Termites alone cause an estimated $5 million in property damage in the U.S. each year. A recent study found that non-native forest insects cost taxpayers another $1.7 billion and cause $830 million in lost property value for homeowners every year. Many homeowners may not be aware that insect damage isn’t usually covered by home insurance. If it happens in your home or on your property, you’ll be footing the bill.
Why Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover Insect Damage
Homeowners buy home insurance to protect their investment from fires, burglaries, accidents and natural disasters. Even though insects are a part of nature, almost all home insurance policies exclude them from coverage. Why? Because you could have prevented an insect infestation.
Home insurance coverage is going to come down to whether the damage was something that was completely out of your control and whether you made every effort to avoid the problem. Coverage parameters are often referred to as ‘sudden and accidental.’ Insect damage is often going to be looked at as an issue that had been around for some time before it caused a serious concern, not a sudden problem that happened overnight.
Insurers also argue that insect problems are a maintenance issue, not necessarily an accident. No homeowner wants to get termites or carpenter ants, but there were means to prevent the possibility of an infestation with pest control treatments.
The Collateral Damage Caveat
While direct damage done by insects isn’t covered by homeowners insurance, the collateral damage cause by their wood eating often is. So in other words, any problems that are a result of the insect damage is considered accidental. Insurance won’t cover your support beam that termites ate through, but will cover the cost of a wall being damaged from the now disproportionate weight distribution that occurred because of the faulty beam.
How Homeowners Can Protect Themselves
Unfortunately, insurance companies are adding to the list of pest problems that aren’t covered rather than the other way around. The best line of defense is to take preventative measures.
- Regular, professional pest control treatments, particularly termite treatments, are the best way to keep insects and other pests off your premises.
- Check your home regularly for signs of an infestation. If you see frass, droppings or other signs, contract an exterminator ASAP.
- Always do a termite inspection when buying a new home if you’re in an area that’s known to have these pesky wood eaters.
Take the first step to protecting your Alabama home from an insect invasion with pest control treatments from Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Termite#mediaviewer/File:Workertermite1.jpg
Original Source: https://www.vulcantermite.com/destructive-pests/home-insurance-cover-termite-damage/