Animal claims
Claims

Home claims involving animals are on the rise

5 mins

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Accidental damage home claims relating to animal infestations increased by 35% between 2021 and 2022, according to data from LV= General Insurance

Squirrel flourish

Squirrels are top of the list when it comes to home damage from animals – claims involving this pest increased by 51% within a year *.

There have been 13 claims so far in 2023, with the average claim costing around £3,000, mainly due to chewing through pipes, cables, decking and fascia boards. The pest can also move roof tiles, make a home within the loft, come down the chimney or slide down guttering and cause damage.

Top tip: make sure your home is checked for any gaps which could let animals such as squirrels coming in, helping prevent damages to pipes and electrical cables.

Claims relating to wasp nests are also on the rise, with the most expensive costing £26,700. 

Quite often, homeowners are attempting to smoke-out or burn the nest, resulting in an expensive insurance claim by setting fire to their property. This usually occurs in the loft space, where we can usually find flammable materials such as carboard boxes and timber frames, which set alight very quickly and easily. 
On average, buildings insurance claims linked to fires cost around £30,000.

Top tip: get a professional if you find a wasp nest or an infestation.

Some examples of claims include:

Squirrels

  • Damage of the roof timbers and underfelt, costing £30,000 and requiring a customer to move into temporary accommodation.
  • A customer got an electric shock in a sink of washing up water, after a nest of squirrels has gnawed through the wiring in the loft, leaving it exposed and running alongside the pipes of the water tank.
  • A customer's motorhome parked outside the property caught fire due to an electrical fault in the dashboard, caused by rodents chewing the wiring.

 

Wasp nests

  • A customer set a wasp nest on fire in the shed to try to destroy it and then threw over a bucket of water to put the fire down. They were woken in the middle of the night with the shed ablaze - the flames reached 30ft and also destroyed the neighbour’s fence, decking and summer house. 
  • A customer discovered a wasp nest in the hedge and set the plant on fire in an attempt to destroy it. The fire spiralled out of control, damaging theirs and their neighbour’s properties, including windows, guttering and a conservatory.
  • The fire service attended a property with extensive damage to the rafters, beams, ceiling joist, roof and chimney stack, as well as contents within the loft, after a fire started from a smoke bomb, used to kill a wasp nest in the loft. 

* based on LV= General Insurance home claims data relating to animals between 2021 and 2022.