Termites and Insurance? Are You Covered?
Termites live to eat, and if they are in your walls and/or foundation, your home is under attack. The countless number of termites will be eating day and night without rest. Termites cause billions of dollars of damage every year, and most homeowners don’t know their home is under attack until it is too late. At that point the homeowners ask whether their home insurance covers termite damage. The answer is, nope!
Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover any damage that is preventable, and this includes any insect like bed bugs, fleas, roaches, termites, etc. The way insurance companies look at termites and other bugs is interesting. They figure them to be preventable, because homes deserve maintenance and inspections fairly often. Some insurance companies boldly outline the rejection of coverage for bug infestations.
There is one exception though. It’s called collateral damage. Picture this, termites eat away at a corner of your foundation, and a beam collapses. When that corner of the house collapses, and it takes the second story corner weight with it, insurance will cover the repair of the second story; but the cost of the foundation beam will be out of your pocket.
So it’s clear that homeowners insurance covers unexpected/accidental situations, but nothing that happens over time like termites.
On the plus side several insurance companies offer special policies for “wood destroying insects”. This rather small list includes termites, carpenter ants, and beetles. The cost will depend on where you live. States like California, Arizona, Texas, etc. can have terrible termite problems, while states like Alaska and Maine have very few termites. It all just really matters where you live, so a good way to decide if you need this is to talk to your insurance agent, but don’t buy everything they say.
One way to prevent an infestation is to call pest control to treat your home. Another option is to inspect and treat your home yourself. The inspection is the crucial part because it is there you will find buckling or soft wood. Another indiction there is termite trouble is bubbling floors and ceilings, and water damaged areas. The moisture softens the wood and termites can go to town!
It is vitally important to have routine inspections of your home to keep termites and other bugs at bay. It could end up costing you a pretty penny if you fail to check your house often, all because insurance companies won’t spot the bill if the infestation causes structural damage.