Does Home Insurance Usually Cover Termite Damage?
Yes, some termite control companies such as Terminix offer types of coverage plans but this is not the same as “termite insurance.” Learn what these termite coverage plans do and don’t include before leaving anything to chance.
Termites are estimated to cause approximately 5 billion dollars worth of property damage annually. If you live in an area at high risk for termite infestations then you definitely want sound termite prevention strategies in place and you may also be interested in termite insurance.
This is where you may run into a hiccup. Most home insurance plans do NOT cover termite damage. What is worse is that most home owners are under the impression of the opposite. A lot of people believe that just like home damage from natural disasters, structural termite damage is also covered. After finding out that termites have caused over $6,000 worth of damage to your roof is not the time you want find out from your insurance agent that your house insurance does not cover termite related damage.
Most insurance plans consider pest related issues preventable by good home maintenance and consequently do not cover these types of damage. Nearly all home insurers only cover what they deem to be accidental damage and unfortunately insect damage does not fall within the realm of an accident.
What you can do is search around for insurance policies that cover “wood-destroying insect damage.” These are the exception rather than the rule but they do exist. And they typically cover all wood-destroying insects including termites but also carpenter ants, various beetles, etc.
Termite Caused Collateral Damage
Another clause in some insurance policies that may be cover termite-based damage is those policies that consider certain instances of termite damage collateral damage.
One example of this may be if an infested support beam gives way causing a section of the roof to cave in and damage the floor and walls of the lower floors on the way down. Certain insurances will consider the damaged walls, floor, and roof collateral damage since they were caused by something of accidental nature. However, they will likely NOT cover the cost of the infested support beam.
Insurance Does Not Cover Termite Damage, Are There Alternative?
Just because you may not be able to find house insurance plan that covers termites does not mean you have to or should leave the issue of termites to chance.
If you are a home owner you should definitely take the time to learn how to protect your valuable investment from termite infestations. Reading some of the articles on this site is a great way to start. Familiarize yourself with the following two areas at a minimum:
1. Steps To Take To Prevent Termite Infestations
Even if you have a termite bond plan that we will discuss below it is still advisable to go around your home and keep an eye on any changes that may welcome a termite infestation. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Cracks in the walls or foundation
- Any areas that sustained leaks from pipes
2. Identification of Termite Infestations
You want to have a basic understanding of how termites could enter your home, what attracts them, and how to spot signs of their activity.
Even this may not me enough particularly if you live in an area known for termite problems. For example, certain parts of the United States are known for higher populations of termites than others and thus homeowners who reside within these areas often experience higher rates of termite infestations than those who live elsewhere.
Also, there are many places in the world where termites are so bad that people completely avoid using any lumber in the construction of their homes. There are quite a bit of places in Africa that do this.
Beyond understanding the termite threat in your area and developing a basic understanding of their behavior you should also consider hiring a professional pest controller if you live in a high-risk area.
Are There Any Termite Coverage Plans?
Yes, there is something very closely related known as termite bonds. If you live somewhere where or termites are plentiful or have neighbors who have had termite problems then this is something you should seriously consider.
Get a Termite Bond For Peace of Mind
Do your research here. Get online and read some reviews of local termite control professionals. Most states have a licensing program for termite exterminators. Find at least three who are licensed and research them online. Then give them a call and find out what kind of plans they have. There are several national termite control brands that have annual plans that include free inspections and offer various guarantees against termite damage.
For example, a termite bond plan is one in which a homeowner enters into an agreement with a professional pest control professional to have their house and premises inspected and treated at an agreed interval. This will typically take place no less than annually but sometimes quarterly or more depending on the local risk for termite infestations.
If the pest control company who you entered into the termite bond with detects any termites on your property then they typically agree to treat, exterminate them, and then pay to repair any termite damage. Just ensure you understand the details of the termite bond agreement since some do not cover damage caused by certain species of termites. This has caught some homeowners off guard, just as with anything in life, understand the agreement details before you sign on the line.
As we have shown there are a couple of different options for you to look into even if your homeowner’s plan does not insure you against termite damage. Also do not forget that even if you do sustain significant structural damage of you home it is worth looking into getting an attorney if you think you may that some of this damage may have fallen under a collateral damage clause within your insurance policy.
What About New Homes? Are They Covered Against Termite Damage?
New homes in many places in the states are required to be built to a certain standard with regards to resistance against wood damaging insects. This usually referred to as called pre-construction termite treatment.