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The Truth About Pest Control and Homeowners Insurance

May 23, 2014 | Comments Off on The Truth About Pest Control and Homeowners Insurance


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The ins and outs of homeowners insurance isn’t exactly easy for most people to understand, and with all the added exceptions and references to special cases, it can start to make your head spin. This is why many homeowners give up on trying to read through their policy thoroughly and end up being unpleasantly surprised when a situation arises that they find out isn’t covered. This particularly seems to be the case whenever it comes to pest problems.

Insects and rodents can definitely wreak havoc on a property and cause all kinds of major destruction, but infestations aren’t generally included in standard home insurance coverage. It’s critical for your wallet and peace of mind to familiarize yourself with your policy and find out how it relates to pest control.

Why Pest Infestations Are Usually Excluded

Homeowners insurance is designed to take care of properties that have been damaged or destroyed as a result of sudden or unforeseeable circumstances. Though you want to make sure you have home insurance in case disaster strikes, losses due to pest infestations are almost always excluded because insurance companies view them as a preventable condition and part of the normal maintenance responsibility of owning a home. This is why it’s so important to have a pest control plan in place even before there is actual evidence that you have a pest issue.

Understanding Collateral Damage

In some instances, you may be able to make a claim with your insurance company regarding damages that are the outcome of another problem that was generated by a pest infestation. This is also known as collateral damage. What this essentially means is that if termites eat a portion of a support beam that later causes a connecting wall to collapse, you could be covered for the wall but not the beam. This may automatically be included in your policy or it might be something you have to add on, depending on your insurance provider and type of coverage you have.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Since homeowners insurance won’t do you much good when it comes to pest problems, it’s always best to take action on your own and do what you can to ensure that you aren’t left with hefty repair bills. Prevention is key in situations dealing with pests. As mentioned above, you should already have a trusted pest control company routinely scheduled to come out for inspections. An expert will be able to identify, immediately treat and eliminate any infestations that suddenly pop up before they get out of hand. It’s also a good idea to find out which pests are the most common at specific times of the year so that you can keep an eye out for evidence of an intrusion in between pest control appointments.

It’s a popular misconception among homeowners that home insurance will basically cover any affliction. Any questions you may have concerning your policy and pest control should be addressed with your provider right away so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect if certain circumstances should ever come up.