Will Insurance Cover Pest Damage?

When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home. 

The Truth About Homeowners Insurance


Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it. 

Collateral Damage

There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers

There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance. 

Separate Policies

Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”

Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.

Is Homeowner’s Insurance Required?

You may know that when you buy a home, you should purchase homeowner’s insurance. You may have never wondered if the coverage is required. Usually, insurance will be taken out of escrow and a part of our monthly mortgage payment. You may pay a yearly premium separate from your mortgage payment. Home insurance is a nuisance so if you could find a way around it should you forego it?   

You can legally buy a home without a home insurance policy, but if the house is financed with a lender, the mortgage company usually requires that you have insurance on the property. A lender can also request that your home carry additional policies such as earthquake or flood insurance. There are minimums you must meet based on the value of your home and the lender you do business with. These standards exist so that you as the homeowner will have enough coverage to replace the property should it be a total loss in some type of natural disaster or fire.  

The amount of coverage you need depends on how big the mortgage is that you have taken out. There are certain supplemental coverages that may not be required yet are sensible to carry. These extra coverages include:

Personal liability coverage

Personal property coverage

The good news is that as a homeowner you have a choice. You can shop around and see which insurance companies will give you the best coverage for the lowest price. 

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t risk going without home insurance. Even if your loan company allows you to cancel your home insurance after a certain point, the risk is really not worth saving money. Without coverage or permission to cancel coverage, there is a chance your mortgage company could put your loan into default. 

High deductible, basic insurance policies are better than nothing. If you’re going to pay a premium for home insurance, you should look into getting the coverage that makes the most sense for you and your family. You don’t need over the top coverage amounts, but you should aim for comprehensive protection for your property. The key is to balance the cost of your insurance with the value of the property. If your house burned down, you’d want to know that you could replace your property without worry. If you didn’t have insurance, you could really face some issues. You may not want to pay for home insurance, but you genuinely need it. Make sure you understand your coverages.