Updated November 4, 2018 . AmFam Team
Though it covers a broad range of events, homeowners insurance typically does not cover termite damage. Why? Because most termite infestations can be prevented through regular maintenance — and maintenance is something homeowners are responsible for. So if you have damage as a result of termites, like a weak foundation or ceiling, your home insurance won’t help cover the costs to repair or replace the damages.
There are some instances where your home insurance might help cover damage when termites are involved. For example, you’ll usually be covered if termites chewed through the wiring in your home and caused a fire, since home insurance policies cover damages caused by fire.
If you want to know exactly what is and isn’t covered by your homeowners insurance policy, your American Family Insurance agent is there to help you understand home insurance. In the meantime, learn more below about how to prevent termite damage.
Before knowing what to look for regarding termite damage, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. There are three main types of termites that are commonly found in a home, and each affect different parts of the home.
Subterranean termites are most common in more humid regions, like the southeast United States, and they’re usually found underground in basements. Dampwood termites prefer wet wood, while drywood termites are fans of dry wood and are typically found in wood, walls and furniture.
Some signs of termite damage are easier to spot than others, but familiarize yourself with the signs of damage so you can catch an infestation before it spreads:
Termite tunnels. Termite tunnels can commonly be found near the foundation of your home. The tunnels look like muddy tubes that are often in a vine pattern on your floors or walls.
Hollow sounding wood. Termites often cause damage that isn’t visible on the exterior. Tap on the wood throughout your house and listen for a hollow sound.
Sagging floors. If your floor is buckling or sagging, this could point toward termites. Keep in mind, some damage may look like water damage but could actually be from termites.
Holes and cracks. Small holes in the wood and walls or cracks in panels and beams also commonly come from termites. Check them out before they become a bigger problem!
Presence of wings. Termites are a pale yellow color and look similar to an ant. They have two sets of identical wings, which you may find in areas they’ve been.
If you notice the signs of termite damage in your home, reach out to a pest control professional as soon as possible. They’ll be able to diagnose the extent of the infestation and get rid of those pesky termites.
Remember, homeowners are responsible for repairing anything affected by the infestation. And since you’re responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your home, your home insurance won’t cover you for damage the termites caused.
Many termite types are attracted to warm, moist areas that have plenty of wood for them to feast on. The main way for you to prevent termite damage is to catch any sign of infestation as soon as possible.
Some prevention techniques include:
Want to gain more confidence in your coverage? Take a look at what your home insurance covers and doesn’t cover. Then connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to learn more about how you can personalize your protection with customized coverage.