies. It is important to shop around and compare home insurance policies to make sure you are getting the best deal for your needs. For a better idea of how much coverage you might need, use the personal property calculator below.
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