North American species have learned that places humans inhabit are areas where food can be found.
The United States is home to a spectrum of types of bears as well as their subspecies, and homeowners insurance customers are reminded that these animals are dangerous and can cause substantial property damage.
The American Black Bear alone is distributed throughout the country with 16 different subspecies.
The overall population of the American Black Bear is as high as 900,000, primarily found in forested and mountainous parts of the country. When they’re living in their traditional habitat, they typically don’t cause any harm. That said, since they woke from their hibernation in late March, one of their main goals is to find food.
It’s at this time that auto and homeowners’ insurance customers start to receive their reminders of the potential problem bears can cause. As the summer begins, this reminder is even more important. Bears have learned that areas where humans live provide a bountiful source of easy food. Unfortunately, when bears move into areas where people live, this leaves people open to injury, and homes, property and vehicles open to damage.
The majority of auto and homeowners’ insurance policies cover some but not all forms of bear-related damage.
For instance, while a bear breaking glass and damaging a building to try to get into it would be covered. That said, infestation, nesting, discharge and release of secretions or waste production aren’t usually covered by standard policies. This is the case not only for bears, but other animals such as rodents, birds and insects too.
That said, what is usually covered in a homeowners’ insurance policy (though deductibles will typically apply) relating to bear damage includes:
• Torn siding, shattered doors and windows, and harm to outdoor items such as patio furniture.
• Separate policies would be needed for swimming pools and hot tubs in the yard, as well as boats kept on the property.
• A collision with a bear while driving is treated the same way as hitting another animal such as a deer. A comprehensive policy will cover it, as would damage a bear does to a vehicle.
To know precisely what coverage is available through a homeowners insurance policy, policyholders are advised to speak with their insurers or agents.