Does car insurance cowl cable-chewing rodents? – Bankrate.com
When you think about what it takes to keep a vehicle in good order, regular maintenance tasks like changing oil, topping up fluids, and turning your tires probably come to mind. However, one safety concern that you may not think about until it is already too late is preventing a potential rodent infestation. Small rodents such as mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks have been known to crawl into the hood of a vehicle and do serious damage by chewing on your vehicle's wiring.
If a rodent has been hiding in your hood and spending its time chewing through the wires, you could have a big problem with your hands. The wiring in your vehicle is essential for the proper operation of your vehicle, so repairing rodent damage to vehicle wiring can be very costly. With repairs so expensive, you may be wondering, “Can car insurance cover rodent damage?” Before you go to the mechanic with your checkbook in hand, be sure to check your insurance policy.
Does car insurance cover rodents that chew on wires?
Although details vary by policy, some auto insurance policies may cover rodent damage to vehicle wiring. If your policy includes full coverage, you may be eligible for rodent damage to your wiring. Fully comprehensive insurance is a type of insurance that can be added to your policy and covers vehicle damage that is not covered by collision insurance, i.e. H. Damage to your vehicle that was not caused by an accident.
Comprehensively covers vandalism, theft, weather damage, fire damage and damage caused by wildlife. While you'd likely expect full coverage to cover damage caused by hitting a larger animal like a deer, animals of all types and sizes, even rodents, are insured. Although a certified mechanic must confirm that rodents caused the damage, repairs for rodents chewing through your car cables should be covered by a comprehensive claim.
Do I have comprehensive insurance coverage?
Before attempting to file damages for rodents chewing car cords, the first thing you need to do is confirm that you have comprehensive insurance coverage. The quickest way to confirm this coverage is to check the insurance returns page. Some insurers call this coverage “comprehensive”, while others call it “apart from collision protection”. This coverage usually applies a deductible, but not all carriers require one. If you are still unsure, you can always call your insurance agent to check.
Why do rodents chew on car cables?
Pest control companies state that rodents chew on car cables simply because they chew all the time. Rodents' teeth are constantly growing, and in order to keep them from getting too long or too sharp, rodents have to chew constantly to wear off their teeth. For a long time, many people believed that vehicle wiring contained materials that rodents liked to chew, but that's just a myth. If a rodent has already settled in your hood, the reason it chews through your wires is for sheer convenience – the wires are right there and easily accessible for them.
How to protect your car from rodents
While you know your full coverage can cover rodent-caused damage, rest assured, it is easier to avoid the hassle of rodent damage in the first place. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent rodents from crawling into the hood of your car and causing destruction.
- Park inside. If your home has one, always park your car in a sealed garage. Make sure to keep the exterior doors closed as often as possible and avoid storing trash cans, pet food, bird seed, or any other item that could attract rodents in the garage.
- Keep your car clean. Trash, food packaging, and other debris that could serve as a source of food can attract rodents into your vehicle. If you keep the inside and outside clean regularly, rodents are less likely to find your vehicle an attractive place to stay.
- Use repellants. If you cannot park in a wooded or grassy area, or live near rodents, use rodent repellants such as mothballs, peppermint oil, or other strong-smelling items as a precaution. You can always contact a local pest control specialist and your mechanic to ensure a product is safe and effective to use. You can even buy special tape to wrap your wires that is coated with an offensive taste that can deter further chewing.
- Move your car frequently. Rodents like to nest indoors, and your hood can look like a good option if it's always in the same spot, especially in the colder months. Even if you work from home and don't drive a lot, try starting your car regularly to keep unwanted animals from crawling in.
frequently asked Questions
How do I document damage caused by a rodent for an insurance claim?
If you've discovered a rodent nest in your vehicle, it is best to have a licensed mechanic inspect the area and check for damage. If possible, try to take photos in your hood or where the rodents have nested in case you need to file a claim later. Ask the mechanic to keep a detailed record of the damaged areas and clearly state that the cause of the damage is due to rodent activity, and not just normal wear and tear. These points can come in handy when working with a claims adjuster.
How do I know if a rodent has chewed through my wires?
Rodents are very small and sneaky, so you may not even know that a rodent has settled in your vehicle before the damage is done. Look for clues about rodents like feces, strange smells, or even a glimpse of the rodent itself hanging near your vehicle. If you can't see physical evidence, try to listen for a scraping or scuffling sound that suggests something is in your hood.
Can rodents cause other damage to my vehicle?
Unfortunately, once started, rodents can devastate your vehicle in a number of ways. While chewing through your cables is a huge problem as it affects the function and safety of your vehicle, there are many other areas that can be damaged. Rodents can chew and scratch almost anything, including your interior seats or plastic panels in your car. In addition, they can bring dirt inside, which could be a fire hazard or build up in air conditioning ducts or other areas that could affect the functioning of your vehicle.