Does homeowners insurance cover termite damage?
Termite damage and removal typically aren't covered by your home, condo, or renters insurance policy. Insurance companies consider termite infestations to be preventable, so the cost of termite damage and removal will come out of your pocket.
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 homeowners 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.
How to prevent termites
Termites are as tiny as they are devastating and can go undetected for years, but there are steps you can take to stop them from feasting on your home's structure:
- Keep plants and mulch two to three feet away from your home.
- Stop moisture accumulation by making sure your storm drains empty a few feet from your home's foundation.
- Repair leaky faucets, roofs, and gutters.
- Termites start to "swarm" when winter weather turns warmer, often after rainfall; they're attracted to light, so turn off outdoor lights during swarming season.
- Obtaining a pest inspection from a certified pest inspector may be worthwhile (even if you don't think you have termites).
- Don't stack firewood next to your house, as that can attract termites.
- Use treated wood everywhere. This includes on your home, deck, and wood fences because untreated wood can attract termites.
Does homeowners insurance cover termite treatment?
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.
Since routine maintenance is the homeowner's responsibility and termites aren't a covered peril, your homeowners insurance won't cover termite treatment.
Is carpenter ant damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Carpenter ant damage follows the same rule of thumb as termite damage. Insurance companies view it as a matter of general home maintenance. Even if you didn't know you had an infestation, insurance companies typically won’t cover damage resulting from the ants, such as damaged walls, floors, or ceilings.