Insurance denies claim after squirrel causes thousands of damage to family's home

Posted at 7:14 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 08:52:30-05

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) - When Kari Drees and her husband were out of town for the holidays, the alarm in their Buckhead home went off.

"We had a friend come check it out and our doors and windows were in tact so we just thought it was a software issue," Drees said.

But when the family got home from vacation, they opened the front door and immediately realized something was wrong.

The house was in disarray. The faucet was even on in the kitchen, so they figured someone had burglarized them.

Turns out that was far from the case.

"We started to see droppings around the house,” Drees said.

And eventually, Drees said they found a squirrel nesting in this couch.

They think he came in through the fireplace...and got stuck.

"It seems like he was trying to make his way out of the house. So, he started chewing every window, every door just trying to get out," Drees said.

The family found widespread wood damage throughout the home and Drees estimates it'll cost thousands to fix.

Drees immediately called her insurance company for help.

But after an adjuster from Mercury Insurance came by, he denied the claim - citing an exclusion for rodents and vermin.

"Insurance is supposed to provide a sense of security and it's turning into that it's not providing that sense of security with us," Drees said.