Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Raccoon Damage?

Raccoons are one of the most common animals to cause damage to homes, and their mischievous nature means that they can cause a lot of destruction in a short amount of time.

Most standard homeowners insurance policy typically cover raccoon damage to the structure of your home. Examples of covered structural damage includes roofs and attics.

However, homeowners are normally responsible for repairing or replacing personal items — such as clothing, electronics and furniture — that are damaged by raccoons.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Raccoon Damage?

While most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover certain types of raccoon damage, it’s always best to check with your specific insurer to be sure — and keep in mind that there may be some exceptions or exclusions in your policy.

If you do find yourself dealing with raccoon damage, contact your insurance agent right away to start the claims process.

Homeowners Insurance “Vermin Exclusion”

Damage caused by rodents and vermin, like mice, is not always covered by insurance policies. And while raccoons are not rodents, if your insurance provider has a vermin exclusion clause in your policy that lists raccoons, then your policy will not pay for the damages caused by raccoons. 

Raccoon and other small animals such as skunks, opossums, squirrels, birds, bats, and mice are treated differently by each insurance carrier.

And damage caused by raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and mice, may not be covered if they are considered “vermin” by your homeowners insurance provider.

It is important to remember that every homeowners insurance policy is different. Some will cover raccoon damage and some will not. It is important to read over your policy carefully so that you know what is and is not covered.

Homeowners should carefully review their insurance policy’s vermin exclusion section to see if they have coverage that protects them against damage caused by raccoons. 

In the meantime, take steps to prevent raccoon damage by making your home less inviting to them.

Type of raccoon damage

Raccoons are one of the most common animals to cause damage to houses. They can break into attics, tear up shingles, and even gnaw through wiring.

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage caused by raccoons, as long as the policyholder has “dwelling coverage.”

This type of coverage protects the physical structure of the home, as well as any attached structures, like a garage or deck.

Most homeowners policies will cover damage caused by animals, but there may be some exceptions.

For example, if the animal damage is due to your negligence (such as not repairing a hole in your roof that the raccoon used to get in), then your insurance may not cover it.

Raccoon damage to personal property

Say your policy does cover raccoon damage. Your insurer must pay for the cost to fix the structural damage caused by the raccoon, such as holes in the drywall or chewed up electrical wiring.

It does not, however, have to compensate you for personal property damage. If the raccoon chewed through your storage containers to get to your keepsakes, you may be out of luck.

The same is true if the raccoon blood, urine, and feces ruined clothing, furniture, or other items of value. Animal damage from secretions or waste are typically excluded from standard homeowners insurance coverage. Under the 2011 ISO policy (HO 00 05 05 11). 

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage caused by animals, but there are some exceptions. Be sure to check with your insurer to see if they cover raccoon damage before making a claim.

Raccoon damage to cars

Raccoons can also cause considerable damage to your vehicle — even if it’s parked in your driveway. While home insurance won’t cover this type of animal damage, your auto insurance policy may pay for repairs if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage.

A comprehensive auto policy can help protect your car from wildlife damage.

When raccoons cause damage to your car, the comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance may pay for damages.

A comprehensive auto policy may protect your vehicle from damage caused by wildlife damage. Buying a comprehensive auto insurance policy is a worthwhile investment.

Does homeowners insurance cover professional raccoon removal services?

If you’re dealing with a raccoon problem, the best thing to do is to call a professional wildlife removal company. They will be able to safely remove the raccoon from your property and repair any damage that has been done.

If you do have coverage for animal damage, you will likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance kicks in. Deductibles can range from $250 to $1,000, so it’s important to know what yours is before you file a claim.

It’s always best to check with your insurance company to see what is and is not covered under your policy.

How to file a homeowners insurance claim for raccoon damage

If you’re dealing with raccoon damage on your property, the first thing you should do is check your homeowners insurance policy. Once you’ve verified that your policy covers raccoon damage, you can start the claims process.

Be sure to document the damage thoroughly and have repair estimates ready to submit to your insurer. With a little help from your insurance company, you can soon have your property back in tip-top shape.

There are a few things you can do to get your claim approved:

  • Provide proof that the damage was caused by a raccoon. This can be difficult, as raccoons are often nocturnal and can be hard to catch in the act. However, if you have security footage or witness testimony, this may help your case.
  • Show that you took steps to prevent the damage. If you can demonstrate that you had raccoon-proofing measures in place (such as sealing up entry points to your home), this may help your claim.

How to get homeowners insurance to pay for raccoon damage

If you tried to file a claim and were rejected, you can request a rejection letter from the insurance company. The letter should state the specific reason as to why your claim was denied.

In this document, there might be phrases like “vermin” which do not hold up in court. The courts do not recognize raccoons as vermin and that is why a written response will suffice to the agent.

Claims for animal damage should not be given up on, even if initially rejected.

You can improve your chances of getting your insurer to cover the cost of raccoon damage by having a company inspect your home and provide a report to the insurance company about what happened.

If you have questions about whether your homeowners insurance will cover raccoon damage, contact an insurance adjuster or lawyer that specializes in homeowner insurance.

If you’re still having trouble getting your claim approved, you may need to consult with a lawyer who specializes in insurance claims. They can help you understand your policy and determine the best way to proceed.

Raccoon Damage FAQs

How do I know if my policy covers raccoon damage?

Most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover certain types of raccoon damage. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurer to be sure. They can let you know if you need to purchase additional coverage or make any changes to your policy.

What kind of damage can raccoons cause?

Raccoons can cause a lot of different types of damage to your property. They may tear up your landscaping in search of food, dig through your trash cans, or even enter your home through an opening such as a hole in the roof. Once inside, they can cause serious damage, such as chewing on electrical wires or tearing up insulation.

How much does it cost to repair raccoon damage?

If you have raccoon damage on your property, the cost of repairs will depend on the extent of the damage. If the damage is minor, you may be able to repair it yourself. However, if the damage is severe, you may need to hire a professional to do the repairs. The average cost to repair raccoon damage is $500.

How can I prevent raccoon damage?

There are several steps you can take to prevent raccoon damage:

  • Keep your trash cans securely lidded to prevent raccoons from rummaging through them.
  • Remove any food sources that might attract raccoons to your property, such as pet food or bird seed.
  • Seal off any openings that might provide access to your home, such as gaps in the foundation or openings under eaves.
  • If you have pet doors, keep them locked when not in use.

What should I do if I find a raccoon on my property?

If you find a raccoon on your property, the best thing to do is to call your local wildlife removal company. They will be able to safely and humanely remove the animal from your property. If there is damage to your home or property, your homeowners insurance should cover the repairs.

How can I tell if a raccoon has been on my property?

There are several signs that you can look for that may indicate a raccoon has been on your property: tracks in the mud or snow, chewed up food wrappers or containers, damaged insulation, or holes in your roof or soffit.

Do I need to be worried about rabies if a raccoon is on my property?

Yes, you should always be cautious if you come into contact with any wild animal since they can carry diseases. If you are bitten or scratched by a raccoon, you should seek medical attention and contact your local animal control agency. There is always the potential for rabies exposure when wild animals are involved. If you have concerns about rabies exposure, please contact your local health department or animal control agency.

The Bottom Line

Raccoon damage is a common problem for homeowners. Read over your policy carefully so that you know what is and is not covered.

If you have any questions, be sure to contact your agent so that they can clarify things for you.

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