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Ri$k Happens: Those dirty rats!

By Mary Ann Gormly, loss analyst, ARA Insurance

April 16, 2023

The rental store employees walked into their warehouse and saw multiple items in disarray. Bits and pieces of plastic and cardboard and other materials were strewn about. It took a few minutes of investigation to determine that rats had gotten into their warehouse and had destroyed a portion of their inventory. They had never had this problem before and couldn’t figure out why it happened now after all these years.  

Spring cleaning was in order. Items were moved from one side of their warehouse to another, and the building was cleaned from top to bottom. The objects that could be salvaged were, and the items that were beyond saving were tossed. While cleaning they discovered the remains of a box of food from an event the weekend before had been brought into the warehouse rather than taken off premises as they thought. It appeared that was the source of the vermin infestation. 

The owner of the rental store contacted their insurance company to start a claim. The adjuster will review the policy language to determine if there is coverage for damage to inventory from rodents and other vermin. 

Remind your employees to check and double check that your policies and procedures are being followed so you don’t experience a loss that might otherwise be prevented and may not be covered by insurance.  

This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Overland Park, Kan., contains safety tips and is intended to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.