Does my homeowners insurance cover against damage caused by termites?

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2012

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Asked February 3, 2012

1 Answer

No matter how good your insurance policy may be, termite damage is probably not included. In fact, your home insurance company may require you to have a termite inspection before they will insure the house, because the cost of repairing a home that has been infested by termites is more than most insurance companies want to take a chance on.

The major problem with termites is that for every one of the insects you see, there are hundreds more in your walls that you do not see. Termites will turn your wall studs, floor joists and rafters into saw dust, and insurance companies are faced with the potential for billions of dollars in damages each year. Because termite control is considered to be a part of regular home maintenance, insurance companies put the burden of preventing them on the homeowner.

Do not kid yourself into thinking that termites are a minor nuisance. A single hive of termites can devastate a home in months, leaving the walls barely able to support the roof and causing an acute danger of walls or the ceilings caving in. Termite infestation requires professional extermination, and it is not unusual for insurance companies to want to a see a certificate of inspection as well as the papers showing that the house has been recently treated to prevent future infestations. For the insurance company, a home with termites is too much of a risk to insure, more expensive than such catastrophes as fire or hail storms.

Some insurance companies do sell termite insurance, but it must be purchased separately from the home insurance policy. And since prevention is easier than extermination, you might be better advised to invest in the regular services of a qualified extermination service. Besides, termites are not the only pests you have to worry about, because ants and rats are also major problems for homeowners and insurance companies alike. By preventing pests from getting into your home at all, you can avoid the hassles of trying to insure against such high risk and costly damages.

Answered February 3, 2012 by Anonymous

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