Pesky bugs or insects can cause severe property damage. This may sound surprising, but termites cause $5 billion in property damage each year. This is according to the latest survey by the National Pest Management Association.
It makes “will my homeowners insurance cover termite damage” a worthy question to ask. Keep on reading to learn the answer.
What Are Termites?
Termites are social insects that live in colonies in the ground or wood. The pesky insect feeds on the cellulose present in wood or products made of it. A colony comprises three types of termites:
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?
To answer the question precisely, no, your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover termite damage. That’s because homeowners insurance provides coverage for catastrophes that are accidental or sudden.
Since termite damage is not accidental and you can easily prevent it from happening with maintenance, it isn’t included in home insurance coverage. In other words, home insurance doesn’t address claims that are a result of poor maintenance.
Moreover, home insurance doesn’t pay for any termite preventative measures or extermination fees. All these costs should be included in your home’s routine maintenance. It’s a rare exception when policies like home insurance offer coverage for termite damage. For instance, if your home catches fire because termites chewed the wiring of your house, a home insurance policy might cover you for the fire-related damage.
Can You Detect Termite Damage?
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can not only spot termites in the house but also get rid of them.
- Termite tunnels– A termite tunnel looks like a muddy tube and is often in a zigzag pattern. You may find it near the foundation of the house.
- Hollow-sounding wood– You need to tap or press the wood in your home to determine if your home is suffering from termite damage.
- Wood damage– Termites often carve a maze-like pattern into the wood.
- Sagging floors– If your floor is buckling, it could be the result of a termite infestation.
- Cracks and holes– Termites cause small cracks in beams and holes in walls and wood.
- Buckling ceilings– Termites that burrow into wood can cause ceilings to buckle.
- Termite droppings– Dry wood termites often leave behind small droppings which look like pepper.
How to Prevent Termite Damage
It can be hard to identify, but you can have an annual inspection. Here’s a checklist:
- Check wooden areas and spots regularly in your home, including doors and window frames
- Keep mulch and plants two feet away from your house
- Stop moisture accumulation near your home by emptying storm drains a few feet away from the foundation
- Repair leaky gutters, faucets, and roofs
All in all, since your home insurance doesn’t cover termite damage, it’s important to take preventative measures to avoid severe property damage.