Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Pest Damage?
In Florida, many pests thrive in the area’s hot and humid climate, and will not hesitate to enter or even infest a person’s home. Florida homeowners will wonder: does my homeowner’s insurance cover damage caused by rodents, insects, or other pests? It depends on the type of damage and the pests involved, but the answer is usually no.
Why don’t insurers cover pest damage? In most cases, this is because insurers view damage caused by insects or rodents as preventable damage. That is, the homeowner neglected some aspect of the property enough that pests gained easy access to the interior of the home. Allowing junk to pile up next to the home, for example, attracts bugs, mice, rats, termites, and other pests to the spot and encourages them to come into the home as well. Insurers will usually deny coverage when they can shift blame to a homeowner’s lack of care.
In some cases, however, insurers can cover pest damage if it is connected to an unexpected and unpreventable event. A severe storm that breaks windows or puts holes in a roof can introduce unwelcome pests to a home. Some of these pests can cause damage in connection with the event covered under your policy. In other instances, an unexpected issue such as a mouse chewing through an electrical wire and causing a fire could potentially be covered under a homeowner’s insurance.
Ways to Keep Pests from Entering and Damaging Your Home
Since insurers are unlikely to cover general pest damage or infestations, the best way to avoid a major (and costly) problem is to prevent issues on your own. Some tips to avoid pests that homeowners can use include:
- Reducing clutter outside and inside the house. Piles of wood or junk outdoors provide shelter for a wide variety of bugs and critters, making them an ideal target for pests to nest, breed, and enter your home. Clutter inside the home can also provide cover for pests – once inside the home, they will find these spots and use them to feed and multiply.
- Prevent and repair cracks or gaps around the perimeter of your home. Holes, cracks, or other small access points can allow a surprising amount of unwelcome guests in a person’s home. Routinely inspecting your home’s exterior for any gaps can help prevent a problem your insurer could refuse to cover.
- Hire professionals to inspect and treat areas affected by pests. Once an infestation begins, it is difficult for the average homeowner to stop on their own. Professional pest control services have the experience, tools, and resources to eliminate the problem and reduce the risk of future issues.
Prevention of rodent infestations and other problems such as termite infestation can be critical to your home’s well being. You simply can’t count on your insurer to cover these types of damage if they occur due to a theoretically preventable situation.
Our Florida Property Damage Attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., Are Here to Help if You Have a Pest Damage Claim That Should be Covered
9 times out of 10, insurers will deny a pest damage claim as uncovered, blaming the homeowner’s negligence or lack of prevention. The Daytona property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., can help if you believe the denial is inappropriate or unfair. If you believe your home has suffered pest damage related to a covered scenario under your policy, call our Daytona law offices today at 386-252-5170, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.