Question:“My friends and I had a discussion about animals and insurance. One of my friends said that if my pug happened to destroy her cell phone by chewing on it, while she was having supper at my house, my policy would cover the damage. Another friend said that if I were to catch bed bugs or if a racoon wrecked my roof, these incidences wouldn’t be covered under my home insurance policy. Are they both right?”
Your friends are indeed right, but you’re not wrong to find the issue confusing! Animals and insurance is a complex subject and it’s often dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In this posting, we’ll offer a few hints and explanations. If you have more specific questions, you should call us and talk with a certified insurance agent.
Fido and Felix
Your dog and cat are covered in certain situations under your home insurance policy, which includes damage that your pets may cause to your belongings or to other people. The latter (but not least important) point pertains to personal liability. To find out if your insurance policy is right for your specific needs, we advise you to contact your insurer.
Ants, racoons and rodents–oh my!
Your insurance policy doesn’t cover the damage ants, racoons and rodents can cause. This includes damage caused by all insects. So in this case, prevention is the best policy!
Consult an exterminator: They can give you advice about what steps to take or treatments to apply. Some associations can give you tips, such as the Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario (SPMAO), the Association québécoise de la gestion parasitaire (AQGP) and the Pest Management Association of Alberta (PMAA).
Protect your home from intruders: Regarding racoons, they are renowned for their ingenious methods of obtaining access to food—and for the damage they can cause to your home! Block all the access points to your house, including the roof: that can mean trimming trees so animals can’t use its branches to access the roof. To avoid attracting rodents, make your garbage and your compost critter-proof. Make sure that any accessible window is equipped with solid screens and that pipes and interstices don’t serve as corridors for vermin.
Don’t play host to pest animals: Make sure your yard is fenced off, so that it doesn’t become a haven for all sorts of undesirable creatures. Put stones around your shed to prevent a skunk from digging out a den there, for instance. If you discover that an unwelcome animal has set up house there, contact your City or your Borough for information about what to do and which organizations to call for assistance.
If you are concerned about a possible infestation of insects, rodents or other animals, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected by a professional!
Farms, breeders and other animal-related businesses
Your personal home insurance policy doesn’t cover commercial activities involving animals. If you earn revenue from that type of activity, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can assess the situation and advise you of your best option.