Rodents Eating Car Wires: Will My Auto Insurance Cover It?

Find out what your car insurance will cover if you’ve had rodents eating your car wires or rodent damage to your vehicle.
By Mike Parker
Updated Sep 15, 2022
A rodent that has been trapped after eating car wires.
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Ever been in a situation where your car wouldn’t start or a light turns on when you’re leaving for work? You open the hood only to see chewed wires, and other signs that a rodent has crawled in and made a nest.

Depending on your car insurance, you may be able to get this damage covered by your policy. However, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider before you submit a claim.

This article will cover car insurance for rodent damage and what you should know when thinking about auto coverage and noncollision coverage.

What Kind of Damage Can Rodents Do to Car Wiring?

Depending on the type of animal and where they’ve gotten in, the damage to your car wiring may be minor or major.

Rodents like rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons, climb into cars when they’re looking for warmth. Their natural instinct is to make a nest in their newfound home and they’ll begin chewing on wires and cables in your vehicle.

If you have a family of rodents chewing car wires, the damage may be extensive. 

The problem is that the damage may not be noticeable for a while, but it could lead to problems down the line.

For example, let’s say a rat chews through the wire of an oil sensor. This could lead the device to malfunction and you could be driving one day when your engine simply seizes up.

Or, let’s say a mouse bites a rear brake light sensor and you end up having malfunctioning brake lights while driving at night. 

Which Types of Animals Chew Car Wires?

  • Rats.

  • Mice.

  • Chipmunks.

  • Raccoons.

  • Possums.

The damage that a rodent can cause to your car wiring can be catastrophic. This is why having adequate coverage to pay for these costs is vital if you live in an area with lots of animals that chew car wiring.

Signs That My Car’s Wiring Has Rodent Damage

  • Warning lights on your dashboard.

  • Your car won’t start.

  • An ammonia-like odor.

  • Debris coming through the vents.

  • Malfunctioning lights.

  • Damaged wires have chips or scrapes that look like they’ve been caused by rodent teeth.

A rodent that has just chewed someones wires.

Source: Pexels

Which Insurance Policy Will Cover Rodent Damage?

You’ll need to check your insurance coverage to see whether you’re covered for damage caused by rodents. In general, comprehensive car insurance will cover this type of damage.

If you have other types of insurance, you may be covered for rodent damage, but you’ll need to go over your contract terms to understand exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.

Let’s see how the different types of car insurance might potentially cover you for rodent damage.

Will Comprehensive Coverage Cover Rodent Damage?

Comprehensive insurance coverage should cover rodent damage; however, you’ll need to check the terms of your insurance plan to make sure that you’re covered.

Some comprehensive coverage plans may exclude certain types of damage that aren’t caused by collisions or accidents.

Keep in mind that if you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance covers the damage caused by rats, mice, or other rodents. Deductibles will vary according to the type of damage you’re claiming for. 

What Is a Deductible, and What Costs Will I Pay When I Get Car Insurance?

A deductible is a set amount that you’ll need to pay before your auto insurance will cover damage to your car.

It is different from your premium, which is the monthly amount that you’ll pay for insurance coverage. There are three costs you’ll need to consider when buying auto insurance.

1) Your deductible.

2) Your premium.

3) Your excess (which is the amount not covered by your insurance).

For example, let’s say you’re involved in an accident and you take your car in for repairs. The bill comes to $3000. However, you only have insurance for $2500 with a monthly premium of $55.

Your auto insurance company will likely charge you a deductible, let’s say $250. They will also only cover your repairs up to $2500.

In this scenario, you’d pay:

Your premium: $55 Your deductible: $250 Your excess: $500

Your total costs for repairs if you have insurance would be $805.

If you didn’t have car insurance, the repairs would cost you $3000.

If you’re looking for a great deal of comprehensive coverage, PolicyScout can help. Our agents are ready to assist you with your questions and can help you find the best coverage options in your area for auto insurance.

Will Collision Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

No, collision insurance will not cover rodent damage. If you are involved in a collision caused by rodent damage, your insurance will pay for the repairs from the collision. However, they will not pay for new wires if they after the collision find that a rodent has chewed them. 

What Do I Do If I Want Additional Coverage for Unforeseen Events?

One option that is gaining popularity is adding a specific coverage rider to your auto insurance.

Riders are additional coverage terms that can be added to an insurance contract. For example, if you have life insurance, you can add a disability rider to protect you in the event that you become disabled.

This is the same for auto insurance. Depending on the auto insurance company, you may be able to get specific coverage for damage caused by rodents.

Just remember that it will cost you more each month for this additional coverage, so you’ll need to calculate whether it’s worthwhile or if you’re better off getting comprehensive insurance on your vehicle.

Collision insurance is a good option for people who are worried about accidents on the road and the cost of repairs for their vehicles after collisions. 

However, if you need more coverage, you’ll need to look at comprehensive insurance or an insurance rider that will protect you under specific circumstances.

A woman who has Comprehensive Insurance cover that covers rodent damage.

Source: Pexels

Will Minimum Liability Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

With liability insurance, you pay for coverage against any potential damage you cause to other people’s vehicles if you’re involved in an accident. You are also covered for medical expenses (up to a certain amount) that the other vehicle’s driver or occupants may incur as a result of the accident.

Liability insurance and minimum liability insurance won't cover rodent damage, as it is designed to pay for costs relating to collisions or accidents. 

The Difference between Liability vs. Minimum Liability Insurance

Both liability and minimum liability insurance offer the same type of coverage in the event of a collision or accident. However, they are different.

Minimum liability is the least amount of coverage required by your state to legally drive a vehicle on the road.

Liability insurance is more than this minimum amount and can include coverage for larger amounts and different types of costs a driver may be liable for in a motor vehicle accident.

A rodent.

Source: Pexels

What Can I Do If My Car Insurance Doesn’t Cover Rodent Damage? 

If you don’t have insurance that will cover rodent damage, there are a couple of steps you can take.

Upgrade your auto insurance plan: If you drive an older or classic car, getting comprehensive insurance may not be worth it. However, there are insurance companies that offer classic car insurance plans to people with older vehicles.

Be extra vigilant for rodents around your vehicle: Use the tips we mention below and check your car regularly to see if there are signs of rodents around it. Put some money aside: Save money each month in an emergency repair fund if you think that rodents might be gnawing wires in your car. 

Tips to Prevent Rodents from Getting into Your Car

Keep the area around your car clean: Rodents thrive in unclean and cluttered areas. If you have a vehicle that is parked outside, make sure you clear away any brush, branches, or objects that could be a hiding ground for them. You should also sweep and tidy the area where you’ve parked your vehicle and check whether there are rodent droppings nearby.

Park your vehicle indoors: Sometimes the best cure is prevention. Parking your car in an area such as a garage can significantly help reduce the chances of chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and rats from going into your vehicle. If you live in an area or neighborhood with trees, forests, or open fields, it’s best to store your car indoors to prevent rodents from damaging it.

Top Tip: Store pet food away from your car if you’re worried about rodents chewing car wires.

Use rodent repellents: There are hundreds of rodent repellent products on the market that can help deter rodents from chewing car wires. If it comes in a spray bottle, make sure you spread the repellant over the entire area where your car is parked. There are also natural rodent repellents such as mothballs and mint oil which can deter rats, mice, chipmunks, and other rodents from nesting in your car.

Move your vehicle around your property: If you have a car that isn’t being used on a regular basis, make sure that you move it around on your parking area or in your yard. Rodents, such as rats and mice, will 

Be extra vigilant in the winter months: Because rodents typically move into cars during the winter, you should be extra careful during fall and winter. Place extra repellants around your car during the winter months if it’s standing and make sure you move it every two weeks.

A man who can drive happily knowing his insurance covers rodent damage.

Source: Pexels

How Do I Claim for Rodent Damage If I Have Comprehensive Insurance?

Submitting a claim to your insurance provider for rodent damage should be straightforward if your policy covers it.

You’ll typically have to call your insurance provider and submit a claim over the phone. However, some auto insurance providers also allow you to submit a claim online.

It’s always a good idea to take plenty of photos of the damage so that your insurance provider can see how bad it is.

Your insurance company may send out an assessor to check the damage and write a report on what needs to be repaired. You’ll then have to send your car in to be repaired and you may get a rental car to use during this time.

If your insurance policy doesn’t provide a rental car service, you can always get a rental car insurance policy which is an affordable way to ensure you have transportation if you ever need to send your car in for a service or repairs. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive car plan that will protect your wheels against rodent damage, speak to one of our agents today about the different options available in your area.

A car engine that was damaged by rodents.

Source: Pexels

FAQs About Rodent Damage

How do I stop rats from eating my car wires?

Storing your car in a garage and using rat repellent sprays can help stop rats from climbing into your car and chewing wires.

How do I stop squirrels from chewing my car wires?

Make sure that you store your vehicle in an area that is difficult for squirrels to access. You can also use repellents such as mothballs, mint oil, and drying sheets to stop squirrels from climbing into your car and chewing wires.

Does insurance cover rats eating car wires?

Depending on your car insurance plan, you might have coverage for rodent damage to wiring. Comprehensive car insurance usually covers rodent damage to vehicles.

How long does it take for rodents to chew through car wires?

Rats can chew through wires in a single night. Most of the time they will gnaw at little parts of the wires which can lead to corrosion and electrical shorting.

A car that has coverage for rodent damage.

Source: Pixabay

Where Can I Learn More about Auto Insurance?

When it comes to rodent damage, your best bet is to try to stop it before it becomes an issue. Most auto insurance plans won’t cover you for rodent damage, but comprehensive insurance should pay for rodent damage. 

If you’re interested in learning more about auto insurance, your coverage options, and costs, be sure to visit our auto insurance hub to read our latest articles, guides, and how-tos.

If you’d like to find, compare, or learn more about auto insurance in your area, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-912-2132 or send an email to to speak with one of our agents.