Hot, humid coastal areas like Mobile County are ideal environments for moisture-loving termites. A typical homeowners policy excludes region-specific risks like damage from these invasive insects, according to FindLaw. So, Alabama residents often turn to termite bonds to manage the costs of service.
Termite bonds act as an insurance policy against the costs of pest-related damage. They may also provide the same type of disclosure as a wood infestation report as during a home sale. Those who have never lived in a termite area should familiarize themselves with the elements of these bonds before signing the contract.
Like insurance policies, most termite bonds carry a variety of coverage options. Most include regular inspections, control and treatment of infestations, and some offer warranties and other services for an additional cost.
Conversely, bonds usually do not reimburse homeowners for any damage that was not directly caused by the termites. For example, even though termites are often associated with water leaks, the seepage is generally only their means of entry and not covered in the contract.
Buyers must be aware that minimum coverage may not include all termite species. Houses infested with dry-wood or Formosan termites usually suffer much more damage than those with eastern subterranean colonies and thus command a higher cost for protection. Termite bonds also will not cover treatment or repairs due to other invasive pests, like ants or bedbugs.
People selling their homes in termite areas should consider purchasing a transferrable bond. This means that the contract stays with the house, and the coverage will continue during the first months or year of residence for the new owner.
Realty Times warns that termite colonies can redevelop, even after the elimination of an infestation. Therefore, those who have recently discovered termites in their home might consider purchasing a bond. Additionally, residents in areas known for frequent infestations may have an easier time selling their homes if they can provide assurances with a termite bond.