Unfortunately, its an experience that has happened to far too many homeowners. You look around your house one day, and you see it: The telltale signs of massive termite damage. Depending on the degree of the damage, you may need to get some extensive repairs done, and that begs the question: Does homeowner’s insurance cover termite damage?
Termite damage is usually not covered
Unfortunately, termite damage is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. The reason for this is because of the nature of homeowner’s insurance, as this type of insurance usually only covers incidents that occur suddenly, such as a fire, flood, or other forms of quick physical damage.
Termites, by contrast, can’t do damage quickly: It often takes years for them to do their dirty work. To be clear, the damage they can do is massive; termites cause as much as $5 billion in costs to homeowners every year. However, since termites take a long time to harm your property, and because you can prevent their spread by engaging in routine maintenance, you are generally financially responsible for any damage they cause.
How to identify termite damage
Termites leave some undeniable signs of having destroyed sections of your home. This makes it very possible to identify and treat their dirty work.
Signs of this damage include:
- The appearance of cracks, tunnels, or holes in wooden walls or beams in your home.
- Small piles of chips around wood, often giving the appearance that the wood has been transformed into little piles of sand.
If you suspect termite damage, you can take a closer look at the wood and try knocking it with your first or a screwdriver. If it sounds hollow, you may have a problem.
What you can do to protect termite damage
The key to preventing significant damage with termites is to catch it early, as it can take time for termites to damage your property.
- New properties can be built with specific preventative measures like a Basaltic Termite Barrier.
- If you don’t have a new property, regular maintenance is critical. Try to remove any soil from wooden surfaces, as termites tend to live in the soil.
- Create an actual barrier between wood and dirt can be very helpful in preventing termite damage.
- Throw out any unnecessary wooden or cardboard products.
- Termites and other bugs are attracted to light, so move lights away from your house.
Remember, homeowner’s insurance is to protect you and your family in the event of a sudden, unpreventable loss. Termite damage is neither unforeseen or preventable, and as a result, it isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. This, of course, can be frustrating, but thankfully, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your home.