If you are a Florida homeowner who has had the misfortune of finding out
that your home has been raided and devoured by termites, you are in the
unfortunate situation of having to carry the financial burden of repairing
the damage already caused by the invading army of insects and protecting
your home from further assault by the colony of miniature marauders. You
are not alone. According to Phil Koehler, professor of entomology with
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, "termite damage
and control costs in Florida exceed $500 million annually".
Although eradicating of these diminutive trespassers and mending the damage
they cause is extremely expensive, you may be entitled to compensation
if you have a homeowner's policy or a contract with a pest control company.
The adjuster or representative for your insurance company may tell you
that you are not covered for termite damage, and homeowner's policies
often do exclude damage caused by termites; however, termite damage may
be insured under some homeowner's policies and business property policies,
depending on the nature, type and significance of the damage. If the termite
damage to your building is extensive and you were unaware of the destruction
the termite assault was inflicting on your structure, you may be covered
even where the policy contains a specific exclusion for termite caused
damage. Nevertheless, it will take a knowledgeable lawyer in this area
to determine if the damage is covered under your policy.
Whether or not you have coverage under your homeowner's policy, if
you had contracted with a pest or termite control company to provide protection
for your home, you may have some recourse against the pest control company.
In any situation where you have contracted with a pest control company
to eradicate termites, and the company has failed to adequately protect
your home from termite damage, you should look over your contract with
an experienced lawyer. If you are in the process of contracting with a
termite company for an infestation, make sure you read over your contract
closely and understand what guarantees and assurances the pest control
is providing that it will effectively eliminate any termite infestation
and prevent termite related damage. Once again, a knowledgeable lawyer
in this area may be able to determine if you are entitled to be compensated
for your losses associated with termite infestation and damage.
New homeowners would be wise to have the home specifically evaluated for
termite intrusion before purchase and examine all documents pertaining
to any past termite-related work or inspections performed on the property.
Generally, there are two types of termites which cause damage to wood
structures and both types thrive in Florida. These are the eastern subterranean
termite and the drywood termite. The subterranean termite, which can be
found in colonies in the soil near water sources, are the most damaging.
A colony of subterranean termites can consume up to 13 ounces of wood
per day, costing more than a billion annually for repairs and prevention
across the United States. Drywood termites, on the other hand, infest
drywood and do not need moisture or soil to survive. Drywood termites
live in colonies in isolated wood pieces and stay hidden within the walls
of a structure, out of site from the naked eye.
If you presently have termite related damage and you are unsure as to your
rights to be compensated for termite related damage, please feel free
to contact our office for a free consultation.
If your homeowners insurance is not properly covering the damages or losses
to your home or property, you must contact a Florida homeowners insurance attorney to resolve the issue .