Carpenter bee damage is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies in certain instances.
In this article, we’ll discuss when your standard homeowners insurance does and doesn’t cover carpenter bee damage.
When does homeowners insurance cover carpenter bee damage?
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by carpenter bees. However, if the carpenter bee damage was caused by a covered peril, faulty workmanship, or faulty materials your policy may provide coverage.
For example, if a carpenter bee infestation causes a sudden collapse this may covered. In some instances, home sellers and exterminators may also be held responsible for carpenter bee damage.
Limits and exclusions
Even if your policy does cover insect damage, there may be certain limits or exclusions. Check your policy to understand exactly what may be covered.
Is the seller responsible for undisclosed carpenter bee infestation?
In some states, a home seller can be held responsible for not disclosing a pre-existing pest infestation issue with the home.
There are certain regulations when it comes to selling a property. One such regulation is that the seller has to be upfront about any problems that exist.
You may be able to recover money from the seller for pest damage, such as carpenter bees.
Can the exterminator be held responsible for carpenter bee damage?
In certain instances, your exterminator may be held legally responsible for the damage caused by carpenter bees.
If you paid an exterminator to exterminate carpenter bees from your home, and the extermination failed, you may have a case for compensation for damages against the exterminator.
Exterminators carry business insurance policies and you may receive compensation under the exterminator’s general liability coverage.
Are new homes covered against carpenter bee damage?
Yes, some states require new homes to be built with a certain level of protection against wood destroying insects.
Why don’t standard homeowners insurance policies cover carpenter bee damage?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover insect damage or removal. Pest infestations are preventable with routine home maintenance and is the homeowner’s responsibility.
Can I purchase carpenter bee insurance?
There are insurance policies available, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. Search for “wood-destroying insect damage” and you may find that it’s what’s covered. These types of policies typically cover termites, carpenter ants, bees and other pests too.
Most insurance companies do not offer additional coverage for insect damage, although some pest control firms offer annual inspection and treatment programs.
What should I do if my insurance company denies my claim?
Homeowner insurance companies do not always pay valid insurance claims. Consulting a lawyer may help you determine if your claim is covered or not.
An experienced lawyer provides the following benefits:
- Your lawyer will speak with the insurance company
- The insurance company will have a hard time tricking a lawyer
- The lawyer will review your policy and file a notice of claim
- The lawyer will consult with experts to support your claim
- The lawyer may engage meteorologists to prove weather patterns caused storm damage to your home
- The attorney can hire an engineer to review the cause of the damage
An attorney may substantially increase the value of your claim. They can also help you navigate the claims process and negotiations.
How to prevent carpenter bee damage
Carpenter bees can cause extensive structural damage to homes and other buildings. There are a few things you can do to help prevent carpenter bee damage:
- Paint, stain, or varnish untreated wood in and around your home. The most attractive areas to carpenter bees are doors, decks, fences, windowsills, railings, eaves and wooden lawn furniture.
- Cover small crevices and openings with caulk or fine mesh screens.
By taking these steps you can help reduce the risk of carpenter bees.
How to identify carpenter bees in your home
If you have ever discovered large 1 inch holes in your wood, you may have had a run-in with carpenter bees.
These pesky insects are known for their ability to bore through wood, leaving behind damage that can be difficult and costly to repair.
Unlike termites, they do not eat wood. The damage from carpenter bees comes from their need to create nesting chambers. The bees bore 1 inch entry holes and tunnels in wood to lay eggs.
The damage caused by the carpenter bee can be extensive, and can include structural damage, as well as cosmetic damage to the wood surface.
While most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by insects, it is important to check with your insurer to be sure that carpenter bee damage is included. Some insurers may exclude this type of damage from coverage, or may require you to purchase a separate policy rider to get coverage.
How can I find carpenter bees in my home?
Carpenter bees live under the surface of wood, so you may not see them outwardly. However, it is helpful to know that they resemble bumble bees, but their abdomens lack yellow markings. Carpenter bee abdomens are smooth and shiny, whereas bumble bee abdomens are hairy and yellow.
Carpenter bees can be found throughout the country but are more common in the eastern states. If you do have carpenter bee damage in your home, the first step is to call a professional exterminator to get rid of the infestation.
Keep an eye out for the following five common carpenter bee signs in your home:
If you hear bees buzzing around your home, make a note of what they look like and where you find them. Carpenter bees are drawn to wood, particularly raw, untreated wood. Carpenter bees are most likely to be found near your roofline, under your porch, or around any unfinished wooden structures in basements, attics, or crawl spaces.
Carpenter bees bore holes in wood to construct tunnels for nesting. You may notice a buzzing or vibration sound coming from within your walls as the bees drill through wooden surfaces in your home. If you hear strange sounds coming from your walls and are unsure of the source, contact a pest control specialist.
Carpenter bees drill into wood and leave behind sawdust or frass. Frass may also be found clinging to door and window frames, as well as other surfaces near the bees’ tunnels. Frass is excrement from various pests’ digestive systems.
Round and smooth holes
Carpenter bees make smooth, nearly perfectly circular holes large enough for their bodies to fit through. These holes are unlike any other type of wood-boring insect damage.
Carpenter bees can cause significant damage to wooden structures around your home over time, including wooden stairs, railings, decks, and porches. Check for holes or tunnels in the damaged wood if it begins to warp or crack.
If you suspect damage, you can contact a professional pest control company to come and inspect your home.
Carpenter bee damage happens slowly over time and is usually too subtle for homeowners to notice until the damage is severe, so it’s critical to recognize the signs of a carpenter bee infestation and act quickly to solve the problem.
How to treat carpenter bee damage
If you have carpenter bee damage in your home, consider consulting a professional. Carpenter bees can cause a lot of damage to wood structures, and if left untreated, the damage can be extensive.
There are a few different ways to treat carpenter bee damage, and the best way will depend on the severity of the infestation.
- Inspect your home regularly for signs of insect damage. This includes wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Try to remove the source of the problem. This may mean treating the area with insecticide or sealant, or removing anything that may be attracting the carpenter bees.
- Once you’ve removed the source of the problem, it’s time to start repairing the damage. This may include patching up cracks, replacing damaged wood, or filling in gaps around doors and windows.
- If the damage is extensive, you may need to call in a professional to help with the repairs. However, if you catch the problem early, you may be able to repair the damage yourself and prevent further damage from occurring.
If you have a small infestation, you may be able to treat it yourself with insecticides. If the infestation is more severe, you may need to call in a professional.
Once the bees are gone, you can then focus on repairing the damage they have caused. If you have carpenter bee damage in your home, don’t worry. With proper treatment and insurance coverage, you can soon have your home looking as good as new again.
Carpenter Bee Damage FAQs
What is the carpenter bee?
The carpenter bee is a type of wood-boring insect that can cause extensive damage to homes and other structures. These insects bore through wood to create tunnels and nests.
What are the best homeowners insurance companies?
The best homeowners insurance companies provide a higher standard of customer service and insurance products. The carriers below are worth switching to if your current insurance provider has limited carpenter bee coverage.
- Allied Trust
- American National Lloyds
- Universal North America
Should I inspect for carpenter bees before buying a home?
Before buying a home, you should have it inspected for carpenter bees and other insect or vermin infestations. If there is an infestation, you can renegotiate the price or have the seller remedy the issue before closing.
Can I purchase carpenter bee coverage?
You can search Google for insurance policies that cover “wood-destroying insect damage”. These policies are the exception rather than the rule, but they do exist. They cover all wood-destroying insects including carpenter bees, termites, powderpost beetles, and others.
Are there any other carpenter bee coverage plans?
Yes, there is something known as pest control bond. If you live in an area with wood-destroying pests like carpenter bees then a pest control bond should be considered.
A pest control bond provides a financial protection if a pest control business fails to follow state and federal laws, and causes damage to your property or person.
Pro Tip: Read the details of the bond agreement since some may not cover certain species of insect. Understand the agreement details before you sign on the line.
The Bottom Line
Carpenter bees can do a lot of damage to your home. Since standard homeowners insurance policies rarely covers carpenter bee damage, it is best to prevent them. Make sure wood and wood furniture in your home is treated help prevent carpenter bees.
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