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Monday, July 29, 2013

Will Insurance Cover Raccoon Damage To My Crawl Space?

Portland pest control, crawl space restoration
Maybe you have seen the Allstate commercial where "Mayhem" is a raccoon living in an attic.  Like any good raccoon, he is having the time of his life playing in insulation, chewing on wires and having babies.  Although many people found this commercial humorous, if you have recently had a raccoon in your attic or crawlspace, you are not laughing.

A raccoon can do an enormous amount of damage in very little time.  They generally will start to pull subfloor insulation down to nest in, detach air ducts and possibly chew on wires.  On top of all the damage that they can cause, they leave behind an extremely contaminated space in their wake, so if you think you might have a raccoon (or any other wildlife for that matter) living under your home, it is time to do something about it.

Luckily, many of you have this on your insurance policy right now.  A typical crawl space restoration bid can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the extent of the damage.  There have been many times that we have come to a customers home and found damage and suggested that the customer call their insurance agent before we start the work.  Many times we have found that the restoration was completely covered and the customer did not even realize it!

Steps to take if you have wildlife living under your home:

1) Call a Pest Control Company:  You need to first get rid of the wildlife in a safe manner.  This can be especially challenging if it is a mother with babies.  A pest control company can professionally trap and remove the animal/s and help you seal entry points (typically they get in from open vent screens in the foundation).  If there is damage in the crawl space, most pest control companies do this kind of work and will give you a bid.

2) Call your insurance agent:  Do not let the pest control company start until you have discussed the matter with your insurance agent.  They may need you to take pictures and allow an insurance adjustor to make sure that the price quoted by the pest control company is within their guidelines.  Unfortunately, there are companies out there that will bid crawl space restorations at outrageous prices, but your insurance company will alert you if this is the case.

3) Get the work done:  Make sure that the pest control company both cleans and disinfects the area.  There can be a lot of contamination left behind when dealing with wildlife.  Also, ask them if a flea treatment is necessary.  Raccoons and other wildlife are loaded with fleas and if they have been living under your home, you might have a problem with them as well.

If you are unsure if you have a wildlife problem and just have a few questions, please give us a call.  If you live in the area and need a Portland Metro Pest Control Company, we would love to hear from you!

Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Foter / CC BY-ND

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