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Is an animal chewing your car’s wiring covered by car insurance?


A

Question: Mice ate through some wiring on my car. Will my car be covered? Is this considered vandalism or malicious malice? What about contact with an animal? Would my homeowners cover this electrical damage the mice did to my car since it was parked in my driveway at the time?

Answer: Your car’s damages may be covered, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage on it.

Comprehensive covers damages to your vehicle that are from “other than collision” incidents. This may include wiring in your car that a wild animal chewed on and damaged. It really depends upon the terms of your specific car insurance policy.

This wouldn’t be considered vandalism or malicious malice since the mice weren’t intentionally trying to damage your vehicle. It may be considered contact with an animal, but normally this is to cover your vehicle when you hit an animal.

Many car insurance policies will cover electrical damage to your vehicle that is caused by animals chewing through your wires; however, there are some auto insurance providers that don’t cover this type of damage. This is why it is important to read through the specific perils that your comprehensive coverage says it covers or says that it doesn’t (through exclusions).

Your policy should give detailed information on what your comprehensive insurance covers, such as theft, fire, glass damage, etc.

Car insurance policies are stated policies for the most part, meaning that if the peril is listed, it’s covered; if it isn't, then no dice. This allows some car insurance companies to deny claims for damage, such as rodents eating your wiring, that isn’t specifically listed as a peril.

Other insurance companies do cover such damage. This is typically because their comprehensive coverage not only states covered perils but also notes that coverages are “not limited to” the listed items, thus your situation may still fall under their comprehensive coverage guidelines.

Read your policy to see the covered perils for your comprehensive coverage, but also contact your agent or company’s claim department and to find out for certain if your particular damages are covered by your car insurance policy.

If the claim is accepted, then your comprehensive deductible will be due.

If you’re unable to make a comprehensive claim with your car insurance company, your homeowner’s policy won’t cover this damage to your car.

Your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover your vehicle in any way, even if it is parked in your own garage or driveway and is damaged by mice that may have been living in your house.

And, if the mice take up residence in your house and do damage there, it’s unlikely that your homeowners would cover that either since most homeowners policies exclude losses by vermin, rodents, birds, insects or domestic animals, unless you have added coverage to your policy that covers this.

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