Does Home Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

October 3, 2021

Home insurance covers damages and risks that are sudden and accidental, such as theft, hail, and lightning, among others. When termites ultimately damage your home, in such a scenario, your insurance reimburses you for the damage, less the deductibles.

Though home insurance covers many events, it does not cover termite damage. Why? You can prevent most termite damages through maintenance which is your responsibility as a homeowner. So, if you have termite damage in your home, such as a weak foundation or broken ceiling, your home insurance will not cover the costs to replace or repair any of the termite damage.

When Does Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

A termite control specialist will tell you that your homeowner insurance may cover certain termite damages. The first situation is when your home collapses due to termite damage. This collapse is referred to as the ‘collapse of your home’. In such an instance, your insurance will cover you up to your policy’s limit. However, you should note that such a situation is almost unheard of. Eventually, they only make such a payout if you could not prevent that damage and up to the extent of the collapse.

The second situation where your insurance may cover termite damage is where a covered scenario causes termite damage. For instance, you can file a claim if you have a leaking pipe that causes moisture and attracts termites. However, in such a scenario, you need to prove the connection between the two occurrences and prove that you did not neglect maintenance.

Filing A Claim When You Are Covered

If your termite damage falls under either of the above two scenarios, you should take to file a claim. What are the procedures you should follow? Contact your insurer, who will, in turn, send a claims adjuster to check if the damage is a result of your neglect.

The inspector’s report will determine whether you are entitled to reimbursement. If the insurance covers the damage, they will reimburse you. However, if you are not covered, they will not. If the termite damage has affected electronics in your home, your insurer will pay you. Keep in mind that different insurance companies pay different amounts depending on the policies. Therefore, you should ensure that you look into different insurance companies’ policies before settling for one.

What Should You Do When Your Termite Damage Is Uninsurable?

If your insurance cover does not cover termite damage, what should you do to lower extermination costs?

  • Hire an expert to inspect the infestation and give you an estimate for the removal. Get three or more quotes and compare the costs.
  • Weigh the removal costs against the extent of the infestation. The costs will range from about $600 to about $5500 depending on different factors. If you decide to take care of the termite damage yourself, you should ensure you remove the entire colony.
  • If you engage a professional exterminator, it may be expensive but worth it in the long run. An expert will ensure that if there is a colony, it is obliterated and stops the growth. As for the damages, you will also have to pay from your pocket; however, it is affordable if the infestation is discovered early.

How To Prevent Termites

There are several ways you can make your home termite-free. Here are a few of them:

  • Look out for leaks and keep your property dry, especially in the air conditioner and the roof.
  • Clean your pipes and gutters to prevent termites from settling in as they love such dark and moist places.
  • Seal any cracks in the foundation, windows, and doors.
  • Do not place soil or mulch next to your house.
  • Install vapour barrier to keep all crawl spaces dry.
  • Repair any rotting wood or shingle around your home.
  • Keep firewood and vegetation away from your home.
  • Set baits.
  • Inspect your home for any signs of water damage.
  • Add beneficial nematodes to the soil around your home.
  • Get regular termite inspections by experts from pest control companies.

How To Find Termites In Your Home

Termites can live in your home for years before being detected. These creatures are discreet, and it is essential to discover them before they cause significant damage to your house. These are the signs of termites to look out for in your home:

  • Peeling paint similar to water damage
  • Small holes in your drywall
  • Discolouration in your drywall
  • Damaged or crumbling wood
  • Loose tiles due to termites introducing moisture underground
  • Stuck doors and windows
  • Discarded wings that resemble fish scales
  • Squeaky floorboards
  • Hollow wood when tapped
  • Unusual patterns on walls, floorboards, and furniture
  • Buckling floorboards
  • Presence of mud tubes
  • Presence of flying termites

How To Eliminate Termites From Your Property Naturally

Are you a lover of wooden support beams, wooden furniture, or anything wooden? Are you in search of a weapon to eliminate those stubborn wood-eating termites? You may have encountered many products that promise to destroy these pests, but they always disappoint you.

If you are determined to bypass the unnecessary costs of buying such products and handle the matter yourself, here are some tips that can work.

Use Cayenne Pepper

While cayenne adds flavour to your pot of soup, it is also a termite killing machine. Cayenne has an active chemical known as capsaicin that is hot and spicy. This chemical gets rid of termites by attacking their nervous systems.

In small infested areas, you can sprinkle the pepper or create a paste using vegetable oil and apply it to the infested area. Use this method for a week and check its effectiveness.

Introduce Beneficial Nematodes to the Infested Area

Nematodes are tiny roundworms that you cannot see with your naked eye. They fight against termites by injecting deadly bacteria into the pest or feeding on it. The good thing with these worms is that they are not dangerous to human beings, do not destroy wood, and die after attacking the termites.

However, it would help if you were careful when using these worms. Mix the worms with water and spray the infested areas on your property. Allow the wood to absorb the water and spread the nematodes. One spray a day is enough.

Create a Bait Using Wet Cardboard

Sometimes you do not have to attack to win; create a bait system. There are many ways of setting baits for termites, but the most effective one is using wet cardboard. Place the wet cardboard in the infested area and wait for the termites to attack. After a short period, take the cardboard outside and burn it.

Try this method several times for effective results. You can also couple this method with termite poison.

Use Neem Oil

Neem oil has been used for pest control for hundreds of years. It attacks the reproductive cycle of insects and makes them forget food and mating. By doing that, it stops them from reproducing, and they die of hunger. The oil also emits an unpleasant scent to termites, thereby protecting the treated areas.

To make your mixture, emulsify oil from crude neem oil using liquid soap. Mix 2ml soap, 5ml neem oil, and a litre of water. Add the liquid soap and stir in the oil, then add your water. Spray the solution in all affected areas.

Use a Vinegar and Lemon Combo

Make a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar in the ratio of 4:1 respectively. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray the infested areas, fence corners, crooks, and wooden structures to kill the termites instantly. Repeat the process after a few days, and it will be successful.

Use Salt

While salt may seem harmless to you, it strikes fear in all termites. Salt kills termites by dehydrating them to death. All you need to do is mix water and salt to create a concentrated solution. Use a syringe to squirt the solution into the infested areas. You can also use salt as a preventative measure around your house.

Use Orange oil

Have you ever wondered what useful thing you can do with orange rinds after feasting on your orange? Well, termite prevention is a good way you can put them to use. Orange peels contain D-limonene, which kills termites.

This termite killer is great because it does not harm you or your pets. However, it is only great above ground. If your infestation is underground, you may need to seek alternative means of extermination.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

You have probably never heard of or come across this term, but it is not as complicated as it sounds. Diatomaceous earth is unique sand consisting of fossilised algae. It has many health benefits to human beings, but it is a killing agent to termites. When pests come into contact with the sand, it cuts through them and draws out moisture from their bodies, killing them.

How To Repair Termite Damage

After getting rid of the termites, you need to repair the areas they damaged. If you do not address the damage, it could damage your entire property. Here is how to repair termite damages:

Using Wood Hardeners

If the damage is minimal, you need wood hardeners to strengthen the wood. Purchase a wood hardener that is suitable for the type of wood you want to repair. Additionally, you can use sealants to stop oxygen flow in case there are termite remnants left behind. This kills the remnants and ensures that you will not face termite infestation soon.

Using Wood Fillers

If the termite damage is extensive, fill the gaps left by termites with wood filler. The first thing to do is to pull the wood out until the surface is smooth, then fill it with the filler. Sand it and probably paint it as well to keep it looking good. During the wet seasons, you should monitor the wood to ensure that it does not absorb moisture. Basically, the wood should always be dry.

Wood Replacement

When the damage is extreme, you should replace the wood. You can cut off the damaged wood and replace it on your own or contract a professional to do it if the sections are extensive. If the damage has extended to the load-bearing wall, it is advisable to engage professionals for replacement.

What Should You Do If Your Home Insurance Does Not Cover The Termite Damage?

In most situations, you cannot file a claim on your home insurance for termite damage. When this happens, these are steps to follow:

  • Treat the termites regardless of the damage. You can call a pest specialist to handle the active infestation and stop further damage from taking place.
  • If the damage is extensive, please engage a contractor to either replace the wood or add support to the affected wood.
  • Put in place preventive measures such as termite barriers and schedule annual inspections.

Prevent Damage By Hiring A Termite Expert

Termites can go unnoticed for years and cause extreme damage to your property. Understand the warning signs and undertake preventive measures. These simple initiatives can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars since home insurance does not typically cover termite damages.

  • Always look for signs of termites before buying a house and have regularly scheduled inspections.
  • Annual inspections can save you damage costs and reduce the threat of termite damage.
  • Prevention of termite infestation is prudent instead of treating the actual infestation. After all, prevention has always been and will always be better than any cure.

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