A Bag of Fries Led to an Unusual Farmers Car Insurance Claim

Jason Crosby
· 4 min read
It might seem like the last scenario you’d expect: a bag of fries causing a
car insurance
claim. After all, how could something so delicious ever create a problem? The answer? Rodents.
If you’re a car owner, it’s pretty frustrating to worry about whether these varmints are nesting inside your car, or damaging expensive, unseen parts of your vehicle. Thankfully, there’s no need to wage an all-out war—you just need to be a little prepared.
Whether it’s rats, bats, or a hail storm,
can help you navigate the entire car insurance process.
A couple of fries somehow led to a huge headache for one car-owner | Twenty20

A bag of fries and one unusual car insurance claim

It’s a story that truly belongs in
Farmers Insurance's
"Hall of Claims". According to Farmers
, a family in the Pacific Northwest took their car into the shop after submitting a damage claim, when their vehicle’s engine wasn’t working properly.
The wife recalled dropping a bag of fries in the driveway; the mechanic discovered a mouse had somehow grabbed the bag and nestled it conveniently in an important area of the engine compartment.
So you’re up to speed on the fact that rodents can damage your car. But how? Rodents usually damage vehicles by finding a way to chew through essential wiring, hoses, plastic manifolds, and more.
When they chew through these wires, they might expose the metal underneath the wire’s insulation; by doing so your car can be unsafe to drive due to dangerous electrical currents.
Using those big teeth to chew their way through electrical systems isn’t the only disastrous technique rodents can employ to mess up your car’s functionality. When they create nests, or burrow their way into critical areas of your engine, you risk having things like your engine air intake clogged.
There’s also the hazardous potential for a fire starting from a mouse or rat’s nesting material bursting into flames. This can occur after the dry material comes into contact with a spark or intense heat from the engine, exhaust pipes, or other hot surfaces within your car.
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Why Do Rodents Like To Damage Our Vehicles?

Don’t worry—it’s nothing personal. Vehicles, especially those that remain parked for extended periods of time, are warm and cozy places to eat food, sleep, and nibble on exposed parts.
In fact, more and more people have been reporting rodent damage to their cars in the past year.
Consumer Reports
indicates that the Coronavirus is to blame.
The pandemic shut down many restaurants, and when restaurants aren’t producing food waste for mice and other creatures to consume, they must scavenge in areas where food is potentially available.
As a result, many suburban and residential areas have experienced an increase in these furry pests. Everyday parts of our lives like our trash, vegetable gardens, and pet food can attract mice, rats and voles.

How to avoid damage to your vehicle

The best ways to avoid attracting rodents and small animals to your car is to:
  • Avoid parking next to potential food sources, like garbage cans or compost bins.
  • Hire an exterminator to evaluate your property and to detect any rodent infestations.
  • Take precautions to properly seal your parking garage to discourage rodents and other animals from being able to wiggle their way inside.
For high-tech drivers, there’s even a spicy electrical tape, covered in capsaicin. Using the chemical that makes peppers so hot, this capsaicin-laced tape can be used to further protect the wiring in your vehicle from unwanted chomping.
Some vehicle owners opt to try using devices that emit sound waves that deter rodents—the rationale being that their extra-sensitive hearing can’t handle ultra high-pitched noise.
But whatever course of action you take, it’s essential to remember that rodent damage to your vehicle could potentially be expensive, or even dangerous. By chewing through wires, or creating nests and obstructing important mechanical processes, rodents could force you to file a damage claim and render your car undrivable.
Taking proactive measures to keep these tiny invaders out of your car is definitely worth it.

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