Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover powder post beetle damages. As with damage from other pests and vermin, the destruction wreaked by powder post beetles is classified as a maintenance item; therefore, the homeowners are solely responsible.
Maintenance Issues Versus Covered Perils
Homeowners insurance companies distinguish between maintenance issues and covered perils. Maintenance items are the typical issues homeowners can expect to deal with from time to time. For instance, a malfunctioning furnace or refrigerator are maintenance items. Over time, their machinery ages and breaks down. Homeowners should have these expected costs in their home expense budgets.
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Powder post beetles, termites, mice, and other small creatures can do substantial damage to a home, but they can be expected. Over time, insects and vermin bore their way into every structure. Typically, they cannot be seen, but homeowners are responsible for having their homes treated for pests and calling an exterminator when they notice damage caused by powder post beetles and other harmful invaders.
Damage from powder post beetles and other uninvited guests takes a long infestation period to cause significant damage. These beetles, termites, and other home-consuming creatures usually leave signs of their presence in the form of rotting wood and other signals requiring maintenance. Homeowners need to take these signs seriously and treat the home for pests.
Covered perils, on the other hand, are events that happen all of a sudden, providing the homeowner with no opportunity for preventative maintenance. For instance, a tornado strikes with little warning, and the homeowner is powerless to stop the destruction, no matter how well-maintained the home is. Likewise, fires are emergencies that destroy property and entire homes in minutes. No amount of home maintenance puts out flames.
Is Anyone Liable For Powder Beetle Damage?
In rare instances, your homeowners insurance company, exterminator, or previous homeowner may bear legal responsibility for powder beetles or other pests’ damage.
Some claims for a covered peril happen to coincide with damage from powder beetles or other invasive species. For example, a structural problem that leads to a sudden roof collapse may be covered. However, if the area happens to be impacted by powder beetles, then your powder beetle damage may be fixed along with the faulty roof.
If you paid an exterminator to clear your home or powder beetles, termites, and other pests, you should be safe from a significant expense from invasive species damage; however, if the extermination failed, you might have a case for reimbursement for damages against the exterminator. As with other businesses, exterminators carry general liability coverage for these cases. Therefore, you may receive compensation under the exterminator’s policy.
Depending on the laws in your state and when the infestation started, you could be able to recoup expenses from powder beetle damage or other pest destruction from the previous homeowner. Most real estate contracts require the seller to disclose any significant problems with the property. If the seller discloses no pest damage and then you find out there is major structural damage from powder beetles eating away at the home for years before you bought it, you may have a strong case against the previous homeowner.
Powder beetles and other invaders can wreak havoc on a home. Homeowners insurance policies usually do not cover the damage because it’s a maintenance issue. However, it’s possible that pest destruction can be covered if it coincides with a covered peril.