Are termites covered by home insurance?

So, bugs. Lots of people really don’t like bugs…especially the kind that can literally eat your house. Termites are a major problem for many homeowners. If you’re worried about these many-legged terrors and the damage they might inflict on your home, you might be wondering – does home insurance cover termites? Well…We’re going to get into that. We’ll also give you some tips to recognize when the little terrors have invaded and give some pointers for how to prevent that from happening.

Does home insurance cover termites?


Though you might be hoping for a different response, the answer to the termite question is probably no. Home insurance does not cover termites, as a general rule. It just doesn’t.

The reason is that termites aren’t exactly the kind of thing that home insurance is meant to protect you from. Insurance is intended for sudden, accidental losses that aren’t necessarily predictable or preventable. For example, a fire. Or a falling tree. But it’s not intended to take care of maintenance, and that means termites.

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Tips to prevent termite damage.

So, since home insurance generally doesn’t cover termites, what can a homeowner do to make sure you don’t end up footing the bill for termite clean-up?

Well, first you’ve got to know what you’re up against. Some types of termites swarm, meaning they fly to a new place to devour it. Summer is a common time for termites to be on the move.

And we hate to keep the not-great news coming, but termites eat through lots of stuff. You’ve got to keep an eye on the wooden siding of your house. Also, termites love dead trees and firewood. They just really like wood, honestly.

To prevent the tiny beasts from eating everything in sight, try the following:

1. Don’t give them food or water.

To a termite, your house looks like a five-course meal. To reduce its appeal…

  • Don’t put firewood closer than 20 feet to your house.
  • Create a 6-inch gap between your house’s foundation and any mulch you might be spreading.
  • Keep water away from your house’s foundation.
  • Be very careful about the wood you bring home.

2. Be aware of moisture.

Termites like moisture, so it’s important that you take care of moisture in your attic and basement crawlspace. Be on the lookout for leaky plumbing, gutters, and air conditioning lines. That will help reduce the moisture that termites love so much.

3. Close off any potential points of entry.

Check out your home’s foundation and close any gaps or cracks that could look like a handy-dandy door to the buggy demons.

4. Don’t let moisture build you around the foundation of your house.

Again, termites love the damp. Address any moisture issues and take care to keep the foundation of your house and your roof free of excess water.

How do I know if I have termites?

Okay, so something else you should know:

The signs of termite damage might not be immediately obvious. Surfaces might look unscathed by termites. That’s why you need to be a termite detective to foil the dastardly plan of these munching pests. Stay alert for the following signs:

  • Wood that looks like it’s been blistered
  • Wood that feels soft when you touch it
  • Wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it
  • Termite droppings
  • Scaly-looking wings
  • Mud tubes running along the side of the home
  • And, well, flying termites

Pro tip: Get a termite inspection once a year from a trustworthy pest professional. It’s best to catch termites early so you can develop a plan of attack.

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So, that’s what you need to know about termites. Unfortunately, home insurance generally does not cover a termite problem. You might be on your own when it comes to vanquishing the beasts. But there are things you can do to prevent termites. Short of that, you can stay alert for the signs.

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