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You pay for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance  to guard against any unexpected  and hefty bills. It gives you some peace of mind and helps you sleep at night. But what if while you’re sleeping, a colony of termites are not sleeping and eating away at your humble abode – and your savings? Are you covered?

Each year it is estimated that about 600,000 homes are damaged by termites annually, and that this damage costs Americans approximately $5 billion a year in repairs – more than damage caused by tornados, fire and floods combined! Understanding your policy is key and sometimes tricky. Insurance companies typically work against you to save themselves some money.

Not always, but they might claim you should have known about the damage (aren’t termites called the “silent destroyers?”) or that you don’t have enough coverage, or worse, that it’s the fault of your pest control company in order to deny the claim. If that’s the case, you may need to contact a damage attorney who can investigate the claim and see a settlement.

If you think you have termite damage in your home, here’s what you should do:

  • Be aware of the signs of termite damage – walls with bubbling or peeling paint, hollow sounds in the walls, ruined furniture, entry holes, irregular or buckling flooring, mud tubes, etc..
  • Start documenting the damage with detailed explanations of what you have observed. Take notes and photos as proof.
  • Consult your insurance company or, if necessary, an attorney, to make a property damage claim.

Unfortunately, chances are that your insurance will not cover the damage for a number of reasons that vary from company to company.  Most often, policies cover circumstances that are accidental, rapid or sudden, unpreventable or dangerous. It may feel like all of these things to you, but the fact remains that termite invasions can be prevented with regular maintenance and inspections by a certified pest control company. So, while you may not be able to purchase insurance to cover termite damage, you can contract with a pest control company for annual inspection and treatment plans that will cost less in the long run.

Bottom line: it’s more expensive to repair termite damage than prevent it. Do you need a professional termite inspection?