The words “bat” and “rat” rhyme and some folks have been known to refer to bats as “flying rodents,” but that doesn’t make it so. If only someone would tell this to the folks at Allstate, who have told a California homeowner that it won’t pay to rid her home of bats — something it had previously covered — because the insurance company now believes bats are rodents.
The homeowner’s policy explicitly states that it doesn’t cover rodent infestations. But in 2006, Allstate had no problem paying $3,841 to have the flying mammals evicted from her walls. And that would make sense, as bats and rodents, biologically speaking, are from two distinct orders (Chiroptera and Rodentia, respectively).
Fast forward to this year and the bats have come back to roost in the same house with the same policy. The only thing that has changed is Allstate’s decision to ignore science.
The homeowner took her problem to Sacramento’s CBS 13, where reporter Kurtis Ming attempted to get to the bottom of this dung heap. Allstate eventually told the TV station that it made a mistake when it paid the claim in 2006 and that the homeowner’s policy “excludes bats,” even though Ming could not find the word anywhere in the documentation.
The California Dept. of Insurance looked into the situation but decided not to do anything, calling it a difference of opinion. “Who would know to ask about that coverage in an insurance policy?” asks the department’s Deputy Press Secretary.
Not wanting to live in a house full of bats, the homeowner ponied up around $6,000 of her own money to have them removed. She figures it will cost around $200,000 to have all the dung and other batty crud cleansed from behind her walls.
“I will find another insurance company because I don’t feel like I am in good hands with Allstate at all,” says the homeowner.
Call Kurtis: Bat Invasion! [CBSlocal.com]