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Does car insurance cover rodent damage?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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Rodents can be a pain in your neck. But what happens if they get into the bonnet of your car? Rodents are known to burrow inside parked cars and gnaw on wiring. This will render the car dangerous to drive, if not impossible. Is your car insurance going to cover the cost of repairs if rodents damage your car? Will getting full coverage help?

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 Short answer: Yes. Rodent damage will be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. If you don’t, you will have to cover for the damage.

Does your car insurance cover damages caused by a rodent?

Comprehensive insurance will cover the damage caused by rodents like rats or mice that get inside your car. However, if you do not have comprehensive insurance, you will be responsible for the expense of the damage. Because let’s face it, the rodents aren’t going to pay for it.

Comprehensive insurance protects your car from various damages. These include damages caused by fire, extreme weather, vandalism, theft, falling items, and animal damage when it is not being driven. Rodents nibbling through your car’s electrical wiring aren’t always covered by comprehensive insurance. Check your policy and the specific terms of your comprehensive coverage to see if damage by a rodent is covered.

see if damage by a rodent is covered

Comprehensive coverage, unlike liability insurance, is not required in most states in the United States. Full coverage refers to a car insurance policy that covers liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. Before your insurance covers the balance of the cost of repairs, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible, which is normally $500 or $1000. You can normally pick your deductible: the lesser it is, the more your monthly premiums will be, and vice versa.

Unsure about your comprehensive coverage? Check your documents

Check your declarations page, which is a one-page summary of your policy. The types of coverage you have, as well as any deductibles you’ll have to pay, will be listed on your declaration page. Your declaration page is normally attached at the front of your policy. 

A typical full coverage car insurance policy contains the following features:

  • Bodily injury liability: If you injure someone in an accident, this element of your liability coverage compensates for their medical expenditures.
  • Property damage liability – The other component of liability coverage covers the cost of property damage you cause in an accident.
  • Medical payments – After an accident, medical expenditures for you or your passengers are covered.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – If you’re in an accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance, this policy will cover your expenses.
  • Comprehensive insurance – It covers damage to your car while you are not driving.
  • Collision insurance – It covers damage to your car during a car collision, regardless of who was at fault.

You will probably find the declaration sheet of your auto insurance company that offers a mobile app or an online site. You can also request a copy by calling your insurance company.

full coverage car insurance policy

Why do rodents chew your car wires?

Rodents like rats or mice chew on cars, trucks, and RV cables for no apparent reason. According to one popular idea, the cables mimic branches, and the animals believe they are chewing on wood. All rodents do this to wear down their teeth (rodent teeth grow consistently, similar to our fingernails. Thus, they must wear them down).

Another argument is that because car manufacturers have recently converted to soy-based wire casings, the animals consume them as they are edible. It has been proved otherwise. In 2018 a class-action lawsuit was filed against Toyota. The lawsuit alleged that the food-based wires are to blame for the rodent attack. The court found that the soy-based wiring isn’t the sole cause of rodent damage.

How to file a claim for rodent damage

The first step is to figure out what kind of damage your car has and how severe it is. Rodents like rats or mice can manifest damage in a variety of ways.  Your check engine light will light up, or your car will not start if mice have nibbled on the electrical wiring within your car. Even if there are indicators of rats in and around your car, such as droppings or paw prints, you should still take your car to a reputable technician to ensure that rodents are not the source of your problems. 

Contact your insurance company, either online or by phone, and inform them that rodents have damaged your car and that you intend to file a claim. 

Keep the following checklist before filing a claim:

  • Your policy number
  • Photo evidence of rodent damage
  • Details regarding your car’s storage location and when the damage occurred

The car insurance company will assign you an adjuster. They will provide you with instructions on what to do next. Save everything as you go through the claims process. The following should be with you:

  • Receipts.
  • Photos of the damage.
  • Any paperwork that can be useful during the claims procedure.

Your car insurance company most likely has a list of preferred repair businesses that you should use. While your insurer may not force you to use one of their authorized repair businesses, doing so can streamline the process and expedite your final payment.

rodents car insurance

Keep in mind that your insurance company will require confirmation of these precautions, so keep detailed records and present them to the car insurance company when you’re ready.

Tips to protect your car against rodents

The ideal situation is to avoid rodent damage in the first place. By following a few easy steps, you can help keep your car safe from squirrels and other rodents.

  • Close your garage properly – If you park your car in a garage, ensure sure it is well-sealed and that any holes or cracks are filled with sheet metal or steel mesh.
  • Clear the food particles away – Food attracts pests, so keep food sources away from your car and ensure your rubbish can is properly secured.
  • Use deterrents – Ultrasonic repellents create a high-frequency noise designed to keep rats away, so you might want to keep one in your garage. 
  • Drive your car frequently –Taking your car for a spin at least once a week might help keep it rodent-free. If you want to leave your car unattended for an extended period, consider purchasing a car cover to safeguard it.

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.

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