Does AAA Car Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

Rodent damage to vehicles is an annoyingly common problem that can cost vehicle owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. Chewed wiring, shredded insulation, and contaminated interiors can quickly render a car undriveable.

If you find rodent damage in your car, you may wonder if your AAA auto insurance policy covers the repairs. Here’s what you need to know about AAA insurance and rodent damage claims.

What Types of Rodent Damage Happen to Cars?

Rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks can cause extensive damage to vehicles. These critters are attracted to the warmth, shelter, and possible food sources inside car engines and compartments. Some of the most common types of rodent damage include:

  • Chewing on wires – Rodents love to gnaw on plastic coating and rubber around electrical wires. This can lead to exposed copper wiring and electrical shorts.

  • Shredding insulation – Insulation around wiring and hoses makes a perfect nesting material. Shredded insulation can clog ventilation and allow wires to short out.

  • Contaminating the cabin – Rodents leave droppings and urine inside passenger compartments. This causes unsanitary and foul odors.

  • Damaging air filters – Air filters make convenient nests. Chewed filters allow dirt into ventilation systems.

  • Plugging drainage tubes – Mice love to stuff shredded insulation down drain tubes, plugging water drainage systems.

  • Destabilizing stored vehicles – Rodents build nests in little-driven vehicles. Their activities can damage belts, hoses, and tires.

A single ambitious rodent can cause hundreds of dollars in damage by shredding wiring harnesses. Repairs often require replacement parts and extensive labor.

Is Rodent Damage Covered by AAA Insurance?

Rodent damage claims fall under the “comprehensive” portion of your AAA auto insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from non-collision events like fire, theft, vandalism, weather, and animal encounters. Here are key points about AAA comprehensive coverage and rodents:

  • Rodent damage is covered – Gnawing damage from mice, rats, squirrels and other rodents falls under animal damage, which is covered by comprehensive insurance.

  • Coverage is subject to your deductible – You’ll need to pay your comprehensive deductible amount before coverage kicks in for rodent damage repairs. AAA deductibles start at $100. Higher deductibles lower your premiums.

  • Coverage extends to rodents in storage – AAA comprehensive insurance covers rodent damage that occurs when a car is in a garage or storage facility. Stored classic cars are vulnerable targets.

  • No change to premiums – Filing a rodent damage claim under comprehensive coverage does not cause your AAA insurance rates to increase. Comp claims do not impact premiums.

  • Documentation is important – Take dated photos of any rodent damage before beginning repairs. This provides proof for your claim. Save any nest materials or dead rodents found as well.

As “acts of nature”, rodent damage claims do not fall under collision coverage and do not affect your rates like an at-fault accident would. Comprehensive coverage protects against random environmental hazards like wildlife.

Tips for Preventing Rodent Infestations in Vehicles

While AAA insurance covers the damage, preventing rodents from invading your car in the first place will save you money and headaches. Here are some tips for keeping mice, rats, and squirrels from setting up camp in your ride:

  • Park vehicles in garages when possible.

  • Avoid parking near dumpsters or fields that attract rodents.

  • Seal any exterior holes or gaps with wire mesh, caulk, or foam. Mice can squeeze through amazingly small openings.

  • Install physical barriers like wire mesh under hoods and around fenders.

  • Use mothballs or cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil as repellents in engine compartments. Avoid using poison bait traps.

  • Place dryer sheets or boxes of baking soda inside cabin areas. Mice dislike these scents.

  • Consider having a mechanic replace rubber wiring harnesses with newer soy-based plastic coated wires. Plastic is less appealing for gnawing rodents.

  • Start your car and let it warm up fully at least once a week if not driving regularly. This scares off any nesting rodents.

  • Inspect for signs of infestation frequently – look for droppings, chewed materials, and nests. Act quickly to prevent major damage.

Documenting and Filing a Rodent Damage Claim with AAA

If you discover rodent damage, take steps to properly document and file your AAA insurance claim:

  • Take dated photos showing all damaged areas, before beginning any repairs. Photograph dead rodents or nests as well.

  • Save any dead rodents or nest materials removed from the vehicle. These help prove a rodent issue.

  • Get a written estimate from a mechanic detailing all necessary repairs and parts replacement.

  • File your claim with AAA by calling or using the online claims center. Provide all documentation.

  • AAA will send an appraiser to inspect damage and validate the rodent infestation. Provide access for inspection.

  • Pay your compresensive deductible. AAA will pay approved amounts directly to the repair shop.

  • Consider taking preventive measures like adding wire mesh guards once repairs are complete, to avoid repeat damage.

Rodent damage is annoying and inconvenient, but comprehensive insurance coverage through AAA can alleviate some of the cost to fix chewed up wiring, insulation, and components. Taking preventive measures can help deter mice, rats, squirrels and other rodents from invading your vehicles in the first place.

Recent Increase in Rodent Damage to Unused Vehicles

According to AAA insurance providers, rodent damage to parked and stored vehicles has spiked during recent years.

2020 and 2021 saw large increases in comprehensive claims related to rodent damage. Experts attribute this to several pandemic-related factors:

  • Many cars were sitting idle for longer periods while people stayed home. Rodents took advantage of these stagnant vehicles.

  • Rental car companies had huge inventories sitting idle due to reduced travel. Unmoved vehicles suffered extensive rodent damage.

  • Rodent populations have increased in some areas due to less road traffic and human activity over lockdowns.

  • Disruptions to waste disposal caused more rodents to scavenge for food sources like cars.

  • Inflation pressures caused an increase in rodent issues as mice, rats, and squirrels sought shelter in vehicles.

AAA recommends drivers take action to rodent-proof their vehicles during periods of low usage. Parking idle cars in secure garages helps prevent exposure to rodents looking for shelter. Inspecting under hoods frequently also allows early detection and prevention before major damage occurs.

Comprehensive insurance through AAA continues to provide valuable coverage against costly rodent damage. But prevention steps can help avoid the hassles of infestations and claims in the first place.

The Bottom Line on Rodent Damage and AAA Insurance

Rodents can quickly cause hundreds of dollars in damage by chewing on wiring, insulation, hoses and interior components of parked vehicles. Comprehensive auto insurance, included with all AAA car insurance policies, covers the cost of repairs for rodent damage, minus your deductible amount.

Key points to remember:

  • Rodent damage from mice, rats, squirrels and other gnawing critters is specifically covered under comprehensive auto insurance with AAA.

  • Filing a rodent damage claim will not increase your AAA insurance rates, unlike collision claims.

  • Prevention measures like sealing entry points, eliminating food sources, and rodent-proofing materials can help avoid infestations and damage.

  • Take before photos, document damages, and save evidence of any dead rodents or nests when filing a claim.

  • Increased rodent populations and idle vehicles during the pandemic led to a rise in related comprehensive claims.

Rodent invaders can wreak havoc on wiring and vehicle components. But AAA comprehensive insurance provides some protection against the high costs of clearing out these uninvited guests and repairing the damage they leave behind. With proper prevention and documentation, you can get back to enjoying your rodent-free car.

When The Insurance Adjuster Comes To See Your Car Damage, Beware!


Does car insurance cover damage from rodents?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, any claims you must file due to damages caused by rodents would be covered.

Does State Farm cover rodent damage to cars?

Speak with your State Farm agent about comprehensive coverage, which typically covers repairs for collisions with animals, after your deductible. *Rodents are not only involved in collisions, but included in claims data as an animal related loss for damage they cause to vehicles, like chewing wires.

Does car warranty cover rodent damage?

Is rodent damage covered by warranty? A manufacturer warranty won’t cover rodent damage unless you can prove that the damage happened before you purchased the car. However, car insurance will cover rodent damage if you have comprehensive coverage, so you should file a claim instead.

Leave a Comment