Does Homeowners Insurance Cover WDO Inspections?
No. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover the cost of a WDO inspection. That means you, the homeowner, must pay for your WDO inspection out-of-pocket. WDO stands for Wood Destroying Organism. Many people refer to these as termite inspections. But termites are not the only pests that bore into and damage wood. Different types of beetles and carpenter ants also destroy wood.
Why Do You Need a WDO Inspection?
Most mortgage lenders require a WDO inspection before financing a house. The bank or lending institution wants to make sure there is not an active termite problem at the property or lingering termite damage from an old infestation.
What Happens During a WDO Inspection?
A qualified pest control technician inspects the home for signs of wood-destroying organisms. The inspector is looking for insects flying around the house, evidence of the mud tunnels that termites use to get out of the ground, or spots with wood damage. A WDO inspection is different from a standard home inspection. A typical home inspection ensures the hot water heater is not leaking and the HVAC units heat and cools the house. The WDO inspection looks for specific signs that termites or other pests are in the home or have been in the home.
Does the Buyer Always Pay for the WDO Inspection?
The potential buyer of a home pays for the WDO inspection unless there is a local regulation in place that requires a third party to pay for it. Often that means the realty company pays for the actual inspection. Sellers only pay for WDO inspections if they want an expert to look at their property before putting it on the market.
What if the WDO Uncovers Wood-Destroying Pests?
If inspectors find evidence of an active termite infestation, the lender will want proof of extermination. If the inspector uncovers damage from a previous infestation, the lender will want proof of repairs. Termite damage, inspection, and removal are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Termites and other wood-destroying organisms work silently to damage buildings. They eat through walls and floors. And they are so hard to see an infestation can be in place for years before anyone can see it.
If you are buying a property, you or someone else involved in the transaction will have to pay for a WDO inspection. If you are purchasing a house in a cash transaction, the WDO is not necessary, but it can be beneficial. You do not want to own a home with an infestation, and you do not want to own a home that may have structural damage. Seek out a qualified pest professional who will be able to answer your questions.