A skunk enters your home and sprays the house. A raccoon gets into the garage and damages some of the items you're storing inside. What do you do in these situations?
Wild animals can be unpredictable, and notoriously difficult to manage. Fortunately, home insurance may be able to offer some help to you if they strike. If you are facing a significant loss from a wild animal encounter, you may be able to file a home insurance claim to help cover the damage.
Are All Animal Claims Covered?
If you take every step you can to protect your home and damage still occurs, your home insurance policy may be able to cover some of your losses. Home insurance will generally cover most types of animal damage – including that caused by an opossum, skunk, raccoon, bat, or bird. However, it usually does not cover pest infestations. It also does not cover damage caused by a rodent.
How to File a Claim for Animal Damage to Your Home
If you noticed damage from a wild animal, it's important that you act quickly. Do not allow the damage to become extensive.
As soon as you notice a problem with animal damage, call a professional to remove the animal. Then, make sure that your home is safe.
Survey the damage. Then, call your home insurance agent to file a claim. Do not clean or repair the damaged area before your agent or a claims representative inspects it. Many times, the agent or claims rep will come to your home to view the damage. Other time, you can send pictures of the damage to your agent.
Once your agent has documented the damage, they may recommend a professional to handle the repairs. You may also be able to get an estimate from a professional of your choosing.
Be sure to document each item that is damaged or lost. Estimate the value of those items. Your agent will give you an idea of what the value of the claim may be. In some situations, there may be a cap on the amount you can claim as a loss. Additionally, you will likely have to pay your deductible before your insurance kicks in to cover the remainder of the claim.
Animal damage is not uncommon. But with the help of your home insurance policy, you can recoup the value of any lost or damaged items and get your home repairs taken care of. Be sure your policy reflects the assets you own. This ensures that if your possessions are damaged, you'll have insurance protection for them. For more information on animal damage coverage, contact a Dean Heckle & Hill agent today.