Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termites?
Depending on the circumstance, the dwelling coverage in your homeowners insurance policy may cover termite damage. In general, however, a homeowners policy does not cover termites.
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According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites are responsible for more than $5 billion in property damage each year. They usually feast on wood, including house support beams, walls, furniture, flooring and ceilings.
If you’re wondering if standard homeowners insurance covers termites, the answer is no. But there are special cases when the dwelling coverage in your policy covers damage caused by termites.
Dwelling coverage pays for the cost of rebuilding your home if it burns down, is destroyed by a tornado or is damaged by covered hazards. It typically has the highest coverage limit in your homeowners insurance policy.
Since termites are preventable with proper maintenance, standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover them. That means you won’t be able to file a successful claim for damages caused by a termite infestation.
In this article:
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termites?
Generally, homeowners insurance does not cover termites. But in some rare cases, you may be able to get coverage for damage caused by a termite infestation up to the dwelling coverage limit of your policy. The following are examples of when homeowners insurance covers termites.
- If your house completely collapses due to hidden, undetectable termites, your homeowners insurance policy covers the loss.
- If a covered peril causes the termite infestation in your house, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of repairs.
Basically, there are only special cases where homeowners insurance covers termites. One of them is if a termite infestation causes your house to collapse — not just cracking, bowing or sagging, but actually falling apart and becoming uninhabitable. However, you may only receive compensation if you have no prior knowledge about the infestation. That means you must prove that the infestation was hidden and completely unknown to you. Otherwise, you won’t be covered.
The other case is if the termite infestation was a direct result of a covered peril. For example, if a pipe leak created a moist environment and attracted termites, you might be able to file a successful claim. The same applies to extensive wind ripping shingles from your roof and causing a termite infestation. As long as the named peril is covered by homeowners insurance and you can prove the link between the two incidents, you may get coverage.
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Termites?
Homeowners insurance financially protects you from accidents and emergencies, not maintenance. That’s why your policy doesn’t cover damage due to termites. Plus, insurers often view this kind of pest infestation as a preventable maintenance issue. The homeowner is usually the one responsible for preventing termites on their property.
In addition, your policy won’t cover the costs of termite extermination and preventive measures. These expenses usually fall under home maintenance, not emergencies or accidents.
How to Protect Yourself From Termites
The best homeowners insurance can adequately protect you against certain perils. However, it’s much better to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Ensuring proper home maintenance is one way to avoid termite damage. Below, MoneyGeek lists some preventive measures to protect your property from termites.
Have a Termite Inspection
Hiring a termite specialist to identify areas in your home that are most vulnerable to termite issues can help prevent an infestation.
Check Your Wooden Areas
Regularly monitor your wooden exteriors, including windows and door frames, to see if there are any noticeable changes that could be because of termites.
Reduce Moisture in Your Home
Moist environments can attract termites, so make sure to empty your drains and repair leaky pipes or faucets.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
You can buy homeowners insurance from most major insurance providers like State Farm or smaller carriers such as Hippo. MoneyGeek recommends shopping around for a homeowners policy and comparing quotes from various providers to get the best option for your needs.
On average, homeowners insurance costs $175 per month. However, your rate may differ depending on how much stuff you own. You can use MoneyGeek’s personal property calculator below to get an estimate based on the value of your belongings.
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