Small Creatures, Big Problems
Which insect is the best smelling? The “deoder-ant”. 😛
Which insect is the most destructive? The “white ant”, also known as the termite.
In my travels around the web, there seems to be no bigger or controversial insurance gap than the issue of termites. They may be small, but they can cause a huge amount of damage to your investment in a short amount of time and right under your nose.
The majority of our site-built homes begins with a strong foundation and a solid wood frame. It ensures that the home will stand tall and strong. Unfortunately, it also attracts termites who feed on dead plant material (i.e. wood) and thrive in warm, humid climates (hey, guess where we live!). Termites aren’t just an isolated problem. They are a serious concern for anyone wanting to make sure their house stays financially covered.
The good news is that most insurance policies cover termite damage! The bad news is that most of the time, the damage is only covered if the termites bring down a major support beam or rafter and bring the roof crashing down, destroying other property in your home in the process. This is what’s known as “collateral damage”. (It’s also what’s known as “time to check into a hotel”) The problem is, though, is that termites can make their presence known long before structural damage ever gets this far, and coverage will extend to the damaged property, not the roof.
For the most part, termites are considered a maintenance issue and completely preventable with annual inspections and exterminations. While that’s true to a point, the unforseeable can still happen.
Some pest control companies can enter into something called a “termite bond”, offering regular inspections and treatments, but paying for any termite damage that may occur of said treatments fail, and depending on the location and the breed, it’s always a faint possibility. Even termite bonds have their limitations, though, and only cover certain types of current damage (non-preexisting) and/or certain native breeds.
Long story short, prevention is the only sure-fire way to deal with termites and the damage they cause. The best prevention method is to speak with your local insurance agent about your coverage options and be diligent in home inspections and repairs.
Remember: just because you can’t immediately see the problem doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
First Baldwin Insurance