Does Car Insurance Cover Rodent Damage

Squirrel on tire after causing rodent damage to a car covered by insurance

It seems strange, but cars are an ideal location for small animals to get cozy. Rodents are small animals like mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks that can sneak into your car and cause large amounts of damage. Does auto insurance cover rodent damage? Here’s how to identify rodent damage, what coverage you need and how to prevent it in the first place.

Identifying Rodent Damage

Rodents can find all sorts of ways to enter your car and cause many different types of damages. But why do they come into your car in the first place? They may be looking for food, to escape the cold or to seek shelter from predators.

Unfortunately, rodents make for pretty terrible tenants. These small animals can cause big damage. Here are some common spots to look for rodent damage.


A rodent’s teeth constantly grow- that’s why they need to chew on things to file them down. A rodent’s instinct is to seek out and chew on twigs and plant matter, but your car’s wiring harness is close substitute. They can easily chew through and destroy wires, fluid lines and other essential parts of your car. Damage often occurs in hard to reach areas, so it’s difficult to notice until your car has an electrical problem or fluid leak.


Foam insulation helps keep heat and noise out of your car, but rodents like to use it to build nests. If you notice missing chunks of foam, you may have a rodent problem.


Rodents may seek out your car as a shelter from the cold or from predators. They can nest inside of your bumper, your engine bay and even underneath your carpet and seats. Droppings, nesting materials, small scratches, unusual odors and stockpiled food can indicate a rodent has moved in.

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage Basics

A typical auto insurance policy covers medical expenses, bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Having “full coverage” means you have collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to your liability coverage. Collision and comprehensive coverages help pay for damages to your car. They’re optional coverages, but may be required by the lender if you finance or lease your car.

Comprehensive Coverage and Rodent Damage

Your auto insurance will cover rodent damage if you have comprehensive coverage. This is an optional insurance coverage that pays for damage to your car not related to a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage
  • Natural disasters and storms
  • Fires
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage caused by animals

Rodent damage falls under comprehensive coverage. You must carry comprehensive coverage for insurance to pay for any damage caused by rodents in your car.

Scenarios Where Rodent Damage May Be Covered

Here are some scenarios where rodent damage would be covered.

Wiring Damage
If rodents chew on and damage electrical wiring, comprehensive coverage may cover the repair or replacement of the wires.
Interior Damage
Damage caused by rodents building nests in your car may be covered. This may include damage to car seats, insulation and interior trim pieces.
Engine Damage
Rodents may sometimes nest in engine compartments, and cause damage to components.
Fuel System Damage
Rodents are known to chew on fuel system lines and wires, especially around the fuel injectors. Comprehensive coverage may pay for the necessary repairs.
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Limits and Exclusions in Rodent Damage Coverage

The limits and exclusions depend on the specific language of your policy. In general, comprehensive coverage helps pay for accidental damage not resulting from a collision. Damage caused by rodents is typically included in comprehensive coverage.

Since rodent damage is covered under comprehensive coverage, you need to pay a deductible before your insurance will help pay for expenses.

A deductible is your share of the cost for an insurance claim. A deductible is not the same as your insurance premium, which is what you pay to maintain your policy. It’s what you pay before your insurance starts paying for expenses.

For example, say a rat damages a wiring harness in your car and your comprehensive deductible is $500. It costs $1,000 to fix your car. In this case, you would pay $500 and your insurance will cover the remaining cost.

However, comprehensive coverage will not apply if the damage is a result of neglect or a lack of maintenance. If you have a known rodent issue and didn’t address it until it was too late, the damage may not be covered.

Comprehensive coverage will not cover pre-existing damage. For example, if you have a vehicle with rodent damage from before you purchased it, your insurance will not pay to repair it.

Filing a Claim for Rodent Damage

We know that filing any kind of car insurance claim can be stressful. Our unique claims services will simplify the process, getting you back on the road in no time.

  1. File Your Claim
    Please have your policy number ready. You can file a claim online or by contacting us or your agent directly.
  2. Assignment and Tracking of the Claim
    After you report your car insurance claim, you’ll receive a claim number to help track its progress. We’ll also assign you a friendly representative to answer any questions you may have.
  3. Damage Evaluation
    If your vehicle has damage and the applicable coverage applies, we offer these convenient options to get you back on the road as soon as possible:
    • CarPicsSM Photo Appraisals: Eliminate the need to schedule a claims inspection and receive your estimate within hours. You may even get paid that same day.*
    • Crashbusters® Mobile Claim Service: Have a representative meet you to appraise the damage at a time and place that’s convenient for you, often issuing you a check on the spot.
    • Door to Door Valet Claim Service®: Let us pick up your car and handle the repair process from start to finish. If you have rental coverage, we’ll even coordinate a rental car.
  4. Receive Your Claim Settlement
    Based on your situation, Plymouth Rock may pay your claim to the repair shop or we may reimburse you directly. Your claim payment will be based on the terms and coverage in your car insurance policy.

Preventative Measures Against Rodent Damage

Keep your car pest free by keeping it clean. Clean up any dropped food as soon as possible. Vacuum the carpet and clear out any nooks and crannies of food debris. Clean in-between and under your seats, and check under the carpet. To help keep your carpet clean, get all-weather floor mats. For the most protection, use floor mats designed to fit your specific vehicle.

Periodically inspect your car for traces of animal activity. Look under the seats, in the engine bay and in the fenders and bumpers for droppings, scratches, chew marks or stockpiled food. Reduce the chance of rodents entering your car by changing where you park.

If you’re storing your car for a long period, be sure to cover up your intakes, exhaust pipes and any openings to the interior. Use a cover that’s sized specifically for your vehicle.

Now Let’s Talk About You
Do you have the right coverage for your vehicle? We’d love to chat with you about it. Call us at 855-993-4470 or speak to a local agent.

If you’d rather not talk, you can get a quote quickly and easily online. Just enter your ZIP code to get started and see how much you could save!

* Certain restrictions apply.