Does your Car Insurance cover damages due to Rat Bite?
Electrical installations in car are one of the most sensitive parts and even a slightest damage to them could render the car malfunction the car. We have seen many instances where the damages to the electrical systems in car are caused by the rodent or rat bite leading to the repairs. A rodent or rat might chew the wires in the electrical system of the car which causes the malfunction of the car and damage to the electrical system.
There might be many questions popping up in your mind regarding the rodent bite such as Is rat bite covered in insurance in India? Is rat damage to car covered in insurance? Does car insurance cover rat damage? What is the process for rat damage insurance claim? Etc. will be answered in this article.
Real life scenario:
Ms. Ruby has purchased a brand new Audi car and has taken Comprehensive online car insurance for the period 2020-21.She has done car insurance comparison for car insurance online before purchasing car insurance policy. Due to insufficient parking space she was forced to park her car on the road near her house. Her house being near to an underground tunnel many residents including her are facing the menace of rodents. These rodents are roaming around the colony freely causing all possible kinds of damage to the properties around.
Ms. Ruby and her family had left for an out station trip leaving their car behind parking on the road. After the trip, while taking out her car she found that the car was not starting. After examining the system she found that the wires connecting the engine are chewed off by a rodent. She has taken the car to a nearby garage and after careful examination the final repair bill came around Rs.45, 000. The Audi car insurance for comprehensive cover can reach as high as Rs.2 Lacs when the extra coverage is opted in the form of add-ons or Riders.
Is Rat Bite covered under Car insurance?
Ms. Ruby has then intimated the incident to her online car insurance company stating that the loss has occurred due to rodent damage. The insurance company has sent surveyor to examine the loss and arrive at the quantum of loss. After a couple of days she has received a mail from the insurance company stating that the claim is rejected.
Upon enquiring with the insurance company, they replied that the damage is caused due to the wear and tear and not due to the rodent bite. Even though it is clearly visible that the wires are chewed off by a rodent, the insurance company is not ready to settle the claim.
This behaviour from the insured forced Ms.Ruby to file a complaint in the Ombudsman against the insurer. The Ombudsman has observed that the damage is caused by the rodents which is accidental and is by external means and ordered the insurance company to settle the claim with interest payable above bank rate.
It can be observed here that the damage is caused by an external visible means and the damage was accidental in nature. As per the policy wording of the Comprehensive insurance any accidental damage which is external and by visible means should be covered under the policy.
How to prevent Rodent damage to your Car?
If you have experienced rodent damage or you would like to prevent your car from rodent damage then the following preventive measures are to be taken.
- Don’t throw leftovers outside: Leftovers from your last meal are to be disposed properly. If they are thrown out or near the car there is a high chance that it will attract not only the dogs and cats but also the rodents. If it becomes as a habit, then the rodents try to get accommodation near the leftovers which would be your car. In the search for accommodation rodents can cause a severe damage to your car.
- Stay away from Rodent Zones: Avoid parking your vehicle in the rodent prone area . Rodent prone areas such as a forest, tall grass, shrubs, near drains etc. If you are parking outside, stick to open areas and gravel roads.
- Seal the Hiding places: Any place in your garage or your house you feel can be used as a hiding place for rats and rodents should be sealed off completely.
- Protect Car engine: One more important thing to do is to block any entrances to the engine with any available material while taking care that it doesn’t disturb the functioning of the vehicle. If possible use rodent or rat repellents near the car to prevent rats from entering the engine of the car.
After understanding the rodent or rat bite damages caused to the car, we can finally conclude the below points.
- Rat bite coverage in motor insurance is covered under the own damage section of the comprehensive car insurance.
- Rat damage insurance claim is admissible under the Own damage section of the Car insurance as the damage is caused by Accidental and visible external means.
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