“Wood” Termite Damage Be Covered By My Home Insurance?

Termite Season..When is it?

Oh no!  You left the porch light on.  Now you need close your mouth tight, squint your eyes, and try to squeeze through the narrowest opening in your front door as fast as you possibly can.  That’s right….it’s termite season in New Orleans. Our termite season starts in late March and lasts through July.

How Do I Know if I Have Termites?

When termites swarm, they will get into your home.  It doesn’t mean you have a termite problem. Here are some things to look for that may indicate a termite situation:

Evidence of Termites

Mud Tunnels or Tubes along the foundation of your home are an indication that termites are moving in.

Piles of wings near doors or windows; termites intentionally twist off and discard their wings once they find a new home because they instinctively know they will no longer need them.

Termite droppings; as much as we dislike them, they like to keep their living areas clean by creating holes that their droppings can fall through.  Since they eat wood, their excrement is made of, you guessed it, wood that resembles sawdust or coffee grinds.

Swarming; mature termite colonies swarm near their nest.  If their nest is in your home, you may see them swarming near that area.

Signs of Damage from Termites

Wood damage: wood that is soft to the touch, looks like it’s rotting, is buckling or has holes with no clear explanation, may have been damaged by termites.

Swollen, cracked, or pealing areas that resemble water damage may be caused by termites.  You may want to investigate any spongy or soft areas you find on your floor or ceilings.

Home Insurance…Does it Cover Termites?

Insurance is designed to make you whole in the event of a sudden and unexpected occurrence.  With that in mind, as a general rule, events that are preventable are usually not covered by your home insurance.  So, termite damage and removal are typically not covered.

However, if termites chew through your home’s wiring that leads to a fire, your homeowners policy may cover the damage caused by the fire.  If your home collapses entirely, and the termite damage was hidden- meaning you, as the owner could not have seen the termites’ presence, this may also be a situation where your insurance would cover you.  To be sure, always check with your insurance agent to understand what is and isn’t covered.

How Can I Protect Against Termites?

Water: Termites love dampness. Keep water away from home’s foundation with gutters, downspouts and splash blocks.  Repair any water leaks in your home, whether from under-the-sink pipes or roof leaks.

Air Conditioner:  Make sure any moisture coming from your A/C unit is diverted away from your home.  Be especially aware if you are using window-units, which tend to produce a lot of moisture.

Trees:  Remove dead trees or stumps from trees that have been removed, make sure tree limbs are trimmed and away from your home.

Mulch:  If you have flower beds near your foundation, make sure your foundation is visible, do not put mulch against your foundation. Strive for an 18-inch barrier between the soil and your home.  Also, using materials other than wood-based mulch such as gravel, plastic or rubber is a good idea.

Roof: Repair any loose roofing tiles will eliminate an easy entry way for termites.

Storage: Cardboard boxes packed with items wrapped in newspaper are a good food source for termites.  Using plastic storage bins will eliminate the food source. Also, opt for metal shelving in your garage or other attached structures instead of wood.

Inspect: Either hire a pest control company or educate yourself on how to inspect for termites and termite damage at least once a year.

Why Garcia Insurance?

At Garcia Insurance Services we take our job of offering you the coverage that will best protect you, your family, your business and your quality of life in the event of a claim. We also strive to provide added value and education above and beyond the norm. If you have any insurance related questions or needs, or would like to schedule a review of your coverages to make sure you’re fully protected, feel free to contact us by clicking here, calling us at 504-875-4077. 

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