Animal house: Squirrel wrecks home, insurance won’t fix it

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ATLANTA (AP) —An Atlanta couple said they came home from a winter vacation to find their house had been ransacked by an unusual suspect: a squirrel.

Kari and Dustin Drees bought their first home last month in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead district and went to visit family a week later, news outlets reported.

During their vacation, an alarm went off in the home but friends said the doors and windows were not breached.

When the couple came home, their house was a mess, with floors scratched up, baseboards chewed on and a kitchen faucet running, Kari Drees said.

A squirrel had fallen down their chimney and was trapped in the house, defecating and scratching at everything to get out. Eventually it made a nest in the couple’s couch.

“We’re stressed at first, but we were like, ‘This is why you have homeowner’s insurance. It’s in situations like this.’ … and so we weren’t too stressed,” Kari Drees said.

But the couple’s home insurance provider Mercury Insurance, told them it wouldn’t cover the damages because “a squirrel is a rodent,” which is not covered under the policy.

A representative from Mercury told news outlets that the contract “explicitly stated” the insurance does not cover damages by rodents. The couple was told if a raccoon destroyed the house, the damages would have been covered.

The couple will need to repair furniture, windows, floors, walls and have the home professionally cleaned.

Mercury said that while they won’t cover the damages, they have offered to pay for safe housing for the family for up to two weeks.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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