Homeowners’ Insurance and Termite Damage: Am I Covered?
Termites and other types of insects can cause considerable damage to your home in very little time. In most cases, this type of damage is preventable. Eliminate the termites and insects, and you will eliminate the damage they cause. This is primarily why most homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite or insect damage. There are instances, however, when the damage is covered. Thus, it’s important to understand your policy and what it covers.
Will My Homeowners’ Insurance Ever Cover Termite Damage?
Even though most termite damage isn’t covered by your traditional homeowners’ policy, there are two times when your insurer might cover a claim.
The first scenario is a total collapse of your home. In order to be covered for this particular event, your house must be a total loss and broken into sections. Sagging, bowing, or cracking doesn’t count. The damage caused by the termites must also have been well-hidden. If you had any prior knowledge that your home was infested with termites, the resulting damage will not be covered.
The next scenario that will make you eligible for coverage is if the termite damage was directly caused by a covered event. Termites love moisture. If a pipe leak causes water damage that is covered by your policy, the resulting termite damage may be covered as well.
If an event occurs that leads you to discover the termite infestation, you may be able to file a claim for both (the water damage and the termite infestation) as long as you report the event immediately after it occurs.
How Do I File a Claim?
In order to file a claim for termite damage, you will need to make sure that you are entitled to be reimbursed. You will have to hire a professional inspector to come to your home and evaluate the damage. If they determine you have a valid claim, your next step is to call your insurance agent. A claims adjustor will be sent to your home to inspect the damage, who may or may not support your claim.
If I Don’t Have Coverage, What Should be My Next Step?
If your insurance doesn’t cover the termite damage, you will have to take control of the situation yourself. The first thing to do is remove the termites. You can attempt to remove them yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Hiring a professional may cost a little more, but they will help you get rid of the entire colony, ensuring that termites no longer pose a threat to your home.
You will also be responsible for any damage that was caused to your home. It’s important to hire an inspector to determine the extent of the damage. Once you understand what needs to be fixed, collect estimates from two or three reputable contractors, choose the one with the best bid, and obtain a small loan to pay for the repairs (if needed).
Finding out your home has termite damage can be unsettling. You will need to speak to your insurance provider to determine if you are eligible for coverage. Contact our reputable agents at Little & Sons Insurance Services today. We will go over your home insurance policy and help you get the best coverage for your unique needs.