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Claimant denied storm cover for termite-damaged home 

A property owner who alleged termite damage to his home stemmed from storm and flooding events has lost his claims dispute following an Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) decision...

The complainant lodged the claim on January 3 after discovering the termite damage. A pest controller found the insects’ nest beneath his home late last year but did not explain how they came to be at the property. 

The insured says the termite activity was caused by storms and flooding between February and August last year. 

An IAG-appointed plumber inspected the home and said water was leaking through a shower recess. The plumber noted the leak appeared to be present before the termite activity but did not say whether it contributed to attracting them. 

The insurer engaged with a builder who reported the termite activity to be caused by a failed waterproof membrane in the shower recess. AFCA noted that the builder’s analysis appeared to be based on the plumber’s findings.

The claimant disputed the expert’s assessment, saying several other homes in the neighbourhood had also been affected by termites in recent months, indicating that “continuous flooding and storming” was to blame. 

But AFCA said there was no further detail provided.

“Other nearby homes may have been affected by termites,” AFCA said.

“However, this does not prove the termite activity was caused by a flood or storm.

“None of the experts who inspected the property said the termite activity was caused by a flood or storm.

“Therefore, the complainant has not established a claimable loss, and the insurer is entitled to deny the claim.”

Click here for the ruling.