In short, no, homeowners insurance will not cover termite damage. Although it is always important to check the specifics of the policy in question, in general, homeowners insurance only covers sudden and accidental events. In the mind of an insurance agent, a termite or other pest infestation is considered a maintenance issue. If a pipe were to burst, it would be considered sudden and would most likely be covered by homeowners insurance. Since a termite infestation does not immediately cause irreversible damage, and is considered a manageable problem, it cannot be considered accidental or sudden.
It is important to schedule annual pest inspections and proactively treat potential infestations. However, if you do have a termite problem and it causes collateral damage, such as a collapsed wall or damage to electronics, all may not be lost. The collateral damage caused by the termites is most likely covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy because it is considered sudden damage. However, the cost of replacing the termite-damaged portions of the home will still fall on you. Read your homeowner’s policy carefully to determine what types of collateral damage are covered.
If you live in an area known to have active termite populations, a termite bond may offer the type of protection you need. A termite bond is an agreement between the homeowner and a local pest control company. Typically, it states that the company will perform regular inspections and treatments and will be responsible for any damage caused by a termite infestation. The language and specifics of a termite bond agreement differ between companies, so be sure to read what is covered before signing anything.