The topic of termite damage and insurance is really important and for many people, it’s not even on their radar. We are seeing termite damage almost every week. It’s not a pleasant task to inform a homeowner they have termite damage. We feel compelled to bring to your attention the consequence of termite damage and insurance.
How Does an Insurance Company View Termite damage?
We need to begin with the perspective of the insurance company. By definition, termites are classed as pests. As such, insurance companies believe the damage caused by termites (aka pests) is preventable. The responsibility for preventable maintenance rests with the homeowner.
To be plain and direct, no insurance company covers a property owner for termite damage. They in no way consider termite damage and insurance to be connected.
If you lodge a claim for termite damage, it will be rejected and no amount of social media bagging will get them to shift the dial. For reference, please read this article by Suncorp Insurance on how they view the damage caused by pests.
Prevent Termite Damage
To prevent termite damage, it’s best to understand the nature of termites. One thing they love is a damp environment. A damp environment can be created in many ways: leaking pipes under kitchen and laundry sinks as well as bathrooms, gutters and downpipes around the roof filled with leaf litter, build up of gardens or debris close to house walls, debris around the yard, roof leaks.
Tips for Home Maintenance to Prevent Termite Damage
- If you notice your roof gutters overflowing when it rains, that’s a clear indication the gutters are filled with leaf litter. The gutters need to be cleared. If you and heights are not the closest of friends then it’s best to call a home handyman to do that task for you. To keep the gutters clear, install gutter guard mesh to prevent any more leaves from lodging in your gutters.
- Keeping your yard neat and tidy. You may think your yard is neat and tidy but here is an example of a very neat and tidy yard that sustained a termite infestation. A homeowner had completed a lovely downstairs renovation to create a parent’s retreat. There was some leftover timber from the project. The homeowner had a planned use for the timber and it was neatly stowed against the newly refurbished wall. The project was completed in summer and there were the usual weekly thunderstorms. The timber underneath the pile right next to the wall stayed damp. This became a delicious food source for termites. They didn’t stop there. They ate their way into the house and devoured the new construction. The result: the homeowner called the builder back to demolish the affected area and rebuild the new bedroom. Of course, the termites were treated first. But it was a painful experience to pay for a bedroom reno twice!
- Gardens shouldn’t be flush with walls. There needs to be some separation of gardens from walls. The minimum is 75mm. Termites can enter a home through wall cavities, cracks in mortar and in concrete slabs.
- Check the Roof. A crack in a tile or roof capping can allow water/moisture each time it rains. The seal on roof tiles can deteriorate with age. It’s important to have your roof checked at least every five years.
When inspecting the roof cavity of a home in Sunnybank, what came to light was the extent of termite damage. The damage was significant. It was devastating for the homeowner. Not one cent of the expensive repair bill was going to be covered by insurance.
Annual Termite Inspections
The best protection for your home is preventive maintenance and annual termite inspections. Our highly experienced pest inspectors go over every aspect of your property looking for the tell-tale presence of termites. Also, they will give you helpful advice if they see any areas where you could improve your maintenance.
There is another long, wet summer forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology. Do start now on your preventative maintenance. Importantly, book a Termite Inspection today. Phone: 1300 304 145.
Also, you are welcome to contact us online to arrange a Termite Inspection. Please help dispel the myth about termite damage and insurance. Please tell your friends and family that insurance companies do NOT cover the cost of termite damage to your property.