Does Your Insurer Impact The Coverage You Need

Does Your Insurer Impact The Coverage You Need?

Imagine you come home one day to see a raccoon climb out of your attic vent and scurry down a tree. You hurry inside to investigate and find that the raccoon has done considerable damage to your attic. Will your homeowner’s insurance pay to fix it? Coverage varies.

What’s Covered?

Homeowner’s insurance generally covers damage to the structure of your home from things like fires and storms. If lightning strikes your home, the damage will be covered. Similarly, if a tree falls on your roof, your insurance will pay to fix it.

When you get beyond the basics, though, coverage varies. Insurers may cover different amounts of damage. They may also offer additional coverage that can be added to your policy. Often, homeowners don’t realize some damage isn’t covered until after it has already occurred.

Floods and Sewage

Most areas of the country are prone to storms. Although lightning damage is covered by standard policies, if the same storm causes your basement to flood, the damage to your basement will not be covered.

Along the same lines, if flooding causes your sump pump to fail or sewage to back up into your house, that’s usually not covered by standard policies either.

If you live in an area where flooding occurs, even infrequently, it’s a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Many insurers also offer coverage for sewer backup. Paying a small fee now helps you avoid footing the entire bill for cleanup later.


Like floods, earthquakes are often left out of standard homeowner’s policies. If earthquakes are a concern where you live, it’s smart to purchase coverage that will allow you to repair damage or rebuild your home if necessary.


Mold is a serious problem that can damage the structural integrity of your home. It also poses a health hazard to you and your family. Unfortunately, the coverage provided by insurers varies widely.

Some insurers only cover mold if it is caused by specific perils listed in your policy. Others offer more broad coverage that pays for mold damage unless the cause is explicitly excluded.

Coverage for mold is often confusing, and many insurers attempt to exclude it altogether. It’s wise to ask your agent about specific scenarios to get an idea of what is covered under the policy you’re considering.


If we return to the scenario this post opened with, the good news is because it was a raccoon, there’s a good chance the damage is covered. However, there are exceptions. If your insurer finds that the raccoon was nesting in your attic for a prolonged period of time and you made no attempts to block its access, you may not be covered.

Unlike damage from raccoons, rodent damage is virtually never covered. If you have a rat, mouse, or squirrel problem, odds are you’re on your own. In contrast, if a deer crashes into your bay window or a bear pulls your door open and raids your cabinets, you’re probably covered.

When it comes to damage from animals, the damage usually needs to have happened in a single event. If it happened over time, your insurer may say you could have taken steps to prevent the damage.

If you live in a wooded area, where wildlife is plentiful, we recommend talking to your insurance agent to see what types of animal damage are covered by your policy.

ECOS has over a decade of experience working with insurance companies to get our clients covered. Whether you’re experiencing damage from water, animals, mold, or fire, we are happy to help you navigate the often-confusing process of getting insurance claims approved.

In the event that damage is not covered by your insurer, ECOS will work with you on the most cost-effective method of cleaning and restoring your home to a healthy environment. If your home has been damaged, don’t wait for problems to get worse. Call ECOS today.

How to Go About Cleaning Up After a Critter Invasion

Wildlife should stay outside, but they don’t. Mice, squirrels, raccoons, bats and birds decide to take up residence inside in search of warmth, shelter and food. Nesting materials, food, oil, urine and droppings also create a draw for insects as well as encourage other critters to intrude upon your sanctuary. Before you know it, you end up with a critter invasion.

However, wildlife also has a tendency to roast in places that are hard to reach.  That makes it unsafe and unsanitary for home and business owners to DIY the issue. How do you go about cleaning up after critters enter your home or business?

Cleanup Assessment of a Critter Invasion

First, you need to send the professional wildlife technicians where the animals retreat. You must know what level of damage and contamination exist in order to know what the cleanup process will entail. For example, technicians will investigate the building materials and insulation in the attic and follow up with repair recommendations for your approval.

Some areas, such as crawl spaces, present safety and health hazards to owners wanting to assess structures for damage on their own. Grab your flashlight, mask, gloves, old clothes and sturdy boots to take a peek. For a deeper investigation, please call in the experts to protect your health.

Clearing Out and Cleaning Up After a Critter Invasion

The waste and damage left behind by animals can be hard to reach and difficult to handle for the standard vacuum cleaner. Sure, you could try to create a DIY biohazard suit, thinking that duct tape and heavy-duty garbage bags will do, but they won’t do.

It’s not safe to touch animal waste, and you can also breathe in the dust of animal droppings that may spread disease. Many owners will attempt to DIY critter cleanup because they fear it will cost too much money to hire experts. However, insurance typically covers damage done by raccoons and other wildlife. In the case that insurance is an issue, quality providers like ECOS Environmental will make the effort to provide cost-effective solutions for critter cleanup.

ECOS Environmental utilizes industry-leading equipment and techniques to clear out contaminated materials and make repairs. Advanced trade vacuums and breathing equipment allow us to get into those hard to reach places safely and efficiently. You don’t waste money on clean up gear you don’t need. You can focus on your life while the experts take care of the problem.

The cleanup process consists of what you would expect on the surface: removing damaged and soiled building materials, sanitizing, deodorizing and vacuuming. But to truly make your space livable and safe, serious restoration and prevention efforts must be put into effect. Rather than spraying Febreeze around the attic, ECOS Environmental would use an enzyme-based or other specialized cleaners to break down organic matter while deodorizing the area.

You need more than surface clean up and repair. Animals respond strongly to scent. Trace amounts of droppings can and will draw more critters back into entry points that have not been sealed. Then, you are back to square one and end up spending more money. Get vents, ductwork and insulation repaired or replaced. Seal up access points that critters can slip through and get into your building.

Professional Cleanup and Prevention Is Key

Raccoons, squirrels and mice sneak into businesses or homes for shelter. They may take up residence in an open chimney or inside walls, as well as in the attic, deck or porch. As you clean your gutters and do other household maintenance chores, make sure you make efforts to wildlife-proof the building and check for unexpected access points or damage.

Start with the foundation and look for signs of activity from animals. Any exit points for cables, pipes and vents present prospective entry points for wildlife. Also, look at where various building materials join, such as dryer exhaust vents, gaps in brick or window wells. Seal holes that are only a few inches wide with caulk or expandable foam.

You also don’t want to seal critters in with your wildlife proofing efforts. Place a cloth or loose insulation over suspect entry points before you seal up the holes. If you notice the materials have moved, then you will want to contact the professionals to further investigate.

ECOS Environmental has over 13 years of experience in critter cleanup and animal waste removal. Contact us for a cost-effective critter cleanup assessment of your space today.


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