Hi InspectionNews members!

Stephanie with InspectorPro here sharing our latest risk management article. We've received a lot of concern from inspectors regarding pest claims, particularly termite-related allegations. So we did some digging in our claims files and found which 3 pests lead to the most allegations and what risk management techniques work best to avoid them.

Check it out and feel free to let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Happy inspecting!

Top 3 pest claims against home inspectors

American homeowners aren’t living alone. They share their homes with family. They share their homes with pets. And, whether homeowners know it or not, they share their homes with uninvited guests.

Pests and the American household

Insects, spiders, and other pests dwell right alongside us and have for quite some time. In fact, some scientists believe that pests like bats and bed bugs inhabited our ancestors’ prehistoric caves some 26,000 years ago. (See figure below and research from Ondřej Balv*n and Adauto Araújo.)

Figure 1: Pest inspectors in the Northeast should find this cave drawing of a camel cricket particularly amusing. Find it in Xavier Belles’ 1997 research paper entitled “Los insectos y el hombre prehistórico” (Insects and prehistoric man).

Modern-day suburbia is no exception to the rule. Let’s review some of the facts from recent research:

Pest claims in the home inspection industry

So, where does all this leave you, the home inspector?

Pest claims are the seventh most common type of claim in the home inspection industry. (See the list of the Top 12 most common claims here.) .... With pests explicitly excluded from national home inspection standards, why do pest claims remain common?

Much like mold claimants, pest claimants don’t discriminate: Even if you don’t inspect for pests, you can still fall victim to a pest claim.

However, that’s where the similarities between pest and mold claims stop. As you may remember from our article on avoiding mold claims, most mold claims are filed against home inspectors who do not inspect for mold. (You can read the full article on mold claims here.) In contrast, our claims data suggests that there is no correlation between those who perform pest inspections and those who receive pest claims. That means inspecting for pests neither increases nor decreases your chance of getting a pest-related claim.

So, what does protect you from pest claims?

Safeguarding begins with knowing what types of pests trigger the most claims.
Top 3 pest claims against home inspectors

With such a wide variety of pests invading, inhabiting, and damaging homes, it can be tough to know where pest claim prevention should start. Thankfully, our decade’s worth of claims data has revealed that the majority of pest claims fall into three categories.


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