Let’s say that during a home inspection, termites are uncovered. Or, perhaps, years of mice living above your garage have damaged the electrical wiring in that area. Either of these situations could be threatening occurrences, that might create a safety risk in your home. The question is, will homeowners insurance cover your repairs? Here’s what you need to know?
Understanding Coverage for Pest Damage
To get right to the point: pest control is usually not covered by your basic home insurance policy. However, it sometimes can be, given certain provisions.
Let's break it down point by point:
- Pest control is typically regarded as a homeowner maintenance issue, meaning that your basic policy is unlikely to cover it. You should do your due diligence to have regular pest control or extermination services.
- A typical home insurance policy will not pay for an exterminator for regular cleanups.
- Infestation damages are typically not covered because they can generally be considered to be result from a failure to properly maintain the home. That is: If the homeowner could reasonably be expected to have prevented the damages, their homeowners policy is unlikely to cover it.
- More severe damages resulting from an infestation may be covered. One example offered suggests an electrical fire caused by a rat chewing through wiring might have coverage. However, if you knew about the problem and did nothing about it before it got to that point, then even this exception may not be covered.
- Home cleaning following an infestation will typically not be covered. This is not a simple matter of sweeping up, as rodents often leave a home in need of a more rigorous disinfecting process owing to the disease they may carry.
- Pest control can be covered on many policies with a rider to provide additional coverage. This of course means spending a little bit more on your insurance cost, but your provider may offer total coverage for pest control, repair and cleaning, making it a worthwhile investment.
As always, it's a good idea to thoroughly read over your policy and call your provider with any questions. It may be easy and inexpensive to manage an infestation if you can catch it early, but it's good to know that you have a backup plan should the problem get out of hand.
Also Read: How Does Local Crime Impact Home Insurance Rates?