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Insurance company denied claim for squirrel damage

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2020 | Insurance Law |

Buying a homeowners insurance policy is just smart when buying a home. Not only do these policies provide financial coverage for damage to a home, but they also give homeowners a much needed sense of security. If anything goes wrong, they have their insurance policies to fall back on. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently exclude common sources of damage either explicitly or with broad, confusing terms, so when purchasing coverage, a Washington homeowner should be sure to familiarize him or herself with the policy. This can be helpful when there is a denied claim for something that should be covered.

An out-of-state family was recently told that their insurance company did not cover the extensive damage to their home. The family was on vacation when their home alarm went off, but neighbors who peeked through windows and doors reported that nothing seemed out of place. Chalking the alert up to a problem with the software they enjoyed the rest of their vacation.

When they returned home they discovered that it was not a software issue after all. Squirrels had infiltrated their house, damaging wood all through the house, leaving droppings on the floor and apparently even turning on the kitchen sink. Their insurance company sent an adjuster who gave them the news — none of the damage was covered because the policy apparently excluded damage from vermin and rodents.

The average homeowner is probably not be sure what to do when his or her insurance denies a claim. Although a person might take the company at its word, a denied claim is not always valid. It could even be based off vague or broad language that does not even apply. In Washington, these homeowners can appeal denied claims, which can ultimately lead to getting the coverage they paid for.