Termite Damage | FRP Legal

Posted: May 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm

DID YOU KNOW?

Finding Termite Damage in Your Home

The discovery of termite damage can be one of a homeowners worst nightmares. These tiny insects are capable of causing enormous destruction and the amount of damage they can cause to a houses structure can end up being very costly to the owner. A typical home insurance policy will not cover termite damage,so 75% of households that experience termites call a termite control company. When your home is inspected, the process should take 45 minutes to an hour and include examination of both the exterior and interior of your home, from the basement or crawl-space all the way to the attic and roof. If a thorough inspection is performed, termite damage should be found before a problem is out of control. Additionally, preventative chemical treatment methods exist that, if properly applied and maintained by a professional, should eliminate any reasonable chance of infestation by subterranean termites.

Unfortunately, far too often owners find that their home has been playing host to these destructive pests despite routine treatment from a professional. If that happens, the best way to address it with the termite control company and avoid paying for the repairs out of pocket is to follow these simple steps:

STEP ONE: Dont wait to pursue a claim. Sure, termite damage occurs over years, not days or weeks. But the expiration of the statute of limitations is among the favorite excuses used by pest control companies for dodging liability. This is no time to drag your feet.

STEP TWO: Dont call your pest control company. Make sure you have copies of your pest control contract as well as any and all records provided by the pest control company. This includes seemingly trivial documents such as monthly or quarterly inspection and treatment reports. Remember, dont volunteer why you want this information. Youre not making a claim; just gathering info. Simply tell them you need a copy of all your records, just to make sure your files are complete.

STEP THREE: Look at your contract. Once you have all your pest control files, look at them to see if you have a repair guarantee or repair promise/bond. This means that if you have termite damage while this contract is active, they are obligated to pay for repairs. If not, it may say that theyre not responsible for repairs, or responsible only for retreating for termites if termite infestation damage is discovered.

STEP FOUR: Dont cancel or allow your contract with this pest control company to lapse. It cannot be emphasized enough how important this is. Doing so will effectively nix any responsibility the pest control company may have in paying for repairs.

STEP FIVE: Make a claim. You can do this by phone. Start with the branch manager, not the service technician who comes by your property every so often to inspect or treat it. Document your phone calls. If they dont respond, document that. If you still hear nothing after several calls, move to e-mail or mail a short note.

STEP SIX: Wait for a response. Now the ball is in their court. They can either say they arent responsible especially if your contract with them includes no repair promise/bond or theyll want to come inspect the property. Let them. You want them to. You dont want them to have any reason to say you werent cooperative. The pest control company will take pictures of damage. Make sure you do the same.

Inspection of Damage

Bearin mind that most termite damage is hidden behind walls and therefore cannot be seen. Damage from infestation is commonly discovered during renovations, or even when damage becomes so bad that perhaps an exterior piece of the structure falls off. If that happens, your termite control company may want to conduct whats called an invasive inspection, in which they remove sections of the affected area to follow where the damage goes and learn how extensive it is. This isnt just observingor poking and prodding this can drasticallyalterthe physical condition of the house.

In the event of an invasive inspection

Hiring an Attorney to Handle Your Claim

Termite control companies and the companies that insure them handle legal claims regularly. They are trained to reduce the amount of your claims or to convince you that either the company has no liability, or that the problem can be addressed with cut-rate surface repairs that do not solve the issue of infestation. If a claim is brought against a termite control company, they will almost always deny it, which means youll need a lawyer. When choosing an attorney to represent you, it is important to look for someone who is experienced in representing homeowners, and who knows the industry, the claim handlers, and the law.

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Termite Damage | FRP Legal

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