The truth about bats and homeowners insurance

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Homeowners insurance probably won’t cover you for the removal of a bat colony in your attic or building. This is your responsibility, just as it was also your responsibility to make sure they didn’t get in, in the first place. Regular and thorough inspections of a property, either by you or someone hired to do the job, will pick up on potential bat or other nuisance wildlife problems very quickly, and can pinpoint potential entrance points before they even become one. If you do not perform regular inspections on your home, however, you WILL fall prey to wildlife interlopers, and bats are just one of the delights you can expect to come face to face with.

The cost of removing bats will lie at your feet, but you shouldn’t use the opportunity to cut corners. Hiring a cheap service will result in a job NOT completed to a good enough standard, and that means the problem will come right back. Except, next time, you won’t be prepared for it because you think the person you hired will have done a good enough job.

Luckily, bat removal services are usually not *too* expensive, depending on the extent of the infestation and damage caused. In some cases, long-term bat colonies in the attic can result in necessary repairs that can fall into the thousands of dollars to put right; sometimes, tens of thousands.

Will homeowners insurance cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by bats? Yes, but only in some cases. Many policies will state that the damage will only be covered if it has not been left for an unnecessarily long time. If you were to find out about a bat problem and leave it for six months before you finally decided to take a look and do something about, you probably wouldn’t be covered at all. Technically, the damage was a result of YOUR actions — you didn’t do anything about the bat colony in your attic, therefore, letting them cause as much damage as they like.

If you hire a professional to remove the bats, you will find that they will also come hand-in-hand with a service that damages are repaired, mess is cleared away, and prevention methods are put in place so that the bats can’t just reappear again. Using a professional will go a long way when making a claim — they will be insured if something happens to your home because of something that they did. If you don’t use an insured and licensed professional, you won’t be covered for anything else that happens.

If you are in any doubt as to what your homeowners insurance will cover as far as bats and bat damage is concerned, grab your policy and start reading the fine print. You may even find more information on the insurance company’s website, and if all else fails, you could just give them a call to find out where you stand.

Go back to the Bat Removal page, or learn about bats in the attic with my Bats in the Attic guide.

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