Can My Home Be Insured for Damages Caused by Wildlife?

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Massachusetts is home to many interesting animal species. Unfortunately, many of these creatures can cause big problems in and around your house. Animals like bears and beavers, specifically, can deal some serious damage to your property. Understand the measures you can take to prevent conflicts with wild animals, as well as how your insurance covers your home for the resulting damages.

Property Damage by Black Bears

Some of the most common home casualties of black bears are siding, screen doors, and windows, most commonly in sunrooms. This usually occurs in attempts to get into the house when they smell food inside. They have also been known to strip the siding off homes in pursuit of bugs or other prey underneath. Most policies will cover the replacement of your siding, though the stripping could be an indication that you have harmful pests like termites or carpenter ants in your walls.

How to Keep Bears Away

Bears will usually stay away from residences unless enticed by a food source. Having a bird feeder in your yard or leaving food outside for pets is probably going to attract them and other unwanted wildlife to your property. You can take these precautions as well as other tips from in order to prevent conflicts with black bears.

Problems with Beavers

One of the most common concerns of beavers on your property is the possibility of them gnawing a tree down onto your home. From an insurance standpoint, this should be treated no different than if the tree fell on its own. Homeowners insurance should cover it. One beaver problem often overlooked is the flooding caused by their dams. As long as you are covered for flood damage under your homeowners insurance, the beavers’ involvement will not void your coverage.

How to Protect Your Home From Beavers

In order to prevent beavers’ access to your shrubs and trees, you could construct a fence around your property to keep them out. MassWildlife recommends certain specifications for the fence to maximize effectiveness. The fence won’t protect you from flooding though. For that, you could have a water level control device installed through the Problem Animal Control agency. Often times, the most cost-effective way to prevent beaver damage is to simply have the animals relocated from the area by a professional.

Rodents in Your Home

Mice, squirrels, and other rodents are the most common type of wildlife damage that affects homeowners. They get in the walls through holes in the property’s siding or interior and wreak havoc on your home. These animals have the tendency to chew on wires in the walls which could lead to an electrical fire in your home.

Rodent Damage is Generally Not Covered

In many cases, damage caused by rodents is not covered under homeowners insurance, because it is often difficult to prove when the damage occurred. However, in the event they do something like chew through a wire and start an electrical fire, the involvement of rodents in the cause does not negate your coverage. Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the cost of the fire.

How to Prevent Rodents in Your Home

These pests usually get inside through small holes or cracks in the exterior of your home. The best way to save yourself from pest damage is to simply plug common entry points like under the siding or cracks in the foundation with an industrial or commercial sealant.

The technicalities of wildlife damages to your home can get confusing, allow the TJ Woods Insurance Agency to clear them up for you. Contact us with any questions about what your homeowners policy covers and speak with one of our experts. We will walk you through all sorts of scenarios and offer you a free quote.