Are raccoons rodents? Maybe you’re an animal lover, passionate about biology, and raccoons are your favorite. You really want to know everything about these critters, and your curiosity about whether raccoons are part of the rodent family is getting the better of you…or, more likely, you need this piece of information to know whether your insurance company will cover all the damage caused by raccoons in your house.
Whatever the case, you are in the right place. We will tell you if raccoons are classified as rodents and even give you some precious advice for successfully claiming money from your insurance company.
How To Recognize A Rodent
The way scientists classify animals can be confusing at first if you are not in the know. Every animal is classified by its kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and, most specifically, species. We won’t investigate here all the technical aspects of the classification system. But suffice it to say that sometimes these labels can be confusing, and they may not match up with what we see in an animal.
For example, raccoons are in the order Carnivora, which indicates meat-eating animals that get food by killing and eating other animals. Now, when you think of a raccoon or observe its behavior, you can easily associate it with a rodent, like a squirrel or a beaver, but it is quite unlikely that you relate a raccoon to a lion, right?
The fact is, despite what we picture in our minds, raccoons are carnivorous. They can kill and eat other animals — for example, the fish in your pond or your poultry. But if you have raccoons visiting your house, you know very well that they are not fussy about food. They can eat anything they put their claws on, from whatever’s in your trash can to pet food, vegetables, fruit and so on. So, a better description for raccoons that fits what we know about them is “omnivorous.” Nevertheless, scientists classify them as carnivores.
What about racccoons rodents? Again, if you’ve had raccoons inside your house, you know all too well their ability to chew cables, water pipes, wood or anything else they find appealing. Does that make raccoons rodents?
All rodents share a common feature: a pair of strong, growing incisors in both the upper and lower jaws. For instance, think about a mouse and its tiny buck teeth. That’s what a rodent's incisors look like. Do raccoons show this typical rodent feature? Are raccoons rodents? No, raccoons don’t have those incisors.
That’s why raccoons are not part of the rodent family. Raccoons may be very skilled at using their teeth, but they do not have the specific feature needed to classify them as rodents, in the order Rodentia.
Are Raccoons Rodents? No, But...
As we just explained, raccoons are not rodents, and that is probably good news for you. We are quite confident that the reason behind your curiosity is the little clause you have read in your home insurance policy that excludes refunds for damage caused by rodents.
Science is on your side, and since raccoons are not rodents, you are safe and can claim money for the damage. But what about the other clause so often found in insurance policies — the one that mentions damage by vermin? Are raccoons considered vermin?
In this case, the answer is not so clear-cut as the previous one. The definition of vermin is quite foggy and open to interpretation. That’s why when you contact your insurance company, they may at first tell you that the vermin clause excludes raccoon damage and refuse to accept your claim.
Regardless of what your insurance company says, let’s look at the definition of vermin. The American Heritage Dictionary defines vermin as “any of various small animals or insects that are destructive, annoying, or injurious to health.” Other dictionaries define vermin as “small, common, harmful, or objectionable animals (as lice or fleas) that are difficult to control; birds and mammals that prey on game; animals that at a particular time and place compete (as for food) with humans or domestic animals.”
It is evident that the definition is pretty vague, and we believe it is not possible to affirm with certainty that raccoons are vermin. So we say: File your claim! It would not be the first time, in fact, that the court has decided raccoons are not vermin, and that the insurance company has to cover the damage caused by the animals. (source1, source2)
What To Do If You Have A Raccoon Problem
If you are experiencing problems with raccoons in your house and you wish to have all the damage covered by your insurance company, don’t give up. As we explained, raccoons are not part of the rodent family. And regarding the vermin clause, if the insurance policy does not specifically mention raccoons, the chances are good that you will get your money back.
At Get Raccoons Out, we have years of experience not just in getting rid of raccoons, but also understanding how to handle insurance companies so that they will cover restoration and repair costs. Over the years, we have helped many of our clients successfully claim their money, even if they had difficulties at first. Our knowledge in this field means you may not have to pay a single penny out of pocket to reverse the havoc caused by raccoons.
Contact us and take advantage of our expertise and knowledge to remove raccoons from your house, repair the damage and have your insurance company pay for all the expenses. Our insurance coordinator will be available for a free consultation before you even call your insurance company.