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NEWS STORIES

State Supreme Court Rules Against Local Homeowner in Bat Infestation ClaimSubmitted: 03/07/2012
Story By Kailey Burton

LAKE TOMAHAWK - A batty situation for a well-known lawyer has set a new precedent for home insurance coverage.

Attorney Joel Hirschhorn assumed a bat infestation, and all the droppings they left behind in his in his Lake Tomahawk cabin, would be a covered loss under his policy.

Turns out, that's not the case.

"It was pretty pungent. I mean when you walked in you knew, at high noon, that there was a smell. Something -Not the kind of thing you'd want to bring people over," says attorney Joel Hirschhorn.

Hirschhorn argued before the state supreme court that his policy covered rebuilding the soiled house.

But yesterday the court sided with the insurance company, reversing an appeals court decision.

The court ruled that bat guano fell under an exclusion to his policy.

So what does that mean for homeowners in the Northwoods?

"You gotta read the real small print that says 'uh oh, if this happens or that happens, we're not going to cover you," says Hirschhorn.

Local insurance agent Don Strupp tells us homeowners can pick a policy that covers just the basics, or they can opt for a "nearly" all-inclusive Form 3 policy.

"Basically on those policy forms they cover whatever happens to the property EXCEPT, [the named exceptions]and that's where you can read those certain exceptions," says Strupp.

Both Hirschhorn and Strupp agree that it all comes down to the print in your policy, and making sure your policy covers what you think it does.

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