Does car insurance cover rodent damage?

Rodent damage can happen anytime, but the right insurance plan can keep your car protected.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 11, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Rodents live in most ecosystems, so your car is always at risk of rodent damage
  • A comprehensive insurance plan usually helps pay for repairs after a rodent incident, though you need to check with your company first
  • At about $160 a year, comprehensive is usually an affordable addition to your insurance plan

Rodent damage usually isn’t something you think about until you open the hood of your car and see chewed wires. Rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels live throughout the US, meaning your vehicle is always at risk of critter damage.

Although most people won’t see rodent damage happen to their car, dealing with it can be a massive headache. If you’re unlucky enough to find chewed wires and other damage from rodents in your vehicle, you’ll probably want to know if your insurance covers it.

The good news is that your insurance does cover rodent damage if you have the right plan. Comprehensive car insurance covers damage from sources outside of accidents, including weather, fire, and rodent damage.

However, all companies are different, and some comprehensive plans don’t include rodent damage. To be safe, check with your insurance company about rodent damage before you need to make a claim.

When it comes to rodent damage, car insurance can be a valuable tool for repairing your vehicle. Comprehensive insurance is generally affordable, but you should always compare prices with multiple companies to ensure you get the best price possible.

Does car insurance cover rodent damage?

Of all the things that can damage your car, rodent damage is not often what first comes to mind. Since they live in nearly every ecosystem on Earth, mice and other rodents are a real threat to your vehicle.

The most common rodent damage you’ll see in a car involves electrical wires. For reasons that aren’t entirely understood, mice love chewing on wires in cars, trucks, RVs, and other vehicles. However, most experts believe that rodents chew on the wires to help keep their teeth sharp.

Your insurance might pay for rodent damage if you have the right coverage. While there are several types of insurance you can buy for your car, you’ll need comprehensive if you want rodent damage covered.

Comprehensive covers damage from a variety of sources, including animal contact, weather, fire, theft, and vandalism. The only damage that is never covered by comprehensive is from car accidents. If your car is in an accident, a collision policy is needed to help pay for repairs.

However, insurance companies define comprehensive policies differently. If you’re worried about rodent damage, make sure you check what’s covered with your agent before you need to make a claim.

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How much does comprehensive auto insurance cost?

As with all types of insurance, the price you’ll pay for comprehensive coverage depends on several factors. Companies use unique formulas to calculate your price,  and the following elements are typically included:

  • Age: A driver’s age is one of the most important determining aspects of insurance rates. New, inexperienced drivers are more likely to file claims, so companies charge more for coverage. Fortunately, age has less impact on comprehensive rates than on other coverage.
  • Vehicle make and model: Some cars are more likely to be stolen, while others cost more to repair. Insurance companies look at both of these numbers to assess the risk of having to pay a claim.
  • Driving record: People with no marks on their records will pay less for their insurance than people with bad driving records. If you have serious infractions on your record (like a DUI), you can be denied insurance altogether.
  • Location: Insurance companies keep careful track of claims, including by ZIP code. Two identical cars can see different rates by being in different ZIP codes.
  • Credit score: Many drivers don’t realize that insurance companies use their credit scores to determine their rates. Unless it’s prohibited by state law, companies look at your credit score to determine your risk factor.

Companies look at many other factors, so it’s vital to get quotes from multiple providers. If you go with the first quote you find, you’ll likely pay more than you need to.

Although all quotes are different, you can get an idea of how much you’ll pay by looking at the average cost for comprehensive coverage in your state.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for Comprehensive Coverage by State
StateAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rate for Comprehensive
Alabama$169
Alaska$144
Arizona$200
Arkansas$216
California$98
Colorado$234
Connecticut$133
Delaware$132
District of Columbia$228
Florida$136
Georgia$170
Hawaii$105
Idaho$131
Illinois$136
Indiana$131
Iowa$205
Kansas$264
Kentucky$156
Louisiana$234
Maine$109
Maryland$162
Massachusetts$143
Michigan$158
Minnesota$199
Mississippi$228
Missouri$203
Montana$267
Nebraska$250
Nevada$117
New Hampshire$115
New Jersey$130
New Mexico$197
New York$176
North Carolina$129
North Dakota$246
Ohio$128
Oklahoma$251
Oregon$102
Pennsylvania$161
Rhode Island$138
South Carolina$197
South Dakota$305
Tennessee$158
Texas$242
Utah$120
Vermont$141
Virginia$145
Washington$114
West Virginia$215
Wisconsin$151
Wyoming$292
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As you can see, there is a lot of variation in how much comprehensive can cost. However, the price is well worth it if you’re worried about potential rodent damage, especially since comprehensive is generally affordable.

How do you file a claim for rodent damage?

Filing a claim for rodent damage is very similar to how you would file any other type of claim.

First, you’ll need to determine how much damage has been done to your car. No matter how obvious the damage might seem, you should always get your vehicle examined by a trustworthy mechanic. A mechanic can determine how much damage there is and what caused it.

Make sure to keep receipts or paperwork from the examination because it will speed up the claims process.

Once you have an idea of the damage, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Most companies have an online or mobile app option to start a claim, but you should always call your agent. Inform your agent that rodents have damaged your car, and give them an overview of the damage location and how extensive it is.

Once the claim is started, the company will send an adjuster to examine your vehicle. The adjuster’s job is to verify that your policy covers the damage done to your car.

After the adjuster verifies your claim, it will move to the next step. Most insurance companies have a list of approved mechanic shops and prefer that you use these shops. You don’t always have to use an approved repair shop (though double-check with your insurance company), but using one can help resolve your claim quicker.

How can you protect your car from rodents?

Comprehensive insurance usually covers rodent damage, but it’s always easier to avoid incidents altogether. You can’t always keep critters away from your vehicle, but you can use the following tips to keep them at bay:

  • Keep your car clean: Rodents are drawn to food sources, and your car is no exception. You can keep rodents away by keeping your car and the area it’s parked in free of food.
  • Park elsewhere: The ideal place to store your car is a garage. If that’s not an option, try to choose a parking spot away from grassy areas.
  • Use a deterrent: If rodents have previously attacked your car, using a tape with either a spicy or sour taste might stop them from returning. You can also invest in a sound machine that helps prevent rodents.
  • Move your car: Animals will feel more comfortable moving into a vehicle that doesn’t move. Even if you don’t regularly drive your car, make an effort to move your car once a week.
  • Contact pest control: If you have a severe rodent problem, you should consider professional help. Pest control can protect not only your vehicle but your home and personal belongings as well.

Using these tips, you can help keep your car safe from rodents. However, some animals are determined to be invaders. When you can’t stop rodent damage, auto insurance can help get your vehicle back in perfect condition.

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Find Comprehensive Coverage for Your Vehicle

While you can’t always avoid rodents creeping into your car and chewing your wires, comprehensive coverage can help repair the damage. The national average price for comprehensive coverage is about $160 a year, but the price is worth it if your car ever becomes a target for rodents.

When it comes to rodent damage, car insurance is one of the best ways to protect yourself. If you’re interested in comprehensive coverage, make sure to compare rates with as many companies as possible to get the best price.

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