Does Car Insurance Cover Damage From Rodents Chewing Wires?

Your car insurance should cover damage from a mouse, rat, or other rodent chewing car wires as long as your policy includes comprehensive coverage.
Written by John Pickhaver
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The damage caused by rodents chewing car wires can be an expensive ordeal that—depending on the extent—could need immediate attention and repair to ensure a safe ride, which is why it is essential to have a quality car insurance policy. Your policy should cover rodent damage if you have comprehensive coverage.
If you are a responsible car owner, you likely strive to keep your car in great condition with frequent washes and regular maintenance like oil changes, fluid top-offs, and tire rotations. But the reality is that even a well-maintained vehicle can become a popular eatery for rodents who like to feast on your vehicle wiring and other pricey parts.
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Does car insurance cover damage from rodents chewing car wires?

The good news is: yes, car insurance does cover damage from rodents chewing on car wires. But this coverage rarely comes standard, so you will need to purchase
comprehensive coverage
as part of your policy. 
Comprehensive insurance helps pay for repairs or car replacement when your vehicle is damaged by a non-collision event or stolen. Damage types that fall under comprehensive coverage include those caused by weather, natural disasters, or wild animals, along with vandalism.
Bear in mind, every insurance provider and each policy is different, but most comprehensive policies will cover damage caused by rodents chewing car wires provided that a certified mechanic confirms that rodents are to blame.  

Why do rodents chew on car wires?

Settling down for a nice meal of vehicle wires and other coiled parts may not sound all that appetizing to you, but it very well could be a 3-star Michelin experience for those of the rodent variety. 
Plus, with nearly 300 million registered cars throughout the United States, there’s no shortage of these mobile rodent restaurants. But what is it that makes vehicle wiring so alluring for these pesky little critters? Experts have a few theories. 

Savory smells

There’s nothing like a new car smell, but if you’re a rodent, you may prefer the smell of wire insulation under the hood, which is known to give off faint notes of vanilla when heated
Additionally, wire insulation materials are often made of soy, peanut oil, rice husks, and a number of plant-based substances that some health-conscious rodents may appreciate. 
Though this spaghetti of wires may have a nice scent, it for sure won’t taste like pasta primavera. 

Always be chewing 

So if the wires don’t taste as good as they smell, what keeps the rodents gnawing?
A quick etymology lesson reveals that “rodent” comes from the Latin rodere, which means “to gnaw—in other words, rodents always be chewing! 
Experts say that rodents chew on vehicle wiring because their teeth are constantly growing. Because of this, they regularly chew on whatever is available to prevent their teeth from getting overly sharp or too long

Nest accommodations  

Comparing your car to a rodent restaurant may not be accurate because it turns out that it’s actually more like a hotel with a restaurant. A private, dark and quiet hotel that is.
Rodents may chew up some car wire parts as they prepare their new digs or they just do some nibbling as they hang out under your hood. 

Signs rodents chewed on car wires 

Because rodents are quite small and often nocturnal, you may not even know a rodent has been shacking up in your ride until after the damage has been done. 
The smell of the wire insulation may have drawn the rodents to your car, but other odors—like the rodent itself—may be your biggest clue to finding the chewed-up wires and other rodent-related damage. 
Look for evidence of rodent droppings or even see if you can spot the rodent in or near your vehicle. Remember, some rodents are really tiny, so if you can’t see anything, then keep quiet and listen for a clawing or scurrying sound coming from under your hood. 
Whether you find the rodent or not, you can still assess the damage to see if your car was a recent rodent residence. Observe your vehicle wiring to look for visible chew holes or other gnawing impressions.
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What to do if rodents chew on car wires 

If a rodent has chewed on your car’s wires, it may cause your Check Engine Light to come on, or worse—it could even prevent you from turning on your car. 
If you find any evidence that rodents have been chewing on your vehicle wiring, you should address the issue immediately by taking your car to a mechanic to prevent further damage. 
Key Takeaway Not only is it a better idea to have it fixed by a professional, but again, most car insurance companies will want to see that rodent damage has been confirmed by a mechanic. 

How to prevent rodents from chewing on car wires

If you want to prevent rodents from chewing on your car’s wires, then take some of these proactive steps to keep your ride rodent-free: 
  • Deterrent spray: Offset those hints of vanilla by spraying a strong-scented oil like peppermint under your hood to deter rodents from getting too close.
  • Put out traps: You can set up mouse traps around your car to reduce the chance of rodents climbing inside.
  • Park in a garage: If you have access, park your car in a garage where rodents are less likely to have access. Just make sure it’s not near any trash cans or other food sources. If you don’t have a garage, consider investing in a
    car cover
  • Rake your leaves: Piles of leaves around your car can serve as an ideal landscape for a rodent in the market for a new home because leaves can provide additional shelter and warmth. Always rake leaves away from your car to reduce the temptation for rodents to settle down under your hood. 

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The thought of car wires chewed by mice, rats, or other rodents probably has you hungry for a car insurance policy that offers coverage in the event that the rodents damage your vehicle. The good news is that
can help by giving you plenty of savings to chew on!
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Rodents primarily chew on car wires for teeth maintenance. The consistent gnawing helps their teeth from getting too long or too sharp.
To stop rodents from chewing on your car wires, try to store your car inside or park it away from leaves and other food sources. You can also put out mouse traps around your car or apply a strong peppermint oil spray under your hood to deter rodents from getting in your engine bay.
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