Termite insurance, warranties, bonds, and coverage plans are terms people often use interchangeably. They’re not all the same thing, though. In this article, we’ll clarify the differences between all of these.
Does home insurance usually cover termite damage?
Most home insurance companies don’t cover termite damage. Write yours to know for sure though. Some termite control companies offer forms of coverage plans, but they are not what most assume “termite insurance” is.
If you want assurances against termite-induced property damage, you should learn what these termite coverage plans do and do not include. Don’t leave 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, you should implement sound termite prevention strategies, but you may also be interested in termite insurance since no termite prevention strategy is infallible.
This is where you may run into a hiccup. Most home insurance plans do NOT cover termite damage. What’s worse, many homeowners assume the opposite—that, like home damage caused by natural disasters, structural termite damage is also covered by homeowner’s insurance. This can lead to a very unpleasant surprises if you discover termites infesting your home.
After learning that termites have caused over $6,000 worth of damage to your roof, for example, is not the time that you want to find out from your insurance agent that your house insurance doesn’t cover termite-related damage.
Most insurance plans consider pest-related issues preventable through good home maintenance and consequently do not cover pest-related damage. Most home insurers only cover what they deem to be accidental damage, and, unfortunately, insect damage has not been deemed 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 exist in some areas. And they typically cover all wood-destroying insects. This includes termites, of course, but also carpenter ants, carpenter bees, certain beetles, and others.
Termite-induced collateral damage
Another clause in some insurance policies that may 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 insurance companies will consider the damaged walls, floor, and roof collateral damage since they were caused by something of an accidental nature. However, they will likely NOT cover the cost of the infested support beam.
Okay, so home insurance does not cover termite damage, but are there alternatives?
Just because you may not be able to find a house insurance plan that covers termites doesn’t mean you must leave the issue of termites to chance.
If you’re a homeowner, 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 be enough 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 termite 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 call them and find out what types of plans they have. There are several national termite control brands that have annual termite bond plans that include free termite 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 to your 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.
Also, it is worth contacting an attorney if you have or had a termite bond that you do not believe was adequately serviced and you suffer termite damage as a result.
There have been cases companies who had entered a termite bond agreement with a customer did not provide the service they agreed to. When this has happened, attorneys can help you gain proper compensation.
Are new homes 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 is usually referred to as called pre-construction termite treatment.