Your car could suffer damage due to animals in two situations; you either hit them while driving or they chew your car’s vital parts to wreak havoc. When rodents or squirrels manage to get under your car’s hood they may chew on any wirings or parts. When a squirrel gnaws at the car wires or a rodent chews at parts that could create serious engine problems. So, if there are squirrels in your neighborhood or not, you need to be extra cautious so that such instances don’t occur. As per your type of coverage level you may claim for the damages caused by animals. Whether you may claim for such damages would depend on your specific insurance contract wordings.
Is Damage Due To Hitting Animal Covered By Insurance?
Usually when you hit an animal while crossing and you are driving at a high speed then damages could be severe. A deer on the highway is the most common example of such a situation that you may claim under your collision or comprehensive coverage. If the deer was crossing and jumps at your vehicle then it would be under comprehensive claim. However, if the deer was already lying on the road when you hit it then you may claim under collision.
How To Keep Squirrels And Rodents From Eating Car Wires?
Your car’s warm engine is a welcome place for squirrels and rodents and they find it a good spot to hide and snack on the wires. Squirrels have teeth that always keep growing and so they keep gnawing and what is better than your car’s wiring. How do you know if squirrels had a party in your car? Well, if the engine takes extra time to start or does not, then it is a strong indication. Take your car to a mechanic to check what is wrong with the engine and if it was in fact damaged by a rodent or squirrel. These damages could be so severe that the repair costs could be huge. You may follow some precautions to avoid them as below:
Steps To Prevent Squirrels And Rodents
- Always close your garage door when you park your car and make sure you seal all holes with aluminum or steel mesh.
- Before you start to put any chemicals make sure that the engine has cooled down before you look under the hood.
- Get an animal repellent and spray it on all car areas that do not heat up such as bumper and front tires. Don’t put the animal repellent inside the engine unless you can tolerant the horrible smell when you run the engine. Spray some on the floor under your car too.
- Make a cayenne pepper mix and spread on the same areas where you had put the animal repellent and ensure you cover all the entry points.
- Mothballs are also effective in repelling squirrels, so if they survive the above then you may put some mothballs in different areas under the hood. Put some around the wires too but make sure not to put on any part that may get hot.
- If it is safe then you may keep the car’s hood open during the daytime as the cold is not going to attract the squirrels looking for a cozy place.
- You could also use bitter apple spray to leave a nasty taste in their mouths.
- Put some peppermint oil drops in cotton balls and pack them in Ziploc bags and place them at strategic locations. Yes, you have to think like a Commando!
What Insurance Covers Squirrel Damage?
If your car has suffered damages due to squirrels or rodents then you may be able to claim if you have an adequate level of coverage. Comprehensive coverage helps you to claim for damages that are not due to a collision. So, a squirrel chewing on the engine wires could be a claim under your comprehensive coverage. If you opted not to have the optional comprehensive coverage when you signed up for the policy then you may not claim.
Even if you had comprehensive coverage, it could depend on your insurer whether they may approve your claim or not. Unless excluded you could successfully claim for the damages. However, if the wiring or the electrical system is damaged due to wear and tear and you blamed the squirrel then they may deny your claim. This could mean that you were careless and did not maintain your car properly. Another issue could be if your insurer does not cover the engine or electrical damages at all, whether it is caused by rodents or something else. Reading your auto insurance policy carefully would help you to know what your coverage level is and the exclusions.