Across the nation termites are swarming. Now is a good time to refresh on proper documentation of wood destroying organisms (W.D.O.) inspections to prevent claims on missing information. Most calls for termite work happen when swarms are visible, but maintaining a solid W.D.O. inspection program will help prevent these costly claims that continue to plague the industry.
When it comes to termites or W.D.O. inspections "Best Practices" include the following: knowing when to begin the inspection, having the proper tools to perform an inspection, understanding where to inspect, and recognizing conditions conductive to termite infestation.
When does the inspection begin?
As soon as you pull into a customer's driveway, the inspection begin. To help determine the level of inspection needed to reduce the chance of missing an area of the home includes observing:
When an area is inaccessible it is extremely important to indicate the inaccessible area and why it's inaccessible on the W.D.O. Inspection Reports.
Conditions supporting W.D.O. infestation
Moisture and wood are the only two requirements for the potential of W.D.O. infestation. Areas that can cause problems are:
When prior termite damage or live infestation is discovered, the W.D.O. report is the primary source of protection for the reporting operator.
The leading type of claims is related to missing evidence on W.D.O. reports. Contracts where operators offer repair bonds can be an area where insurance companies pay claims not originally anticipated in the insurance contract. Another area showing up in recent claims related to damage from W.D.O. where operators are unsure if the damage is pre-existing or from the recent infestation. Contracts using a "live infestation" clause before agreeing to repairs can protect against these types of claims.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.