It is estimated that there are about 10 million rats in the United Kingdom. They are secretive and rarely seen and most of us will never have an adverse experience of them or their behaviour, but rats and other vermin like mice can cause considerable damage to our homes and property.
In 2017 Paul Baker Insurance Services (PBIS) were contacted by one of their policyholders who reported an infestation of rats in her home. It transpired they were everywhere, in the walls, the roof space and under the floor, but from the outside the property looked immaculate. Sadly, however, the damage that these furry animals had caused was so extensive, and the smell so appalling, that the home had to be replaced with a new one. It had been damaged beyond economic repair, and the total cost of the claim was in the region of £200,000.
Whilst it is true that this was an exceptional and rare occurrence it did happen, and every year PBIS deal with a small number of claims for loss or damage caused by vermin typically causing damage to cables, pipes, wiring and insulation. Sadly, most park home insurance policies EXCLUDE such damage, as does the ‘Economy’ policy offered by PBIS. However, the ‘Select’ policy INCLUDES such damage with no excess and no limit other than the policy sums insured.
As well as covering loss or damage by vermin the ‘Select’ policy includes a 24-hour Home Emergency Assistance service, which includes an emergency to essential services.
An emergency is defined as a ‘sudden or unforeseen incident’ that exposes the occupier to a risk to their health, creates a risk of loss or damage to the home and/or belongings or renders the home uninhabitable.
The covered events include ‘animals or insects that are destructive in their natural behaviour or considered as pests or nuisances: brown rats, black rats, house mice, squirrels, wasps’ nests and hornets’ nests’.
Under this section of the policy and in the event of such damage the policyholder can call a dedicated number to get a tradesman to come out to deal with the emergency situation. This service can be used up to three times a year and the first £1,000 of the call out is included. The ‘Economy’ policy also includes this cover, but the benefit is limited to £250 per call out. No excess applies.
Check your policy – is vermin damage included – if it is not clear call your insurance provider. If it is excluded call PBIS FREE on 0800 0385 093