Why Termites Generally Aren’t Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Insurers typically view termites as avoidable and possibly a result of the homeowner’s negligence. Your home insurance is designed to cover you for sudden or accidental events, and termite damage is neither. Be sure to take precautions to prevent an infestation before it begins. Remember, by the time you suspect you have termites, it’s probably too late.
Is There Such A Thing As Termite Insurance
There are a few homeowners plans that cover termite damage. Check the fine print on your policy to see what kinds of hazards it covers. You can also look into plans that specifically cover pests and vermin.
Whether or not youre covered, you should learn to spot the signs of these pests. The earlier you catch these signs, the less hassle youll have in the long run.
How To Prevent Termites
Vigilance and routine inspection can go a long way in preventing termite damage. Your home is most vulnerable to termites in springtime, as the weather warms up, the snow melts, and termite mating season begins. Take these steps to help prevent termite infestations in your home:
Repair rotted roof shingles
Repair leaking pipes, faucets, and air conditioners
Reduce moisture by diverting water away from the house with gutters or downspouts
Keep mulch and soil away from any wooden parts of the house
Store firewood raised above the ground and away from the house
Routinely inspect the foundation, windows, and doorframes
Schedule annual pest control checkups
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Tips For Dealing With Termites In The Home
Termites burrow through mud and will thrive in damp timber. They are attracted to entry points like damp timber struts beneath a home, or exposed piles of firewood. To deal with and prevent termites, homeowners should:
- Look out for moisture in and around the home, especially around wooden surfaces.
- Repair leaks as soon as possible.
- Repair rotting woodwork and other parts as soon as possible.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
- Make sure you have properly-functioning gutters and downspouts that appropriately divert rain.
- Regularly inspect the foundations of the building and look for signs of mud tubes, uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Keep an eye on exterior areas of wood, especially around windows, door frames and skirting boards.
- Maintain a substantial gap between the soil and wood portions of your home.
- Store firewood a decent distance from your home and out of the rain.
It’s also worth considering annual termite inspections. These will probably cost around $250 to $350 but it’s cheaper than thoroughly fixing an infestation, and much cheaper than losing your home to termites.
Is Termite Damage Covered By Insurance Heres The Surprising Fact
A homeowners insurance policy covers various conditions fire, theft, hurricane, and hailstorm among others. What about termite damage? Is termite damage covered by insurance? With its high prevalence among American households, you may think that its a default that insurers include this on their policy. The truth is this: termite damage isnt covered by homeowners insurance. It rarely does.
Before anything else, heres what you need to know about termite damage and home insurance.
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Does Insurance Cover Termite Damage
Homeowners insurance almost never covers the costs of termite damage, as agencies consider termite infestations to be completely preventable.
Many homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites. Even though homeowners insurance is designed precisely for protecting you from damage that is accidental or sudden, termite destruction is typically not considered an accident. Unfortunately, many insurance companies consider termite damage as preventable, which is why it is so rare to find a policy that protects you from these pests.
Who Should Get Atermite Bond
If you want added peace of mind for your home, a termitebond is an excellent investment. Also, if your area is prone to termiteinfestations, this bond is a must-have along with comprehensive insurancecoverage.
You can refer to the Termite Infestation Probability Zone Map that gets published in the International Residential Code publication annually.
This highlights the areas based on the infestation probability. Such a risk level will help you decide if a termite bond is for you. Also, if youre at a high-risk location, its best to purchase a termite bond with a wholesome inclusion of termite species.
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How To Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home
Since homeowners policies dont cover termite damage, youmust prevent the pest from invading your home. You can get a termite bond andpractice the following habits:
Be on top of every leak
Dont let pipe leaks sit without getting proper repairs. Themoisture that comes from this will attract Subterranean, Formosan, and Dampwoodtermites into your home.
Aside from that, the excess moisture will start to formmolds and mildew. This will be a double blow on your home, which will requireseparate treatments.
Build your mulch away from your home
The rule of thumb is to place your mulch at least 15 inchesaway from your homes foundation. The farther the mulch is, the better.
Also, mind what you put in your mulch. Its best to usecedar and redwood chips as these are termite-resistant. Aside from that, avoidover-watering your mulch and garden. This unnecessary moisture is an openinvitation for an infestation.
Store your firewood properly
Dont let woodpiles touch the ground. Make sure that youstore it at least five inches from the soil and at least 12 inches away fromany wall surface. Aside from that, dont let woodpiles be undisturbed for longperiods. You should literally shuffle it up to check if there are inspect petsharboring in between.
Always keep your yard clean
Subterranean termite harbor below-ground before invadingyour home. They thrive on unkempt gardens with sustainable sources of moisture.
Invest in regular inspections
Is Carpenter Ant Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Standard home insurance policies dont usually cover pest-related damage, including the damage done by carpenter ants, though there are some exceptions. Its best to take the necessary precautions to keep your house free of ants, termites, moths, and other pests because your home insurance wont pay the repair bills.
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When Might Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage
Itâs a long shot that your homeowners insurance will ever cover damage caused by termites, but it is theoretically possible under two rare circumstances:
A storm, fire, burst pipe, or another covered peril directly causes an infestation
The damage is hidden away and causes your house to collapse
+ Does Building Insurance Cover Termite Damage Images
Many homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites. If something sudden and accidental happens as a result of termites! Insurers deem insects as a preventable problem, which of course puts the responsibility back on the homeowner. When termite damage is covered. This is because home insurance is created to cover you for damage that is sudden, unforeseeable or preventable. In the vast majority of cases, homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage caused by termites or any other pest because they’re considered preventable.
This is because home insurance is created to cover you for damage that is sudden, unforeseeable or preventable. Home insurance will not usually cover damage caused by termites. Most of the time, this insurance policy will cover storm damage. Every insurance policy lists the defined events that will be covered, such as fires, floods, lightning strikes, theft, or falling trees. For example, youll usually be covered if termites chewed through the wiring. Insurance companies will refuse to pay for damages caused by termites.
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Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage
If youve recently discovered termites chewing through your drywall, you may be wondering, does my homeowners insurance cover termite damage? Youre not alone! Each year, termites cause an estimated $5 million in property damage in the United States. Whats worse, a recent study found that non-native insects cost taxpayers another $1.7 billion in lost property value. If your home happens to become a termites next meal, youll be writing the check.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Repair
When roof repair is covered
Roof damage is typically covered under your policys hazard insurance. This includes roof damage to your garage and other structures on your property.
Specifically, your roof is covered for all perils that cause damage, like fire, wind, and hail damage.
So if your roof is damaged by a hail storm , or a tree that topples onto it during a windstorm, your policy will come to the rescue.
When roof repair isnt covered
This may sound a bit familiar roof repair isnt covered if these things cause damage to your roof:
- Mold, fungus, or wet rot
- Wear and tear/deterioration
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Scenario : A Covered Peril Caused By Termite Damage
There are some situations, however, where home insurance might indirectly cover damage caused by termites. For example, in a scenario where termites eat through electrical wires and cause a fire, your insurance may cover the damage from the fire.
Similarly, if termites eat through a dead tree branch near your home, and that branch falls on your roof, your policy would likely pay for the related damage.
But every policy is different, so read yours if you have questions about your specific circumstances.
Collateral Damage Caused By Termites
While your insurer wont cover direct damage caused by termites, they will cover collateral damage. In other words, any problems that are a direct result of termite damage will not be covered, but if a wall was damaged by the beam that the termites damaged, that will be covered as the result of a faulty beam.
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Home Insurance Scenario In 2001
In 2001, several insurance providers included termite damages in home insurance policies. The termite damage to Australian homes was much more than overall home damages caused by fire and flood put together during the year. Fearing losses, insurers decided to pull it straightaway.
Ultimately, termite damage fell back under preventive maintenance. Hence, a homeowner must take necessary measures, protect their homes, and regularly inspect by preventing and controlling termites with proper planning.
What If I Alreadyhave Termites At Home
Uninsured termite damage means one thing: you have toshoulder the out-of-pocket expenses for the repairs and treatment. The only waythat you can reduce the cost is by getting rid of the pest in the soonestpossible time.
Termite exterminators will inspect your home and assess theextent of the infestation. Most infestations may go unnoticed for months, whichmean that your house might have more damages than what you see from theoutside.
Professional termite treatment will range from $500 to$5,000 depending on the extent of the infestation, the treatment used, and yourlocation.
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Does Home Insurance Cover Damage From Termites
Homeowners insurance provides you financial protection from damage caused by a number of events, including hail, theft, and lightning among other problems. When your homes structure or personal property are damaged in these scenarios, your insurance carrier reimburses you for the value of the damage, after subtracting your deductible.
But is termite damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Unfortunately, termite damage is one of several common exclusions in homeowners insurance policies. In other words, you cant file a termite damage insurance claim because its not covered.
When Does Insurancecover Termite Damage
Fret not, because you still have options to protect yourhome financially against termite damage. There are some scenarios when termitedamage could be covered in your insurance policy.
For example, if the termite damage is secondary to a covered peril, you still have the chance of getting a claim payment. Here are two main examples:
If your house collapses due to a widespread termite infestation
Insurance policies are tricky, but sometimes, you can usethis to get a certain termite condition covered. If your house crumbled to theground suddenly meaning the collapse didnt happen gradually you couldreceive a settlement or claim payment.
Still, this scenario is subject to the limits of your policy.Even if the collapse itself isnt covered, the damages the collapse incurred toyour appliances and other belongings will be covered.
If a covered peril triggered the infestation
For example, if you have water damage due to a pipe leak,its most likely going to be covered on your insurance policy. If the leak ledto the proliferation of termites, the termite damage could be categorized assecondary damage due to the leak.
The insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to your home to assess the damage. Also, they will determine how much of the damage will be covered.
The likes of storms, blizzards, and hurricanes can be usedas grounds to the development of the infestation.
Heres when termite damage could be covered by your homeowners insurance:
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Filing A Claim When You’re Covered
After consulting with a professional and determining you have a valid homeowners insurance claim, contact your insurer right away. The company will send a claims adjuster, who may consider the infestation a result of neglect. The report from your inspector can be used to counter that a professional declared the infestation a direct result of an insurable event.
How To Treat Termites
A termite infestation can cost thousands of dollars in damage repair alone. That’s before paying for removal, and the other problems termites might cause such as health issues or difficulty selling your home. If you suspect or see evidence of termites, your best bet is to contact an exterminator immediately. Exterminators can be expensive, so consider these two most common DIY options for combatting termites :
Soil treatments: Liquid termiticides make it difficult for termites to move through the soil. The chemical treatment is designed to obstruct termites from entering your home from the outside.
Baiting: Baits can be installed underground in your yard or inside your home where termites have been colonized. With baiting, you’ll avoid having to deal with the termiticides necessary for soil treatments.
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Look For Signs Of Termite Infestation
The most destructive termite in the United States is the subterranean termite. Here are some signs to look for:
- Subterranean termites build mud tubes on exterior and interior walls. Learn to recognize these tubes when you see them.
- Swarmers are your first warning that termites are targeting your home. Learn to tell the difference between ant swarmers and termite swarmers. Ant swarmers have a 90 degree bend in their antennae, while termite swarmers have straight antennae that look like tiny balls stacked on top of each other. Ant swarmer wings appear as two separate sets of wings. Termite wings appear as one stack of wings, and are white in color.
- Walls sound hollow when tapped on.
- Sagging doors and buckling floors.
When Might Damage From Termites Be Covered By Insurance
Termite damage may be covered by your home insurance under certain circumstances. The first situation is if your entire house collapses because of termite damage. This falls under a somewhat ambiguously defined term of collapse of your home.
You would theoretically be covered up to the limit of your policy for this type of termite damage, but its important to note that this occurrence is almost unheard of. Ultimately, an insurance payout in this circumstance would be determined on the basis of whether or not the damage could have been detected and prevented, as well as the extent of collapse.
The second scenario in which termite damage may be covered is when a covered incident leads to the termite damage. For example, if a leaky pipe caused hidden moisture, which then attracted termites, you might be able to successfully file a claim. You do need to prove the link between the two incidents and show there was no neglect in maintenance on your part.
Summarized, here are the two exceptions to termite damage not being covered:
- Complete house collapse due to termites
- Covered peril leads to termites
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How Can I Find Termites In My Home
To the untrained eye, termites are difficult to spot. But once you understand some of the telltale signs, theyre easier to see.
- Termite tunnels: Look for termite tunnels around your homes foundation and areas where theres exposed wood. These tunnels are small tubes that look like mud, and might be in a vine pattern on walls, floors or even outside.
- Wood damage: Look for damage, including what looks like a carved maze on the wood. Different types of termites damage wood in disparate patterns, though, so be aware that not all wood destruction follows this pattern. Try tapping on wood throughout the house with a screwdriver and listen for a hollow sound in case the termites have burrowed inside with no visible exterior damage.
- Irregular flooring: Buckling or sagging floors can also indicate the presence of termites. What looks like water damage could actually be destruction from these pests.
- The pests themselves: Termites look a lot like flying ants, but theyre a pale yellow color with straight antennae . Termites have two sets of identical wings. You may find wings that have fallen off in locations where they have been.
If theres any question about whether you have termites, call a pest control company to conduct a thorough inspection.
How To Protect Your Home From Termites
The best way to eradicate termites is to have inspections carried out. This can be done on a monthly or yearly basis. Other factors to consider while deciding on the frequency of inspections include the location of your house and the condition you have kept it in.
It is better if you identify pests in the early stages to prevent damage from happening. A termite control plan is crucial to ensure your house is free from pests. A lot of agencies are providing quality pest control services that can keep your house protected.
Besides these measures, other preventive measures include being careful. Avoid storing firewood near your home as this attracts termites. If you still want to place firewood, it is best that you consult a termite expert. Keep wooden structures in a sealed environment and have a storage shed where wooden items can be kept. Remove any dead trees near your house to prevent the termites from feeding.
These preventive measures can save you from repair expenses. Prevention is better than clean up, especially if you want to go easy on your pockets. Termite control is also crucial for the stability of the house.
Homeowners insurance will not cover termite damage and its up to the owner to carry out regular maintenance and arrange removal services. As a homeowner, you should always be aware of the dangers termites pose to the structure of your home and catch them before they cause significant damage.
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