Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Raccoon Removal?

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.

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Various insurance companies handle coverage of removal or damage by raccoons and other animals like birds, bats, mice, and squirrels in different ways. If you live in North America you are likely to see plenty of raccoons, as they thrive all across this area, and while undeniably cute, they can be responsible for a lot of damage to the structure of your home. That’s why in most cases homeowners insurance will cover raccoon removal.

This enables you to enlist the services of a raccoon removal specialist to eliminate them from your property. In fact, most wild animal damage is covered under homeowners insurance and this comprises all mammals. However, rats and squirrels are labeled as “vermin” by insurance agencies (and therefore will not be covered). Since raccoons are considered to be wild animals, you will be covered by your homeowners insurance.

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Advice on Filing a Claim

If your homeowners insurance company should reject your claim at first, don’t surrender easily. Not all insurance agencies supply equal reimbursement for all types of animal damage, but continue to fight on even if you are at first rejected. Regardless of what your insurance agent says, the company may wind up paying out anyway if you’re patient and follow the required procedures in a determined fashion.

One excellent way of persuading your insurance company to cover raccoon damage is by hiring a raccoon removal company that will survey the damage caused and write up a report for your insurance agency. This will greatly raise your chances of having the agency pay for the damage.

Is Raccoon Damage Covered by All Homeowners Insurance Companies? 

Ordinarily, your homeowners insurance plan will cover damage caused by wild animals, and that includes raccoons. Even if the claim is at first denied, the decision can be reversed by giving the company a signed statement from a raccoon removal expert.

Then your insurance will pay all damage to the home’s structure like the walls, roof, foundation, and patio. Basically, this is the rule and you can discuss the matter with your insurance agent to learn if wild animal damage for personal property is part of your policy.

The rules are different when it comes to damage done to personal property. Normally personal property is not covered if it is a wild animal that damaged it. So possessions like electronics, furniture, clothes, etc., are not covered and you will not receive compensation for their loss.

There is one and only exception to structural coverage and there is if you have a specific exclusion clause written in your policy that says that wild animals are not covered. If your insurer has determined that you are not to be compensated for damage done by a wild animal such as a raccoon, then ask your insurance company to reconsider. Essentially, insurance companies are more apt to cover the removal if the expenses are extremely high.

How to File a Claim for Damage Caused by Raccoons

It is the job of the removal company you hire to trap the raccoon and clean up the damaged area. This comprises decontamination and repairs. So hire a removal company even before you speak with your insurance agent. Unfortunately, raccoons don’t live up to their cute appearance and can be very dangerous to your family and can inflict a great deal of damage on your home, enough to actually lower your property value. This is why it’s essential to have them captured and removed as soon as possible.

Then contact your insurance agent and request a claim number. If your agent informs you that raccoon removal is not covered by your insurance policy, you should automatically see a flashing red light. Raccoons are handled as a gray area by many insurance companies and they sometimes misinform you on purpose in order to not have to pay your claim. It may take a little while, but as long as you have patience and fortitude, you can win out eventually.

It is not uncommon for many insurance companies to have exclusion clauses for raccoons. They are aware that property values fall radically if there is raccoon damage that can not be repaired. Raccoons can do a lot of damage and the insurance agency will have to pay for it if they refuse to reimburse you for raccoon damage.

Preventing Raccoon Damage

It is relatively easy to prevent raccoon damage by eliminating their food sources and restricting access to your property. If you have raccoons that are in a den or trapped raccoons, call a professional removal service to safely take them away.

So there you have it. You can pretty much depend on the fact that in most instances your homeowners insurance will cover raccoon removal and damage. They may fight you on it at first, partly just for the sake of giving you a hard time because they know that in court they will lose, but if you preserve calmly and patiently, you will eventually overcome their resistance and be reimbursed for your losses.

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.