Property coverage forms have a variety of exclusions within them. One of the more common exclusions involves animals, insects, birds, bats and rodents.
Every year we receive loss notices dealing with animal or insect infestation and intrusion. The damage can be disproportionate given the size of the critters commonly at fault. It doesn’t take long for an insect infestation to cause rapid decay and deterioration of a wooden beams, studs and foundations. Nor will a family of squirrels or raccoons waste time leaving unpleasant waste issues, safety concerns and destruction to your insulation, siding and building structure.
We encourage you to add a critter clause to you maintenance handbook. Your property inspection should include a level of animal and insect awareness. If it is evident that you have a problem, please seek professional help to deal any unwanted visitors. The professional fee is a wise investment compared to the out-of-pocket expense when you have to remedy animal related damage.
Potential warning signs include:
- Animal droppings in unusual places.
- Strange sounds coming from the walls, attic or roof.
- Unusual and unpleasant odors.
- At ground level, an area which appears to have been torn, chewed or ripped away may indicate a potential point of entry.
- At roof level, a tree branch which overhangs the building can provide a freeway of convenience for critters. With little effort they can scamper onto your roof and into your attic or walls by gaining access through soffits, vents, etc.
- Look for even the very tiny holes and cracks that provide critters like bats and mice an easy point of entry.
Again, if you suspect you have an infestation or animal intrusion issue, please call a professional to get a plan of action in place. They are trained and properly educated on how to handle these situations successfully and safely.