If a Squirrel Damages My Car, Will My Insurance Provide Coverage?
A furball with good aim damaged his neighbor’s car with pine cones. This anxious car owner wants know: does car insurance provide coverage for damage caused by animals?
Quick Take: Car insurance coverage when animals attack
- Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car not caused by a collision.
- This may include damage done by animals of all types and sizes.
- It may also cover theft, vandalism, fire and weather damage.
- Comprehensive coverage can be added to your auto policy for an additional premium.
Q. We have some beautiful old trees in our neighborhood — and lots of critters that call them home. The bird droppings wash off, but my neighbor just found dents in the hood of her new car. She swears she saw a squirrel chucking pinecones at it. I don’t know if the squirrels in my yard have that kind of aim, but am I covered if they do?
We posed this question to Jeremy Jivan, a IHL® agent in Barberton, Ohio, who is knowledgable about auto insurance (and has seen a pesky animal or two).
A. I can’t remember the last time I saw a squirrel pitching pinecones, but I do know that my customers are no strangers to animal encounters. They’re more common than you might think.
A few years back, a small animal (still unidentified) wiggled into a customer’s car and wreaked havoc on the interior. It was chewed, gnawed and clawed to shreds. Now, imagine the cost of replacing every inch of upholstery, carpeting and trim in your car. Fortunately, the customer had comprehensive coverage on his auto policy, so Insurance Holdings covered the damage. While coverage ultimately depends on the facts and circumstances of a claim, this optional coverage may provide coverage when you are faced with the inconvenient forces of nature, including pinecone-pitching squirrels, a goat stampede or mice making themselves at home in your engine.
Comprehensive insurance also covers damage to your car that’s not the result of a collision with another vehicle or stationary object. That means you could be covered for damage like a rock cracking your windshield to a lightning strike that fries the electrical system. Even damage caused by your own pet is covered because, after all, animals will be animals.
Along with collision insurance, comprehensive can be a valuable additional coverage for your car. It’s optional in most states, but usually required by lenders and leasing companies. If you no longer carry collision on your car, you can still get comprehensive by itself.
Here are more examples of what comprehensive auto insurance may cover:
- Theft, vandalism, riots
- Wind, hail, floods, lightning
- Hitting a deer or other animal
- Damage caused by animals
- Falling or flying objects
- Fires and explosions
As you can see, there’s a reason we call it “comprehensive.” It often covers many things you would never think of, like squirrels fastballing pinecones.