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 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 or strike an animal on the roadway.

Some car insurance policies will cover electrical damage to your vehicle that is caused by animals chewing through your wires; however, there are other 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 but don’t may list it specifically. This is typically when the provider’s 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, and any amendments you may have received that change or alter your policy’s coverages, to see the covered perils for your comprehensive coverage. The next step is to contact your agent or company’s claim department and to find out for certain if your particular damages are covered if you can’t tell for certain by going over your car insurance policy.

If the claim is accepted, then your comprehensive deductible will be due.  Thus, if the damage is covered, it’s wise to get an estimate for the cost of repair before making a claim. If the damage is minimal and will cost only $350 to repair and your deductible is $500, don’t bother making the claim as your insurance policy will not pay out anything and no need to have this damage noted in your insurance file.

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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Penny Gusner
Consumer Analyst/Insurance Expert

Penny has been working in the car insurance business for more than 10 years and has become an expert on procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has seen it all, and working with from its inception, she researches the routine and the bizarre with equal enthusiasm. She has three very active children and a husband with a zeal for quirky cars.