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Paying out for damage apparently caused by rats?

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Hi all - not sure if this post is in the right sub-forum.


My tenants have just reported that they think a rat chewed through a water pipe "About 2am last night we heard the rat in the middle bathroom upstairs. The noise was coming from under the toilet. I closed the door and lock it from the outside. A few hours later the rat started gnawing at the actual door.

A few hours after that I heard water gushing out of the bathroom.. I opened the door and water was coming out from the floor boards.

I assume the rat gnawed through some pipe work.

We had to turn the water off at the main pipe to stop further flooding and we are frighting to use the electric lights etc".


I've checked my landlords's insurance and whilst water escape is covered, there is an exclusion clause regarding vermin "Corrosion, rust, wet or dry rot, shrinkage, evaporation, leakage, loss of weight, dampness, contamination, fermentation, dryness, marring, scratching, chewing, vermin or insects".


Does this mean that if they think and confirm that the burst pipe WAS caused by rats then then the insurance company will also NOT cover the water escape ? I would be grateful for any thoughts regarding this as it seems to be an unusual situation. Also, for all I know, the flooding may have been caused by allowing the sink to overflow and this has been blamed on the rats, but I guess the insurance will investigate and tell me. There are no floorboards in this bathroom - just tiles over under floor heating so the report of the rats doesn't seem to "ring true"!


By the way, my house was 80 % rebuilt before the tenants moved in - all new walls, plastering, plumbing, electrics, etc. This is the first that I've heard that there were rats in the property - the tenants have been in since April and this is the first time that they have reported rats but have now told me that they have seen them-evidence of them before "Hi ***

There is a rat issues in the property

There was a hole under the bath were the rat was coming through.. and into the living room etc.. We managed to seal that hole as best we could.

In the kitchen under the sink, they have managed to chew the thin wood that backs onto the wall...and also come through the holes were the pipes go into the wall. We have tried to fill the holes with plumber’s wire wool.

In the kitchen at the top of the cupboards I sometimes leave my box cereals.. today I noticed that the boxes have holes and evidence of rats."


Obviously, I am a little annoyed that they didn't tell me before so I might have sorted out the matter before this happened (though this is a matter for the residential lettings forum).


Thanks and apologies for such a long post!

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From past experience with my insurance company, The damage that any water has caused will be covered, Just not the cause


Years ago the water tank in my bathroom leaked, The insurance paid for the damage to the kitchen ceiling, But didn't cover fixing the tank


Best bet would be to talk to them

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Vermin damage is a separate cover as I found out 10 years ago when rats had managed to chew through some redundant sewage pipes blocking the sewage of the entire terrace.

At the time shared drains were responsibility of landlords, so I paid for the pipe to be relined out of my own pocket.

It costs me £22 a year to be insured against vermin damage.

Anyway, It's unusual for rats to chew water pipe because apparently, and I just repeat what a plumber told me, the chemicals in the plastic pipes prevent this and copper pipes would damage their gums and teeth.

Best option is to expose the damage and reveal what has caused it.

If indeed it was rats, unfortunately you won't be covered.

In any case, as it is evident that there are rats in the property you should call a reputable pest control to stop them invading your property, they reproduce very quickly.

I don't think you can even blame the tenants because they told you that they had seen evidence of rats (difficult to see them as they mainly operate at night when all lights are off, unless the colony has grown so much that they go out during the day to find food.

Good luck, you'll need it with these unwanted guests.

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Thanks all - ing - are you saying that you think the insurance will not even pay out for the escape of water?


Not if it's been caused by rats.

It's a standard exclusion on all the policies I've ever seen, including yours apparently.

Sorry for you.

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I would expect the insurer to cover the cost of any water damage but not any damage caused by the rats directly - e.g cost of pipe repairs/floorboards they've gnawed at etc.

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Water damage should be ok, if you have accidental damage cover. If you have standard cover, they won't cover it.


Damage directly caused by the rats to pipes/floorboards will not be covered due to vermin exclusion.

We could do with some help from you.



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Water damage should be ok, if you have accidental damage cover. If you have standard cover, they won't cover it.


Damage directly caused by the rats to pipes/floorboards will not be covered due to vermin exclusion.


Thanks - fortunately I do have accidental damage.

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In my case they refused to pay for anything because the chain of events had been started by rats, and I had accidental damage cover.

Hopefully your insurance will pay for water damage so you only have to pay for a small length of pipe.

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