Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage from Rodents or Insects?

Written by April Weismann on 05/19/2021 10:12 AM in Homeowners Insurance,. Personal Insurance.

Homeowners insurance policies offer protection against a wide range of risks, but unfortunately, rodent and insect infestations aren’t typically included. Here’s a look at what homeowners policies often do cover -- and what you can do if rodents or insects take up residence in your New Hampshire home.

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If Rodents or Insects Infest My New Hampshire Home, Am I Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners Insurance Offers Varying Levels of Protection

The risks that homeowners insurance policies protect against are often called “perils” within the insurance industry, and policies offer varying levels of protection against perils. Precisely what a particular policy covers is determined by that policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions. In general, though, most homeowner's policies can be categorized as follows.

Homeowners insurance is written as either “named perils” or “open perils” policies. The former normally protects against only those perils listed within the policy, while the latter usually covers any perils that aren’t listed in the policy as exclusions. Open perils policies tend to offer more comprehensive coverage than named-perils policies do.

If you are not sure what type of policy you have, ask your agent.  At HPM Insurance, we rarely write a policy with named perils and only do so if no other option is available.  (For instance, if a residence needs repair and does not qualify for open perils.)

If you’re interested in coverage for a specific peril, a knowledgeable insurance agent can point you toward the type of homeowners policy that will best protect against that risk (assuming the peril can be covered).

All Types of Homeowners Policies Usually Exclude Rodents and Insects

Despite the varying levels of protection that different types of homeowners' policies afford, they all typically exclude damage from rodent or insect infestations. Even the most comprehensive policies usually exclude animal problems like this, and they exclude both damage from individual animals (e.g., a single rat or raccoon) and large infestations (e.g., numerous mice or cockroaches).

The underlying reason for such exclusions is that a cause of loss typically has to be sudden and accidental.  Extensive damage caused by a rodent or insect does not usually happen overnight but rather over time.  This is why it is important to inspect all areas of your home to ensure you don't have any unexpected squatters. Here is an infographic of which animals cause the most damage to your home.

To help combat or prevent rodent and insect infestations, New Hampshire homeowners should contact an experienced exterminator that serves their part of the state, like JP Pest Services. An exterminator will know how to best remove or dispose of any current infestation, and they can also help deter animals from returning in the future.

For those who desire ongoing service, some exterminators offer a preventative plan. These plans can be beneficial to prevent an infestation or when homeowners want added assurance against this potential problem.

What if I Own a NH Condominium or Am a Tenant?

If you are a condo owner, your condominium policy would also not likely cover any damage caused by insects or rodents, nor would the association's master policy.  That said, you should notify the condo association to ensure measures are taken to address the problem, as there is never just one mouse or bug.  If you see an issue, it is only a matter of time before your neighbors do as well.

If you are a renter, you still want to notify your landlord to take care of the issue. Sometimes just some small traps will do the trick, but if not, your landlord may have to take more aggressive measures.

Contact the Right New Hampshire Professional for Help

If you need help combatting a rodent or insect infestation, call a professional exterminator in your region of New Hampshire. When you have an insurance issue that you need assistance with, contact us at HPM Insurance. Our knowledgeable, independent agents can assist with many matters related to homeowners insurance and other types of insurance. We’re pretty useless when there’s a critter in the house, though.

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