Termites damage around 600,000 homes each year in the United States. Repairing a termite infestation can cost thousands of dollars and require professional home repairs. Most homeowners aren’t aware of a termite infestation until there is significant damage.
The first thing people wonder if a termite infestation is suspected is if the insurance covers damage. While there are some instances when termite damage is covered by home insurance, understanding when it is not covered, what to do if there is a termite problem, and how to keep termites out of the house in the first place is a good idea .
When termite damage is covered by homeowner insurance
There are only two situations in which homeowner insurance will cover the cost of repairing and wiping out termite damage, including:
- If the termite infestation is caused by a covered hazard: If termites enter the home because of an covered hazard, the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the infestation. For example, if a hailstorm damages the roof and termites get into the attic, he can be covered.
- If the house collapses due to termite damage: If the house has severe termite damage and collapses due to structural issues, home insurance will likely pay for the rebuilding. Even if the damage occurs gradually, the home insurance company will likely still consider it a covered damage.
When termite damage is not covered by homeowner insurance
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), termite damage is usually not covered by homeowner insurance. Insect, pest, and rodent problems are considered preventable, and homeowners are expected to take proactive measures to avoid infestation.
Home insurance companies do not cover termite damage caused by neglect. If the homeowner didn’t address potential entry points, the infestation would not be insured. In addition, home insurance does not cover termite damage that occurs slowly over time.
Personal property damaged by termites is also not covered by homeowner insurance. The insurance only covers damage to the physical structure of the house and the structures attached to it, depending on the terms of the policy.
What to do if you have termite damage that is not covered by insurance
Unfortunately there is no termite insurance. If the house has termite damage that is not covered by homeowner’s insurance, a professional needs to assess the situation, give you an estimate and recommend the best way to resolve the problem.
Before choosing a shredder, have several professionals visit and make an offer. The service costs are calculated out of pocket. So look for a company that offers fair prices and has good customer reviews. Ask how long the destruction process will take and when a contractor can investigate the internal damage.
The next step is to have a contractor assess the damage in the home. Consider getting multiple opinions about the repairs that need to be done and the cost. Any contractor can fight a termite infestation and recommend repairs.
How to prevent termites
As already mentioned, termite infestations are often preventable. Termites can enter homes through foundation cracks, crevices, loose pipes, and gutters. They are attracted to humid environments and are usually more active in the spring months.
To avoid termites, the first thing to do is to eliminate termite food sources. Termites eat cellulose that is found in firewood, plants, mulch, and other wood-based materials. If possible, keep these things away from the sides of your house where termites can easily get in.
Next, seal the entry points to keep termites out. Check the foundation of the house for small cracks and holes. Plug gaps around water and gas pipes that run outside the home. Look for leaking pipes or gutters that could cause water to pool around the foundation.
Scheduling annual termite inspections is important for all homeowners. The annual inspection can detect an infestation early and prevent further damage. Have a professional exterminator check the house for termites once a year and follow their instructions to keep termites out of the house.
frequently asked Questions
How do I know if my home has termites?
Unlike rodents or ants, it can be difficult to spot termites that live in walls, support beams, floors, ceilings, closets, furniture, and carpets. Some of the things that can indicate termite damage are soft or hollow wood, bubbly paint, splintered wood, or mud pipes. You can also find termite pellet feces or termites yourself.
What does termite extermination cost?
The cost of termite eradication depends on several factors, including the number of termites and the size of the termite colony. Small infections are cheaper to treat and common infections are more expensive. Before hiring an exterminator, get quotes from some companies to get the best price.
Can I make a home insurance claim for termite damage?
If an insured hazard directly causes termite infestation, home insurance can cover the damage. The insured can make a claim, prove the damage and receive a reimbursement. However, it must be demonstrated that the infestation was caused by the hazard covered and did not occur gradually over time. If the claim cannot be proven, it is not insured.
What is the best home insurance?
Every homeowner has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Some homeowners are looking for great customer service while others are looking for great prices. The best home insurance company is different for everyone, but several companies stand out. Based on our research, Amica, Allstate, and Geico have some great homeowner insurance options.