The very definition of a insurance claim is that it has to be sudden and accidental for that very reason the gradual damage caused by termites, as well as any insect damage is generally not covered by standard homeowners policies. There may be certain situations however where you can get some compensation.
There are two cases where your homeowners insurance will cover termite damage, up to the limits of your policy:
- When the house completely collapses from termites
- Something (a risk or peril) you’re covered for causes the termites
In the vast majority of cases however, homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage caused by termites or any other vermin, insect or pest smaller then a raccoon. Termites differ from other commonly covered hazards in that they are considered preventable. A tornado or hurricane you cannot prevent; termites rotting the frame of your home you can prevent. This includes damage to the structure of your home as well as your personal possessions.
Cause of Termites is Something You’re Covered For
One of the leading causes of termites is moisture in the home. If that moisture is the direct result of water damage caused by a pipe leak for instance, you may actually be covered. Internal leaks are insured by standard homeowners policies, and if the termites came as a result of that leak, you can make the case that the cost to exterminate the termites should be covered in the same claim. You can apply this logic to any of the common perils your home is covered for: fire, tornadoes, wind damage, and water leaks.
These are all things that can change the structure of your home that can lead to termites invading. Proving the direct link between the damage and the termites may be hard to do. We would recommend you hire a professional to assess your claim and offer their own support.
You should have also already filed a claim for the initial damage caused by the peril. If extensive wind ripped shingles from your roof, that claim should have been filed right away. Leaving the shingles unreported can itself be considered an act of neglect, making it likely your insurance company will reject your claim.
If you have damage to your home whether its a big event like a hurricane/ fire or something that seems small like a water leak its important to consult with a insurance professional such as a public adjuster.
A public adjuster will evaluate your claim and can advise on what needs to be done.