Does homeowners insurance cover bat removal?


No, homeowners insurance will not pay for bat removal or any other kind of pest extermination.

Stephanie Nieves author photoPat Howard 1600


Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

 & Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Updated February 16, 2022 | 2 min read

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It doesn’t take a huge hole for a bat to enter your home — these elusive creatures are often able to squeeze through the tiniest crevices and crawl beneath doors. And while the occasional bat intruder is mostly harmless, an infestation can wreak havoc on your home's insulation and poses a risk to you and your family's health.

Unfortunately, homeowners insurance will not cover the cost of bat removal or any other pest or wild animal extermination. However, if a colony of bats damages your attic or any other part of your home, your insurance may help cover repairs — this will likely depend on whether or not your insurer considers bats to be "vermin" or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance does not cover bat removal or any other type of wild animal or pest infestation. So if you have a colony of bats in your attic, you'll have to pay to remove them yourself.

  • A standard policy also won't cover the cost of physical property damage caused by birds, vermin, rodents, or insects.

  • Since bats technically are not any of the above, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of repairs if a bat colony damages your home.

  • However, this will likely depend on whether or not bats are excluded from your policy or if your insurer broadens the definition of the term "vermin" to include bats.

Is bat removal covered by homeowners insurance?

Whether a family of bats forces their way into your house or enters through a gaping hole, homeowners insurance won't pay for their removal. In fact, a standard policy won't cover any damage or losses it considers routine home maintenance or normal wear and tear. Since things like rodent and termite infestations generally fall into the maintenance category, most insurance policies list pest removal and remediation costs as policy exclusions.

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Does homeowners insurance cover bat damage?

Homeowners insurance won't cover property damage from birds, vermin, rodents or insects — but since bats technically don't fit under any of these categories, this leaves a strange grey area in your homeowners insurance coverage.

Simply put, if bats are either specifically excluded from your insurance policy, or your insurer expands the definition of "vermin" to include bats, your insurance likely won't pay for bat-related damage. But if your policy doesn't include any of these modifications, your homeowners insurance should technically cover bat damage.

How to prevent bat infestations

Bats are known to host a number of insects and parasites that can threaten your health. So it’s important to act quickly when you notice one on your property or in your home. To be on the safe side, you should also consider hiring a wildlife or pest removal company rather than attempt to remove the bats yourself.

The best way to avoid costly damage from bats is to take measures to prevent them from entering your home. Here are the most common entry points for bat intruders.

  • Damaged roofing

  • Cracked or open windows

  • Vents without covers

  • Uncapped chimneys

  • Shutters

  • Gaps in framing

  • Beneath exterior door gaps

Pest professionals also suggest investing in liquid, gel, or ultrasonic repellents to make your home less appealing to bats and other creatures.

5 ways to safe remove bats from your home

Some bat species are endangered, and bats can pose a health risk to humans, so you should always consult a professional before trying to capture one yourself. But if this is not an option, you can take the following steps to safely remove a bat from your home.

  • Keep near a wall. Bats tend to fly higher near walls and lower in the center of a room, so you’re less likely to come in contact with one if you stay close to the perimeter of the room. [1]

  • Wear thick gloves. You should never try to catch a bat with your bare hands; put on work gloves made of a thick material, like leather. Bats are more than capable of biting through cotton gloves, according to The Humane Society. [2]

  • Use a container and stiff piece of paper. Once the bat has landed somewhere, gently place a container over it and slide a piece of stiff paper underneath to trap it.

  • Carefully release the bat. Most bats can’t take flight from a horizontal surface, so when it’s ready to be released, go outside and tilt the container so the bat can fly out from an angle.