Homeowners may experience costly and aggravating termite damage, which is a common problem. Approximately 600,000 homes in the US suffer termite damage each year. The cost of eliminating a termite infestation can run into the thousands, and expert home repairs might be necessary. Most homeowners aren’t aware of a termite infestation until major damage has already been done and it’s too late.
Do homeowners policies cover termite damage then? Homeowners need to be aware that standard home insurance policies do not cover termite damage while looking for a repair for any possible infestation-related damage. With this knowledge, a homeowner is better equipped to look into and comprehend the particular circumstances where losses brought on by termites may be covered by insurance. After that, actions can be done to figure out how to get coverage.
When homeowners insurance will pay for termite damage
Homeowners insurance will typically only contribute to the cost of termite property damage repair and extermination in two circumstances, including:
- When a covered peril causes or is caused by a termite infestation: A homeowners insurance policy can pay for the damages if an infestation of termites was directly brought on by one of the listed perils. It might be covered by insurance, for instance, if a hailstorm damages the roof and termites enter the attic. In some circumstances, you might be able to make a claim, provide proof of the damage, and have your insurance company accept your claim. It will be important to demonstrate, though, that the infestation wasn’t brought on gradually over time but rather was brought on by the covered hazard. Insurance will not pay out on a claim that cannot be supported by evidence.
- When termite damage causes a house to collapse: Home insurance will probably cover the cost of reconstructing if the house has a significant termite problem that is unknown and causes structural problems, causing the building to collapse. The homeowner’s insurance provider will probably still classify the damage as a covered loss even if it happens gradually. However, a carrier is likely to reject the claim if the homeowner is aware of termite damage and waits until there is additional damage before filing a claim.
When homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance normally does not cover termite damage (Triple-I). Homeowners are expected to take proactive actions to prevent infestations because most bug, insect, and rodent problems are generally seen to be preventable.
Termite damage brought on by negligence will not be covered by home insurance carriers. The infestation would not be covered by insurance if the homeowner neglected to remedy probable access sites. Additionally, termite damage that develops gradually over time is often not covered by home insurance.
Additionally, homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for damage to personal property caused by termites. Depending on the conditions of the policy, insurance will only cover damage to the home’s physical structure and any related structures.
What to do if your insurance does not cover termite damage
A termite insurance policy does not exist, which is unfortunate. A specialist will be required to evaluate the situation, provide you with a cost estimate, and advise you on the best course of action if the home has termite damage that is not protected by homeowners insurance.
Have many experts visit and provide quotes before selecting an exterminator. Since the expense of the service will be borne personally, look for a business with reasonable prices and positive client feedback. Inquire as to the length of the eradication procedure and the availability of a contractor to assess the inside damage.
The next action is to have a contractor assess the inside damage. Consider obtaining multiple estimates for the cost and the necessary repairs. Any qualified contractor ought to be able to deal with a termite infestation and suggest fixes.
Identifying termite damage
It’s essential to find termite activity as soon as possible to limit serious damage. For instance, your home can start to smell moldy or loamy. Although it might be challenging to see termites, there are warning indications that can help you identify whether you have drywood, dampwood, or subterranean termites. These consist of:
- Damp wood: Termites prefer moist areas, so it’s crucial to check for potential damp habitats close to foundations, such as those near dripping gutters or overgrown plants. Eliminate settings that cause moisture when you can.
- If termites start to embed themselves into the wood of your home, you may observe blistered wood, bulging flooring, ceilings, or walls.
- Mud tubes: Check the walls and foundations of crawl spaces for tunnel-like passageways.
- Swarms: Termites with wings or wing shedding inside a structure are a sure evidence of an infestation.
- Droppings and holes: If you see holes in the walls and nearby piles of waste, it may be a good idea to hire a specialist.
Ways to stop termites
Since termite infestations are frequently avoidable, prevention is usually the best form of treatment. Homes can be invaded by termites through gutters, unsecured pipes, and gaps in the foundation. They tend to be more active in the spring months and are drawn to damp and moist settings.
There are various measures you may take to prevent termite damage to your home’s structure and your possessions. Even if you can’t always stop termites from attacking your property, you may try to minimize serious damage by taking the following precautions:
- Find and remove termite food sources. Termites consume cellulose, which is present in mulch, plants, firewood, and other types of wood. Termites can readily enter your home from the sidewalls, therefore if at all possible, keep those items away from those areas.
- To keep termites out, seal any entry spots. Inspect the home’s foundation for any tiny holes or cracks. Any gas and water pipes that extend outside the house should be sealed. Look for any leaking gutters or pipes that may be causing water to collect near the foundation.
- Plan to have a yearly termite examination. For all homeowners, this is a crucial step. An annual check is able to identify infestations early and stop additional harm. Think about hiring a qualified exterminator to inspect the house once a year for termites and heeding their advice on preventing termites from entering the building.
There are remedies for treating termite infestations in homes. A professional exterminator can be your best option since termites can do damage pretty quickly despite the fact that some insecticides are effective against them.
Repairing termite damage
Although termite damage is often not covered by homeowners insurance, you may be able to take action to remedy any damage caused by termites to your property. You typically have a few alternatives for fixing damaged wood when you find it. If the wood is non-structural and just subject to little stress, you can replace the entire piece. However, there may be a less expensive option available in the form of steel frames that can be fastened to unharmed wood and drilled into place. This costs less on average than replacing a whole piece of wood and offers greater structural support than the damaged wood alone could.
Repairs including the replacement of structural supports are trickier, so many homeowners opt to hire a skilled contractor to handle them. If so, it may be beneficial to obtain quotes from several nearby contractors before selecting one to perform the repairs. The estimates provided by the contractors can differ significantly in some circumstances, so shopping around for the best deal could help you save money on repairs.
Prior to beginning repairs, it’s crucial to remember to treat any damaged wood for termites. Otherwise, even after the repairs are finished, you can still have termite problems. There are over-the-counter spray solutions if your termite damage is localized, or you can contact a specialist to fumigate your house if the problem is more extensive. Both solutions should aid in stopping further termite damage to your house, along with adding or replacing any damaged wood.