Tennessee homeowners insurance companies generally do not like to involve themselves with pest damage. Pests are a nuisance to virtually every homeowner in the United States. No matter where you live, you will have to deal with pests of some sort and the damage they can do to your home can be substantial.
It is estimated that over 2 billion dollars worth of damage in the U.S. each year is done by termites. There are hundreds of additional pests across the nation that can cause damage to your home and have a great affect on your homeowners insurance. Like most homeowners, you could probably use some advice on how to deal with this problem.
Are you Covered for Pest Damage?
Most likely you are not covered by your homeowners insurance policy for damage caused by pests. The major reason for this is that premiums would simply be too high on standard policies if insurance companies had to shell out money to pay for pest damage. So, in order to keep premiums down, homeowners insurance companies leave the pest problem to you to manage. Some insurance companies may offer riders to your policy for pest coverage, though the premiums may be expensive.
Precautions to Take
The best way to deal with pests is prevention. Prevention will save you a considerable amount of money in repairs and will allow you to keep your home looking nice and clean. To keep ahead of pest problems, take the following precautions.
- Inspect common areas: Always keep an eye out for any insects or rodents in bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms and any other common areas of the house. If you see them there, chances are many more hiding in the nooks and cracks.
- Seal cracks: Use caulk and weather stripping to seal any holes or cracks. Insects can get in through extremely tight spaces.
- Set traps: Once or twice a year set out mouse traps if you have had mice and roach motels if you have seen roaches or other insects.
- Spray your home: Either you or a professional exterminator should spray your home at least once per year. At the beginning of summer is the best time.
- Trim vegetation: Vegetation is a breeding ground for a variety of insects and allows them access to your roof and windows.
It is not uncommon for someone to put in a claim on their insurance policy for damages only to find out the damages where caused by an infestation and not covered. For this reason, keep your home strong and free of pests with an ounce of prevention.
What Not to Do
Prevention also extends to creating good habits of what not to do. Cleanliness is the number one issue in keeping insects at bay. Practice the following habits and you will reduce the chances of damage done by pests.
- Don’t leave doors open: Insects don’t need much space to enter you home, so don’t make it easy on them. Also, an open door can allow mice or other rodents to gain access to your home.
- Don’t leave old food out: Discard in your trash can any old food that you are not going to eat. Leftovers should be quickly put into the fridge and full bags of trash should be taken out.
- Don’t leave pet food on floor: Even in bowls, pet food on the floor can attract insects and rodents. Keep food bowls higher and covered when not being used by your pet.
- Don’t let water pool: Insects thrive and procreate in this type of environment. Pooled water just outside your home can lead to bugs eventually making their way into your home.
Get Rate Quotes to Compare Costs
If you are willing to pay for it, you may be able to find a homeowners insurance policy that covers damage done by pests. Regardless of the type of policy you are seeking, you should always get multiple rate quotes to compare prices. The quotes will allow you to save hundreds of dollars per year on a Tennessee homeowners insurance policy that protect your greatest investment.