Will Your Homeowner Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

Termites Are A Silent Destroyer


They can come up from the ground and infest a home for years. When these insects are discovered, damage is usually significant. So, it makes sense that your insurance policy would cover this damage, doesn't it? After all, it covers most of the other things that can reduce the value of your home and make it unsellable, such as fire and water damage. But, the sad truth is that most insurers do not cover termite damage. Here's what you need to know.

When you accidentally leave a pan of oil on a hot burner and set your home ablaze, your insurance company will definitely come to your rescue. When a pipe bursts in your basement and flood damage destroys your oil furnace, your insurance company will swoop in like a superhero and save the day. This is what insurance is for. It is there as a safety net for all of the scary things that can happen unexpectedly. But those insurance companies don't always save the day.

As it turns out, termite damage is different than that house fire that started because you left the coffee pot on. Your homeowners insurance is designed to protect you from sudden and accidental damage, according to leading insurers across the country. It is not designed to protect you from something you could have prevented. And, damage caused by termites is anything but sudden or accidental.

termite damage

Damage caused by termites is anything but sudden or accidental


When the insurance company signs on the dotted line and agrees to cover your home, they see this contract as a partnership. You are to do your best to protect your property from damage, and they promise to cover the sudden and unexpected problems that can take any homeowner by surprise and create years of hardship. And, since termite damage can be prevented through proper home maintenance, it is not generally covered. Here are three things your insurance company recommends you do to protect your home from this preventable damage.

 

Resist Termites


There are ways you can make your home less attractive to termites. These are some suggestions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Pest Management Association.

  • Make sure no water collects near your home or soaks your exterior walls. Check to make sure your gutters are not obstructed or broken and that water is channeled away. Check downspouts for clogs and look for water accumulation near your foundation walls.
  • Make sure your cellar walls are free of gaps, cracks, and other entry points, especially around pipes and utility openings.
  • Keep firewood and other wood products, such as construction materials, at least 20 feet away from your exterior walls. And, consider creating a platform to get these items up off the soil.
  • Look for any areas where the wood of your home touches the soil and prevent this. Areas that are near the soil but not touching should be treated with a proper sealant.
  • Look for any places where shrubs touch your home. These can provide a bridge for termites.
  • Make sure all mulch is at least 2 feet from your foundation walls.

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.

Protect Your Home With Effective Termite Control


Large national insurers like Allstate, suggest that homeowners get a routine inspection from a certified pest control company, but to truly protect your investment from these wood destroying pests, Spencer Pest Services recommends year-round termite control for homes in the Upstate of South Carolina and northern Georgia. The best termite protection is proactive protection.

Stop termites before they eat your home and chew into your equity. Get termite control from Spencer Pest Services that features the installation of the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System and make sure the damage caused by these insects never takes you by surprise.