Pests and House Insurance: Three Things You Should Know

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As a house owner, you probably know everything about house insurance, the damages it covers and the possibilities you have in case of unpredicted damaging events. But there are some issues that your insurance will not cover and you’ll have to take the money out of your pocket to start fixing the disasters. More and more people ask if insurance companies will pay for pests inducing damages and pest control and treatment plans, getting an answer that is not by far pleasant to their ears and finances: no.

# Accidents vs. maintenance

If we take a quick look over what insurance means and deals with, the reason for which insurance companies don’t pay for pest damage is simple: insurance covers for problems which appear as random, and uncontrolled: earthquake, hurricane, flood, these are natural events that we don’t get to have a say on. On the other hand, there are acts of negligence such as fire, house flood, gas leaks, pipe bursts that are still covered. What insurance doesn’t cover is the owner’s lack of respect and care for his house, therefore letting the pests chew on your walls or furniture is something that should be taken care of from the start and which definitely doesn’t qualify as “sudden and accidental.”

# Pest damage vs. collateral damage

Pests which can harm a house come in different sizes and shapes, from termites, to rats to birds and so on. If you neglected to regularly control the house and its premises and allowed pests to spread and infest, then insurance won’t cover the costs of an affected, chewed by termites or by rats sustaining house pole for instance, as you let that pole to the mercy of pests. But if that pole breaks and tears and in turn it leads to a wall breaking down or the roof falling on you, then you could ask for insurance coverage. You have to be careful, though, as a sudden and accidental roof damage may turn against you, collateral or not. Some insurance companies cover the costs of a pest controls specialists’ intervention, but you have to read carefully every company’s exclusion list.

# Living in the house vs. marketing the house

As an owner, you should recognize the signs of pest infestation. Termites leave special, tiny, hard to see marks (at least in the beginning), as rats are more obvious. Woodworms, bees, moths, carpenter ants, all these vermin leave traces that a seller would want to hide, while a buyer would want to know more about. If you are just looking for a place to buy, aside the typical insurance issues (such house and goods insurance, extended insurance, rates and so on), one of the first things you should do is to ask for some kind of certainty that you don’t move in together with pests. Ask about the last documented certified control and treatment plan, look for traces yourself, bring a pest specialist together with the building inspector and read carefully the papers issued by the current insurance company. Some properties can be kept safe from pests, while others need extended interventions.

Always remember insurance covers accidents and sudden damages, so if you let those mice to gnaw on your pipes, you won’t close the deal of your lifetime, to say the least.


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