Will homeowners insurance pay for damage caused by rats?

Damage caused by rats can hurt a household significantly. Rats can endanger your health and damage the materials on your house. Rats can damage floors, roofs, attics and basements.

A large number of people gets tricked, every year, into buying a property that is already infested with rats. Even though that people involved in such a shady transaction are considered to be legally responsible for damages that could emerge later, homeowners are, most often, left to handle the expenses of fixing the damage that rats have caused on their homes, all by themselves.

The damage rats can cause can be overwhelmingly expensive, and more and more homeowners seek the help of their insurance to cover the costs of repairing the damage.

Rats are capable of chewing through walls and damaging electrical wiring. Rat feces can also damage floors and walls, and proper sanitation after rat removal could be quite costly.

For all of these reasons, you might want your insurance to handle the costs of fixing the damage rats have caused. However, you will most likely never be able to get a satisfactory answer from your insurance provider. But, why is that?

In the eyes of insurance providers, homeowners themselves are responsible for maintaining their properties and protecting them from pest invasion. Homeowners are expected to maintain proper hygiene of the property to avoid attracting pests. Homeowners are also expected to properly maintain properties and not allow any pests to gain access to their home. Last, but not the least, homeowners are expected to handle the pest removal on their own.

But, isn’t there just any chance to claim insurance for damage caused by rats? In some cases, insurance providers might find that the homeowner wasn’t responsible for the infestation, and make a decision in their favor. But, how this happens?

In case that you have bought your home recently, and that it was already infested with rats, everyone involved in your purchase is considered legally responsible for the damage you were caused. For this reason, insurance providers, although less likely, sometimes make an exception. However, chances for that are quite slim. Therefore, it is recommended to inspect, very carefully, the estate you are planning on buying. It is nowhere unusual for the interested clients to hire the pest control expert to inspect the property. This is, by far, a very smart investment, which could prove to be valuable in the years to come.

Carefully inspect the circumstances that have led to your damages, and seek information about laws and regulations on this matter in your own state. Even though years could have passed since you have initially bought your estate, depending on the time that original infestation occurred, you might be able to get some help with solving your problem.

Go back to the How to get rid of rats home page.

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