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.
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.