Does Home Insurance Cover Damage From Rat Invasions?


Even though there are people who have rats as pests, most consider these rodents as vermin that can do a lot of damage to property. These animals can easily chew through wood and plastic, wrecking walls, baseboards, foundations, as well as pipe, gas and drainage systems. Rats are highly capable of destroying homes. There have even been documented reports of rat damage being the cause of house fires and explosions. Because of this, a lot of homeowners want to insure their properties from rat attacks. How?

home insurance on rat invasion

First, the usual home insurance policy will not cover for damages due to infestation. This is why it’s important for people to read the fine print on their policies to check what sort of coverage they can avail of. If a policy does not cover damage from infestation, as most insurers do not offer such coverage, a person can ask if the insurer will add this to his current policy. This will be an add-on cover, also called a rider, which will cost more in terms of insurance premiums. But adding say $5 or $10 more to a regular policy in order to get infestation coverage is alright especially if a property is situated in an area where rat or vermin infestations are regularly reported. It’s still important to see what sort of coverage is included. Some insurers, for instance, will only pay for the cost of hiring pest control professionals to get rid of rats but will not cover property damage.

Because insurance premiums that include coverage for infestations can be a bit costly for some, it deters them from getting additional protection. But there are ways to reduce premiums without having to give up infestation insurance. People can trim down premiums by:

  • Knowing what a policy coversA person can ask his insurer if it is acceptable to dispense with insurance that he does not need. For example, it is not prudent to include earthquake insurance if a property is located far away from fault lines or earthquake zones. By being thorough and a bit nitpicky about what sort of coverage is preferred, a person will save money by only paying for insurance that will surely benefit him.
  • Increasing home securityAdding home security gadgets, like surveillance cameras or motion sensors, can reduce insurance costs. In general, before a company insures a home, an agent takes a look at the place and inquires about security features. It’s expected that he will ask about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other safety gadgets that are installed to increase home security. The more secure a home is, the lower the quote is for home insurance.
  • Merging all policiesWhen an individual combines all his policies and get them from one insurer, he may get a discount.
  • Comparing insurers and checking out offered discountsIf an insurance policy does not cover infestations, a homeowner can avail of the services of another insurer. Before deciding on an insurer, it’s important to compare prices and coverage offered. There are also companies that offer discounts. So, people should watch out for those as well.

Rats aren’t the only pests around that could greatly damage a home. There are also termites, mice, and other sorts of vermin and bugs. When infestations occur, homeowners are often left to pay for very costly repairs. This is why it’s important to insure homes from infestations, especially for residences that are vulnerable to such occurrences.


The writer, Claire Brent, blogs for different pest control companies. She is a freelance writer who specializes in rat control.


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