Is insurance available for mice damage?

Reviewed by Rena Novotny

It’s just a harmless little mouse. Or is it? When mice get into your house, they can do substantial damage: they can chew up insulation and wiring, creating fire hazards that can be very expensive to repair. They can cause significant damage by gnawing on paintings, books, mattresses and documents which may be irreplaceable. They can even introduce you to bacteria, viruses and parasites that adversely affect your family’s health.

Some are surprised to learn that they don’t even have to come into contact with a mouse to contract illness, but it’s true: people can become sick by simply breathing in dust that has been contaminated by mouse droppings or urine.

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Does my home insurance cover mouse damage or the cost of extermination?

Your home insurance policy most likely will not cover damage caused by mice or any other rodents; this is a standard exclusion found in virtually any home insurance policy available in Canada. This means that it’s critically important for you to take care of the problem 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.

What about skunks? Squirrels? Raccoons? Insects?

Here in the lower mainland, skunks are everywhere. They love to burrow under your house, porch, or shed, and if they spray your house, the smell will get into everything and can take forever to get rid of. Contact a professional if you discover skunks living under or around your home. If you try to take care of your skunk problem on your own, you could wind up coated in a smelly oily secretion which lasts for days.

In the eastern provinces, raccoons can be the scourge of homeowners: grabbing at things, tipping over garbage cans and creating mischief and mess in equal measure. Once again, you should contact a professional if ordinary measures aren’t enough to manage your raccoon problem.

To our knowledge, no home insurance policy in Canada will cover damage caused by insects and/or rodents of any nature, or the cost of exterminating them and pest-proofing your home. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you check your home for apertures that could permit creatures to enter, and that you proactively address any infiltrations the moment that you detect them.

You may have made all the right moves when it comes to insuring your house, but remember, even in a comprehensive policy, there are exclusions. Read your policy carefully, and call your insurance agent if you have any questions about what may or may not be covered.

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