Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

Damage from sudden and unexpected events typically is covered by homeowners insurance, termite damage is not. Since termite damage often can be prevented through proper maintenance, treatment and annual inspections, it cannot be classified as either sudden or unexpected. In fact, termites are active in every U.S. state, except Alaska. For these reasons, homeowners insurance typically covers neither termite treatment nor repair.

In some cases, termite damage may cause collateral damage in a home. For example, an extensive infestation could lead a ceiling or wall to collapse. If electronics are damaged as a result of the structural collapse, those items may be covered under a homeowners insurance policy. However, the damage to the home’s structure likely will not be covered.

Termite Bonds
Particularly in parts of the U.S. prone to high levels of termite activity, experts recommend homeowners purchase a termite bond. This document, which some homeowners refer to as “termite damage insurance,” is a contract between a homeowner and a termite control company that explains the company will provide regular termite inspections and treatment, as stipulated in the contract. The most comprehensive termite bonds guarantee the company will pay for retreatment and repairs for any future termite damage, if necessary.

Common Exclusions in Termite Bonds
Termite bonds may have exclusions. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered by a termite bond.

Termite bonds may not cover damage caused by all types of termites. For example, a bond offered by a company that has treated a subterranean termite infestation may exclude damage caused by Formosan termites, drywood termites and other wood-destroying insects.

Most termite bonds exclude damage that occurs as a result of conditions conducive to termite activity. It is important to correct water issues and reduce direct wood-to-ground contact to make your home less susceptible to termite infestation.