Are termites covered in my homeowners policy?

If you found this article, then chances are you’re looking to know whether or not termite damage is covered by your homeowner’s policy.

Did you know that a silent destructive force could be slowly taking your home apart bit by bit? It sounds like the making of a bad science fiction movie, right? In reality, we are talking about termites.

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Did you know that every year, termites are responsible for $1-2 billion in property damage in the United States?

That raises an important question: are termites covered by my homeowners policy?

You might be surprised to hear that the answer is no. But why isn’t it covered?

Insurance companies believe that termites and pests are maintenance issues. In other words, it is up to the homeowner to prevent and treat their home from pests.

Pest control can become very expensive depending on where you are in the infestation process:

  • Pretreat before they show up
  • Notice signs of termites
  • Full blown infestation to the point of structural damage

Pretreat before they show up

The best way to protect your home is to pretreat it and have an annual inspection by a professional pest control company. In fact, in order to sell your home one day, you will need a termite bond in place already.

Notice signs of termites

What are some things to look for?

For starters, termites house their colonies within the wood on which they have eaten. As they eat wood, they burrow mazes of tunnels within your walls and furniture.

PRO TIP: Look for small pellets where they have eaten or nested. These are termite droppings. You can also look for traces of dust and piles of wings that resemble scales.

Furthermore, keep your eyes open for little tunnels near the foundation of your home as these are a sure sign of subterranean termite infestation.

Full blown infestation to the point of structural damage

Look for common signs of termite infestation, including sagging or swollen floors and ceilings. You also might notice areas that seem to be slightly water damaged. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold.

What can you do now?

  • Remember that termites love damp and moist wood. So repair leaks and replace rotting wood trim immediately.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep wood piles at least 20 feet away from your house.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices around the foundation of the home. 
  • Keep your eyes open for any of the telltale signs we have discussed above.
  • Routinely inspect all of the wood trim in your home including window and door frames, trim, eaves, siding, and attics.
  • Contact a local professional pest control company. Check their references, as well as their reviews online. Request an inspection and signup for treatments, as well as an annual inspection.

For those of you that are still searching for a home to buy, we suggest having a termite & pest inspection as part your due diligence. Remember that home maintenance is part of your responsibility as a homeowner, which means that termite damage will not be covered by your home insurance policy.

In this case, we suggest investing in a termite bond. What is more, there are two kinds of termite bonds. One will retreat for free and the other will pay for damages. Discuss these with your pest control company soon.

The tips here discussed will help you to protect your biggest investment from termites. Your friendly InsuranceHub agent is here to help you protect your home from everything else!

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Sources: Pestworld | Orkin