Attic Cleanup can sometimes be a real drag, but it needs to get done. Insurance MIGHT be willing to lend a hand.
Anyone who’s experienced in this trade will tell you; attic cleanup isn’t cheap, especially with hazardous material in the attic such as bat guano or raccoon feces. In most circumstances, everyday people will not have 5-10K laying around to have their attic restored. That is where home insurance will be considered by homeowners, largely to cover the expense. However, not all insurance companies will cover this, especially if the damages are related to wildlife droppings.
Why People Have No Choice Besides Attic Cleanup.
The attic is often easy to forget about as it sits above your ceiling and out of sight, but it’s very unwise to neglect your attic when there’s an animal feces issue at hand. It needs to get done, no matter the inconvenience in a cost or theoretical headache. Droppings can transmit extremely harmful disease when it builds up. There’s really no choice but cleanup. On top of having the attic cleaned, pest eviction is also necessary, which can result in a barrage of unexpected prevention costs. This also encourages people to use insurance.
Bat Removal Pro is a nationwide directory of wildlife companies that can help with attic restoration. Browse our directory of professionals HERE.
“Are There Exclusions As To What Insurance Covers, Animal Wise?”
Yes, absolutely. Bats, Raccoons, and sometimes birds are the 3 primary animals where insurance will cover damages. It is extremely rare to have insurance cover attic cleanup for rodents such as, squirrels, mice, rats, etc.. The only times’ insurance covers rodents is when an element of weather has damaged your home and enabled the critters to gain entry into the attic. That type of claim would be covered under weather damage. Also, as far as bats go, and basically any other pest issue included, insurance will barely ever cover the bat exclusion cost or animal eviction process in general.
“When I First Call, Is There Anything Specific I Should Say To My Insurance?”
The first step is to call your insurance company and make initial contact about getting a claim filed.
Sometimes your wording can play a role in receiving coverage. We recommend the word “damages” be used in the place of “feces or droppings.” We are not implying that you need to be deceptive… The insurance will likely send an adjuster to your property, and they will find what’s in your attic regardless. But we say that because R-Value of your insulation will definitely be “damaged” when there are feces in the attic (due to contamination & also animals burrowing insulation.) Use good judgment, but we found those adjustments in language can have an impact on being covered VS. not covered. The correlation of damage and feces will be evident when you mention there has been an animal infestation, which needs be disclosed with insurance. Never lie to them, you risk being sued for insurance fraud.
“So, What Happens If My Insurance Refuses To Cover, Period?”
When all else fails, many people resort to paying out of pocket for the cleanup expense. This often leads to people hiring some random person who is willing do it cheaply, but use your best judgment and don’t hire some con artist, for there are a lot of ways to be ripped off when someone is working in a place that you cannot access! The most advisable thing would be to hire a professional no matter what. You don’t want to have some uninsured moron to come crashing through your ceiling and pay for his medical expenses, on top of still having the problem you started with. Hire a bat removal pro!
“Can There Be Times Where Insurance Denies Coverage Under False Pretext?”
Keep in mind, the secret job of insurance is to play on people’s emotions and harbor doubts of coverage when there are questionable circumstances at play, so it’s wise to keep your guard up when negotiating an important financial cost. There will also be times where a savvy wildlife professional can negotiate the terms of coverage with the insurance agent based on their reason for denial, but don’t get your hopes up, often times if the insurance denies the claim from the beginning, roughly 95-99% of the time they will be within their rights to refuse coverage. But, you never know when some type of anomaly will be stated within your policy and save you. Generally, these sorts of anomalies are more likely to be discovered by the wildlife professional who deals with insurance adjusters & cleanup on a regular basis… If all else fails, I would recommend further self-research on your computer to review your policy and the language within it.
Some Advice For The ‘Do It Yourself’ Crowd.
If you’re the type who’s not afraid to get down and dirty and get to business, we won’t tell you not to. But for the record, it’s highly inadvisable for a novice to attempt this sort of large project, but it CAN be done. First, you need to thoroughly research the best type of respirator to use during cleanup. It should always have a HEPA filter respirator to block small pathogens from being inhaled. Next, you’ll need to rent an insulation vacuum, which can be found at equipment rental locations at companies like SunBelt and sometimes stores such as Menards. You will also need to purchase Vac Bags online because they usually aren’t sold in stores. You will then need to rent an insulation krendl for blowing insulation back into your attic once you’ve sucked everything out. That is a start, but there’s a lot more that you must research.
Insurance’s “Preferred Vendors” & Why They Will Push Them Upon You.
Conversely, if coverage is approved, insurance will sometimes push their “preferred vendors” to perform the job. Don’t let them fool you, this really has nothing to do with you, but more to do with them in reducing THEIR costs. It’s the same concept as “preferred shops” in the auto industry, but that mechanic was one real slime ball. The same methodology could be implied with insurance companies choosing “the best men for the job” for you rather than with you. Don’t let them bully you; if your claim is approved, YOU get to decide who is allowed into your home. If you have grown comfortable working with a certain company, you have every right to refuse their “preferred vendor” and hire whom you feel is the right choice, as long as the costs are within reason. Keep sharp and don’t follow the sheep!