Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Me if Wild Turkeys Break into My Home?
Holidays can be full of unexpected twists and turns, and as a homeowner, you have to be prepared for them all. Knowing the oddball situations your insurance covers ahead of time can help you enjoy the festive celebrations to the fullest extent. So what if a roaming pack of wild turkeys breaks into your house, starts peckin’ up your throw pillows and destroys everything? How’s your homeowners insurance gonna cover that?
Luckily, an independent insurance agent can not only answer this question for you, but also help you get set up with the proper coverage. Independent insurance agents are experienced in handling all kinds of scenarios, so they know exactly what kind of protection you need, and they’ll get you covered long before you ever need to file a claim. Here’s how they’d help you get coverage against a pack of wild turkeys breaking and entering and tearing up your house.
What Damage Could a Pack of Wild Turkeys Do to My Home?
Wild animals breaking into homes isn’t an unheard of situation. Since it really can (and does) happen, homeowners need to be prepared ahead of time. It’s a good idea to start by considering the potential damage wild animals such as a pack of especially ravenous turkeys could inflict on your home, like:
- Structural damage: When wild turkeys tear their way into your home, they’re not going to do it by peacefully entering through the front door. Most likely they’ll bust through a window, resulting in shattered glass and perhaps other damage. They might also shred a screen door. Luckily homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage to your home’s structure.
- Personal property damage: Turkeys are infamous for pecking, and if they get into your home, more than likely they’ll turn this behavior towards your designer throw pillows, couches, and antique ottomans. While homeowners insurance does cover your personal property, getting reimbursed for damage caused by wild animals can be tricky.
Now that you’ve considered how wild turkeys could threaten your home, it’s important to learn how your homeowners insurance could help in such a situation, and where it might come up short.
Would Homeowners Insurance Protect My Home’s Structure from Wild Turkey Damage?
Fortunately, yes. The first part of your homeowners insurance is known as structural coverage, which protects the “dwelling” itself, otherwise known as the physical building. Standard homeowners insurance provides structural coverage for damage caused by pretty much anything, aside from what’s specifically written on the policy’s list of exceptions. It’s highly unlikely your insurance company would exclude structural damage caused by wild animals.
So, if a pack of wild turkeys destroys your windows, walls, doors, flooring, or other structural elements, there’s a really good chance that’ll be covered by your homeowners policy. After paying your deductible, you’ll be reimbursed for the damage up to the limit in the structural coverage section of your policy. Turkeys would most likely not be able to destroy your home’s structure beyond the coverage limit, unless there was an entire army of them.
Would Homeowners Insurance Protect My Personal Property from Wild Turkey Destruction?
Sadly, probably not. The second part of your homeowners insurance is known as contents coverage, which includes your stuff, or your personal belongings stored within the home and in detached structures like sheds. Contents coverage only extends to damage caused by perils specifically listed on your homeowners insurance policy. Unfortunately, damage caused by wild animals like turkeys is typically not included in this section.
So, if the turkeys damaged or destroyed your throw pillows, furniture, knick-knacks or other personal belongings, unfortunately you’d more than likely be stuck paying out of pocket to repair or replace those items. That being said, it’s possible to work with your independent insurance agent to add contents coverage that protects against all kinds of damage to your policy. Just keep in mind that this coverage can be pretty costly and is usually only written for the wealthy.
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How Else Could Homeowners Insurance Cover a Wild Turkey Home Invasion?
Let’s say the pack of wild turkeys got really crazy and destroyed your home to the point that it was temporarily uninhabitable, or even injured a guest on your property. Fortunately your homeowners insurance could cover you even in those extreme circumstances.
Homeowners insurance also covers the following:
- Additional living expenses (ALE): If the turkeys caused extensive damage to your home’s structure to the point you had to stay elsewhere while waiting for repairs to be completed, this coverage would pay for the extra costs. ALE provides reimbursement for things like hotel rooms, eating out, additional gas mileage, and more to make up your normal standard of living while staying somewhere away from the home after a covered incident.
- Liability expenses: If any of the wild turkeys pecked or otherwise injured a guest on your property, you as the homeowner could still be held responsible, and maybe even sued. Liability coverage in homeowners insurance covers legal expenses such as attorney and court fees in the event you are sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. If you lose the case, settlement fees are also covered.
Hopefully, a pack of wild turkeys or other animals never causes damage to your home to any extent, but it’s still worth knowing that your homeowners insurance does provide coverage for bizarre and extreme situations, just in case.
What if I Don’t Have Homeowners Insurance?
If you’re lacking homeowners coverage and a pack of wild turkeys breaks into your home and causes a bunch of destruction and havoc, you could end up much more upset. Without insurance, you’d be forced to pay for physical damage out of your own pocket, and things like shattered windows can be expensive to repair on your own. Not to mention that if someone got injured, not having liability coverage could really set you back financially.
It’s extremely important to always be equipped with the right homeowners insurance to help prepare for disasters of all kinds. Not every scenario is as far-fetched as a pack of wild turkeys breaking into your home and causing a ruckus. There are many more common catastrophes that you need to keep in mind from the very beginning. Above all, your home is your happy place, and it deserves to be protected from all kinds of perils.
Besides Wild Turkey Break-Ins, What Else Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Break-ins from wild animals aren’t the only disasters homeowners need to be protected against. Standard homeowners insurance covers many more common threats to the home, as well as other unique and obscure perils.
Standard homeowners insurance provides coverage for the following catastrophes:
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Natural disasters including windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards
- Falling objects
- Falling trees
Your independent insurance agent can help make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected, no matter how weird the situation is. If you’re concerned about any potential scenario that you may be lacking protection for, work with your independent insurance agent to patch any holes in your coverage. They’ll get you set up with all the coverage you need to help you rest easy in your home.
Should I Get Umbrella Insurance?
It’s never a bad idea to have umbrella coverage, but it’s highly unlikely you’d need the extra protection in this particular scenario. Umbrella policies extend homeowners insurance’s built-in liability coverage limits. Umbrella policies often come with limits of $1 million in liability coverage, though higher amounts such as $5 or $10 million can be purchased. Premiums for umbrella insurance tend to also be very affordable.
Unless you reside in an area especially prone to attacks by wild turkeys or other animals and regularly host giant get togethers in on your property, it’s pretty unlikely this type of scenario would warrant umbrella coverage. However, there are plenty of disasters that umbrella coverage can be absolutely necessary for. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your home and routine activities to decide if umbrella insurance is right for you.
Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help
When it comes to protecting homeowners against damage and destruction by wild turkeys and all other strange incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in homeowners insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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