Does homeowners insurance cover damage from a wild animal?

Last updated: December 2021

When a wild animal damages a structure on your property, your homeowners insurance may provide some coverage under its dwelling or other structures protection. Suppose a deer runs into your patio door — the damage may be covered by your dwelling protection. Meanwhile, the other structures coverage in a homeowners insurance policy helps protect structures on your property that aren't connected to your home, such as a fence, shed or detached garage. So if that deer damages part of your fence, the other structures coverage in a homeowners insurance policy may help with the costs of repairs.

You may want to review your policy's deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. You may also want to review your coverage limit, which is the maximum amount of coverage your policy provides, so that you understand how much protection you have in place should a wild animal damage your property.

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Does a homeowners insurance policy exclude certain types of animal damage?

While physical damage caused by a wild animal to your home or other structures on your property may be covered by a homeowners insurance policy, this coverage typically won't extend to animal damage to your personal property. For example, if a raccoon wreaks havoc in your garage, homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs to the structure, but damage to the items you've stored inside the garage typically won't be covered. So, if the raccoon damages a wall, your homeowners insurance policy may help pay for new drywall, but if it the critter chews through the wiring on your lawn mower, your policy will probably not help with the cost of repairing or replacing it.

Does homeowners insurance cover raccoon damage?

If a raccoon wreaks havoc in your garage or attic, homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs to the structure. But, damage to the items you've stored inside the garage or attic typically won't be covered.

So, if the raccoon damages a wall, your homeowners insurance policy may help pay for new drywall, but if it the critter chews through the wiring on your lawn mower, your policy will probably not help with the cost of repairing or replacing it.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage by small animals?

Damage to your home or other structures from insects, rodents (for example, rats, mice, squirrels and chipmunks) or birds is usually not covered by a standard homeowners policy (although a window broken by a bird may be an exception). Animal infestations and damage from animal waste or secretions are also generally excluded from homeowners coverage. Should an opossum (or any other member of the rodent family) take up residence in your attic, homeowners insurance is not likely to help pay for removal, cleanup or repairs to any damage it leaves behind.

Keep in mind that homeowners insurance policies also typically do not provide coverage for damage to your property caused by a pet or other domestic animal, such as a pig, cow or chicken. So, if Rover chews his way through a door, your insurance company most likely won't cover the cost of a replacement.

It's a good idea to review your homeowners policy to see what kind of coverage it may provide if a wild animal damages your property. If you have any questions, talk to your insurance provider.