Will Home Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Termites? Unlikely, Here's When

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Standard homeowners insurance typically won't cover termite damage except for rare and very nuanced circumstances. Read below about when your homeowners insurance might cover termite damage and how you can mitigate infestations in your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurers typically exclude coverage for termites because it is considered a hazard preventable with regular home maintenance.
  • Homeowners insurance may cover termite damage if it was the result or cause of a covered peril in your policy, like a fire or burst pipe.
  • Your home collapsing due to extreme termite damage may be covered, as well.
  • Homeowners should look for termite activity in their walls, floors, ceilings, attic, roof eaves and sidings.

Why Isn’t Termite Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Termite damage is typically excluded by standard homeowners insurance because it is considered a preventable loss and is a result of the homeowner’s negligence. Homeowners insurance policies usually cover sudden and unexpected events, like fires or burglaries — not gradual damage over time, like those related to termite infestations.

When Would Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

There are generally only three cases when termite damage may be covered and each scenario is highly nuanced. The first two cases involved termite damage being either the cause or the result of a covered peril in a standard policy, like a fire or a burst pipe. The last case is when termite damage is so severe that it causes your home to collapse.

1. Termite Damage Caused a Covered Peril

If termites caused damages that are listed as covered perils in your policy, then you may be eligible for coverage. For example, fire damage is a loss covered in all standard homeowners policies. If termites settled in your wall and chewed through wires connected to your electrical panel, triggering an electrical fire, then you may get reimbursed for damages. This type of loss is classified as an unintentional occurrence — not a gradual loss over time that is normally excluded from coverage.

Termite coverage has another condition: Termite damage must not be readily visible.

If you see termite activity in an easily accessible area, like your baseboards, then your insurer may deny your insurance claim due to homeowner negligence and lack of maintenance. Since the damage was within plain view, the homeowner should’ve taken steps to stop the infestation and prevent further damage.

This condition applies to the next two scenarios, as well.

2. Termite Damage Was Caused by a Covered Peril

If homeowners can demonstrate that the primary factor contributing to their termite infestation was a "covered peril" under their insurance policy, such as wind or fire, their insurer may agree to cover termite-related losses.

Take the aftermath of a burst pipe as an example. The surrounding damp area is an invitation for termites to settle and multiply. If the homeowner can prove that the burst pipe caused the infestation, then the insurer may extend coverage to the termite damage. The same reasoning also applies if a windstorm dislodges roof shingles, creating sanctuaries for termites to breed. In this case, the windstorm is the covered peril that caused the subsequent termite damage.

However, the claim would technically be filed for the covered peril and termite damage would be listed as one of the resulting losses that would be covered.

3. Termite Damage Caused Your Home To Collapse

While rare, termites can quietly nibble away in a home's structural timber for years completely unnoticed. After enough time, the house can abruptly collapse with no sags or cracks in the walls or ceilings to warn the residents.

If this happens, your homeowners insurance will reimburse you for the loss, up to the policy limits. This is why it’s essential to buy enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home after worst-case scenarios. If you have loss of use coverage, then your insurer will pay for temporary living accommodations, like hotel fares and meals.

What To Do if You Have Termite Damage That Isn’t Covered

Employ an exterminator or other pest control specialist ASAP to eradicate the termite colony and stop further damage. You should then employ a contractor to repair the damage.

Many contractors offer a free estimate and some even specialize in termite damage. The best way to find a cheap price is to shop around.

Make sure you take steps to prevent any future termite activity. For example, ask your pest specialist about a "treatment barrier," which is a chemical shield that surrounds your house and poisons termites and, eventually, the termite colony. Termite barriers can last up to eight years.[1]

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How Can I Tell if I Have Termites?

Homeowners should look for evidence of termites inside and outside the house, including your walls, floors, ceilings, attic, trim, eaves, siding or anywhere else on their property. Here are some tell-tale signs of termite activity:

  • Swarmers: Termites swarm in the spring and fall to mate and form new colonies.[2] If you see a swarm of flying insects, especially if they are attracted to light, it may be a sign of a termite infestation.
  • Mud tubes: Termites build mud tubes to protect themselves as they travel between their colony and a food source.[3] The presence of mud tubes on your walls or foundation can signal termite activity.
  • Wood damage: Termites eat wood from the inside out, so a hollowed structure or a honeycomb pattern on walls and flooring should prompt you to investigate for termites.
  • Discarded wings: Discarded wings near windowsills or doors can suggest that termites are building a new colony somewhere in your home.[4]

Common Places to Find Termites

The table below lists potentially high-risk areas for termites:



Wood Structures

Termites feed on cellulose, which is found in wood, so they are often found in wooden structures in homes, such as flooring, walls and furniture.

Basements and Crawl Spaces

These areas provide a moist and dark environment that is ideal for termites and can often go undetected in these areas for a long time.

Window and Door Frames

These areas can provide entry points for termites into a home and the wooden frames can also be a food source.


Termites can enter attics through small cracks or holes in the roof and the moist, dark environment of attics can provide ideal conditions for them to thrive.

Wooden Decks and Patios

Termites can feed on the wooden supports and boards of decks and patios, causing structural damage.

Fireplaces and Chimneys

The wooden components of fireplaces and chimneys can be a food source for termites and they can also use these structures as a pathway into a home.


Termites can live in the soil and feed on plants and trees and they can also use these structures as a pathway into a home.

Tips To Prevent Termites and Termite Damage

The best way to prevent termite damage is to conduct regular inspections of your house and property, look for tell-tale signs of termite activity and take immediate action to eliminate the problem.

In the springtime, for example, keep an eye out for winged, flying termites, which are attracted to the light of sunny days. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some other great tips for preventing termite damage.[5]

  • Keep the soil around your house's foundation dry through proper grading and drainage, which includes properly functioning gutters and downspouts.
  • Use cement, grout or caulk to fill in the hair-line fractures and cracks that can appear in foundations and utility penetration points.
  • Fix leaks as soon as possible.
  • Keep vents unobstructed.
  • Don't plant trees, shrubs and other foliage too close to the home.
  • Store firewood and other wood away from the house.
  • Combat termites before they can establish a colony.

Is Termite Insurance Available?

You’re likely not going to find termite coverage sold as a specific insurance product. An alternative option is a termite bond. This is a contract between a homeowner and a pest control company that involves regular inspections of the property by the company to ensure it is free of termites after the initial inspection and successful treatment. If termites are found, the company is responsible for eliminating them and repairing any damage caused. The bond typically lasts for a specified period, up to a couple of years, and may require renewal.[6]


Does home insurance cover termite treatment?

Your homeowners insurance will likely not cover termite treatment, as that falls under the purview of maintenance on behalf of the homeowner. The exception is if the termite damage was the cause or result of a covered peril, like fire damage, or if the damage was so severe it caused your home to collapse.

Does homeowners insurance cover termite tenting?

Termite tenting usually is not covered by standard homeowners insurance.

Does renters insurance cover termite damage?

Renters policies most likely won't cover termite damage to your rental property.


  1. Pest-Ex. “How Long Do Termite Treatments Last?” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023. 
  2. Northwest. “What You Should Know Before Termite Swarming Season.” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023.
  3. Terminix. “Termite Structures 101: Termite Mud Tubes.” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023.
  4. MyMove. “Termites With Wings: How To Identify and Treat Flying Termite Swarms.” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023. 
  5. Environmental Protection Agency. “Termites: How To Identify and Control Them.” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023. 
  6. Inspect-All Pest Services. “What Exactly Is a Termite Bond?” Accessed Feb. 5, 2023.

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