Bat exclusion, bat proofing, guano clean-up, Histoplasmosis mitigation and repairs to your building from damage caused by bats is often very expensive. Insurance companies and bat removal often do not go hand in hand.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, most pest infestations (and the damages accompanying them), are “maintenance issues” and not covered by insurance. The insurers feel it is the duty of the owner of the property to prevent the infestation or eradicate it long before any damage is done. In most cases, the property owner is left to pay for any damages.
That said, there are several options and situations that may provide significant financial relief if you are facing an expensive project – or at least save you money in the long run.
Did you recently purchase your home or building? Selling a house or building with an infestation of bats does not release the seller of liability. If your property was acquired in the past 24 months, the previous owner, the real estate broker, and the inspector for the bank may all be liable for the entire situation. Even if the previous owner was unaware of the problem, a proper inspection should reveal the presence of a bat infestation. Of course, you will need some evidence that the infestation is not new. A specialist in bat exclusion should be able to give you a good assessment based on the size of the colony, the amount of property damage and the amount of guano accumulated. Have these photographed if at all possible.
Hire someone who specializes in bats. If you find a pest control company or ‘critter ridder’ who gives you a less expensive initial bid – the project may end up costing you much more in the long run. Ask these questions: Can they really accomplish the task?, Do they have experience?, Do they have satisfied customers from more than one or two years previous?, Do they offer a warranty against re-infestation? A significant percentage of the jobs our company does are situations where another company has been paid for the job, and the bats are still present.
Pursue coverage from your insurance company. The first answer most of our customers receive is quoted above in paragraph two. However, there are many cases that actually do qualify for coverage – despite the first answer you may get on the telephone. We are happy to provide comprehensive assistance to our customers to make sure you get the coverage you are paying for. Bats are different than “most pest infestations”. The risk of rabies and Histoplasmosis presents real liability issues for homeowner’s insurance companies and bat removal. Over years, bats can cause catastrophic damage, even resulting in complete property value loss. Further, many infestations could not have prevented the infestation with maintenance (each case is different).
Be alert to re-infestation. When a colony of bats establishes a nest, it has a very strong instinctive drive to stay there or return there (depending on species) every year. If you have the bats removed, they will try to get back in. As persistent, wild animals, they are sometimes successful. Staying vigilant to the signs of their return can help you save money by (1) catching the problem while you are still under warranty and (2) catching the problem before more damage is done and (3) catching the problem before guano accumulates and Histoplasmosis mitigation is necessary.
Your Local Bat Removal Expert,