Reviewed by Rena Novotny
Updated September 2, 2022
It’s just a harmless little mouse. Or is it?
When mice get into your house, they can cause substantial damage. Mice can chew up insulation and wiring, creating fire hazards that can be very expensive to repair. They can also cause significant damage by gnawing on paintings, books, mattresses and documents which may be irreplaceable. They even carry bacteria, viruses and parasites into your home, posing a risk to your family’s health.
If you’re wondering how to handle mouse infestations, you’re not alone. Read on to learn how home insurance treats damage from mice, and how to prevent the little critters from causing problems.
Short answer? No.
Your home insurance policy most likely will not cover damage caused by mice or any other vermin. This is a standard exclusion found in virtually any home insurance policy available in Canada. This means that it’s critically important to take care of mouse problems quickly. It may seem unimportant if they chew through a bag of food, but it’s another thing entirely when they start chewing on the wiring and reproducing in the walls!
Mice reproduce quickly; within three months, six mice can multiply into 60. Keeping that number in mind, it’s easy to imagine just how quickly a single pair of mice can turn into an infestation. If enough mice have taken over your home, professional extermination and mouse-proofing may be necessary to bring the problem under control.
Depending on where you live, there may be any number of other rodents that like to invade homes and rough things up.
Skunks are common in many Canadian cities. They love to burrow underneath houses, porches, or sheds. If they decide to spray around your property, the stench will quickly seep into everything and take forever to get rid of.
Raccoons, too, can be the scourge of homeowners everywhere. Raccoons grab at things, tip over garbage cans, and create mischief and mess in equal measure.
There are plenty of insectoid vermin as well. Termites, ants, cockroaches, and plenty more are quite happy to reside in or around people’s homes.
Just like with mice, home insurance policies in Canada will not cover damage caused by pests of any nature. Nor will they cover the cost of exterminating them or pest-proofing your home. Even comprehensive policies exclude vermin from coverage. For this reason, you need to be proactive when it comes to dealing with mice and other vermin.
To keep mice and other rodents out of your home, here’s what you should do:
If you take these steps, hopefully you’ll keep your home mouse-free. However, if you’re getting overrun with mice, rats, or other vermin, don’t hesitate to call a professional—especially for more dangerous animals like skunks or raccoons.
Prevention is best, but it’s important to take care of vermin infestations quickly, before they cause serious damage.
Want to learn more? Visit our Home Insurance Basics resource centre for dozens of helpful articles to guide you through the ins and outs of home insurance. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.
About the expert: Rena Novotny
Rena's 23-year career started as an independent adjuster where she specialized in complex property, liability and special risk loss. As a branch manager, Rena hired, trained, mentored and coached several adjusters. She continues part-time post-graduate studies in neuro-psychology and traumatization, learning how both may impact the insured's engagement on catastrophic claims. Rena has a MA (Conflict Analysis and Management), CRM, CIP, and holds a level 3 adjusting license.
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