Rats can be a major issue, especially when they infiltrate the storage units in the rental property you call home. The worst part is when you discover that they have damaged your valuable personal possessions. So, the question arises, Does renters insurance cover rat damage in storage units? To determine if your renters insurance policy will provide coverage for rat damage, we need to examine various scenarios and determine if the responsibility lies with you or your landlord.
Does renters insurance cover rat damage in storage units?
Unfortunately, it is uncommon for renters insurance to cover damage in storage units caused by a rat. Insurance companies often view this type of damage as the result of neglect or failure to maintain the property, either by the landlord or the policyholder. This applies not only to rats and other rodents but also to other types of pests.
Renters insurance coverage for storage units only applies to specific events that are considered to have taken place suddenly and unexpectedly.
With regards to rat damage in storage units, there may have been factors that attracted them to your home, warning signs that were overlooked, and opportunities to prevent the damage before they were eventually eliminated.
Despite this, it is often the landlord who is held responsible for the damage caused by rats in rental properties, as renters do not own the property. Rodents like rats are known to cause destruction to walls, carpeting, and personal items such as clothing and electronics.
Renters insurance won’t cover preventable rat damage
Damage to storage units caused by rats is never covered under renters insurance policies because these events are seen as preventable. Some steps can be taken to deter these rodents from entering your home, thus the damage they cause is not considered sudden or accidental.
Rats are the most common type of rodent that invade storage units. Rural residents may experience problems with field rats, while urban dwellers may encounter larger and more aggressive rats.
Since the presence of rats is often known to either the landlord or the tenant, the damage they cause is not typically covered by insurance.
So, no renters insurance cover rat damage in storage units that could otherwise be preventable.
If you suspect a rat infestation in the storage units of your rental property, inform your landlord promptly to minimize any further damage to your belongings and the property.
Is my landlord responsible for rats?
This is a complex question with a complicated answer regarding still on whether renters insurance cover rat damage in storage units or not. The mere fact that your landlord owns the property does not automatically make them responsible for paying for damages caused by rodents.
Therefore, as the tenant residing in the home, you have a responsibility to take care of the property.
While the landlord is responsible for fixing any damage caused by rodents to the storage units of the property, they are not accountable for damage to your personal belongings. As a result, they are not obligated to repair or replace any of your damaged possessions.
However, your landlord may be responsible for removing the rodents or pests from the property, with the cost being covered by them and not you. But this can become a contentious issue.
Many states do not clearly state that the landlord is responsible for controlling rodents or pests. In these cases, the landlord may not address the problem until you either pay for it or vacate the property.
Nevertheless, the landlord has a duty to provide a livable home at all times. A severe infestation could be considered an unlivable condition.
Why does renters insurance exclude rat damage from coverage?
Rats and other rodents are excluded from coverage for similar reasons as mold and pet damage to rental storage units. Insurance companies view the damage caused by rats as preventable and not sudden and unexpected.
In most cases, storage facility owners do not have a legal obligation to protect items stored by their customers from damage caused by rodents. The rental agreement may mention rats, mice, vermin, or “acts of God”, but the storage company cannot be expected to safeguard your belongings if rodents invade your unit and cause damage to your property.
How do I protect my storage unit from rats?
In the first place, to prevent worries about whether renters insurance covers rat damage in storage units or not, do the following to protect your storage unit from rats:
1. Store items in airtight bags
The initial phase of maintaining a pest-free storage unit involves meticulous packing. Ensuring your possessions are securely sealed prevents rodents from directly accessing and damaging them with their sharp teeth.
Opt for plastic containers and tubs that are resistant to rodent gnawing, which will help safeguard your items from pests.
2. Don’t store food in the rental storage units
The majority of storage units prohibit food storage due to its tendency to lure in undesirable pests.
This is akin to why kitchens are appealing to rats, but in a storage unit, there are no barriers to prevent rodents from feasting.
To circumvent this problem, maintain a food-free environment within your storage unit. If you have previously used containers for food storage, ensure they are meticulously cleaned and disinfected to deter pest attraction.
3. Protect the furniture
When placing upholstered furniture in your storage unit that cannot be accommodated in boxes, make certain to securely wrap it in plastic.
This measure not only prevents rodents from damaging the fabric through scratching or chewing but also offers protection against moths. For long-term storage, consider using rat-proof storage boxes and totes specifically designed to deter rodents.
4. Bait your rental storage units
As a comprehensive approach, it is recommended to fortify your storage units with effective rodent deterrents like rat poison and humane traps (such as live bucket traps).
Additionally, rats are deterred by the strong scent of peppermint. To utilize this, you can consider soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and placing them in desk drawers and cabinets to prevent rodents from entering.
5. Keep the rats at bay
Preventing rodent infestations in your storage unit doesn’t have to be a hassle or break the bank. The key is to proactively safeguard your possessions and equip the unit with reliable rodent deterrents.
6. Contact your local pest control
If you’re encountering persistent rodent issues, reach out to your local expert extermination services for a complimentary assessment. They will evaluate the severity of the rat infestation and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.
Read also: even homeowners coverage for mice damage is not straightforward
Conclusion – renters insurance cover rodent damage
Ultimately, if you are renting a storage unit, it is highly recommended that you obtain insurance coverage for the full value of your stored items, with a policy that specifically covers damage caused by rodents. If rodents such as rats are a known issue in your region, it is also advisable to choose a policy that provides coverage for it as well.