Considering they only measure a few millimeters in length, termites do an incredible amount of damage – around $5 billion every year. Of course, with colonies numbering anywhere from 2,500 members (drywood species) to 2 million (subterranean species), it’s no wonder these nasty bugs do so much damage.
In addition, termites don’t restrict their diet to wood; they eat pretty much any cellulose-based item – paper, flooring, and, of course, wood.
In other words, unless you live in a solid steel home, you’re susceptible to termites.
Do Home Warranties Cover Termites?
Typically, you only see a home warranty on a newly-constructed home. Whether that includes a termite warranty depends, as terms vary from builder to builder, meaning they may not cover termites or any other pests. The only way to know what’s included in your home warranty is to ask.
Specifically, you want to know whether the warranty covers termite inspection and treatment in the event an infestation is discovered. Second, you need to know whether your warranty includes repairing the damage caused by termites. Finally, if any of these items are included in your warranty, you need to know for how long. One year? Five? Ten?
Aftermarket Home Warranties
A variety of companies sell home warranty services. In general, however, these companies cover two major categories: appliances and systems.
Appliances typically include the “big” ones: washer, dryer, stove, and refrigerator. Systems coverage usually includes your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and sometimes your plumbing and electrical systems.
Whether these aftermarket warranties are worth it depends on your situation. Read the fine print and ask lots of questions before you sign anything. And, look carefully at online reviews. Finally, whether you sign or not, don’t expect them to include termites in your warranty.
Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Termite Damage?
In a word: No. In a few more words: It is exceedingly rare to find a homeowner policy that covers property damage resulting from termites. According to Allstate, this is because standard homeowner policies “provide coverage for perils that are sudden and accidental…” The insurer feels that home maintenance can prevent pest infestations, including termites.
What Is a Termite Bond?
Simply put, a termite bond is a warranty provided by your termite company, similar to the maintenance contract you sign with the HVAC company that installed your new air conditioner. Some people call it a termite warranty, but your pest control service likely calls it a bond.
The length of the bond varies, but 12 months is usually the minimum, with most lasting two years. It usually includes regular inspections – anywhere from quarterly to annually – and that the pest control company will provide treatment at no extra charge if an infestation is discovered.
Please note that these bonds typically cover treatment only, not repair of damages. Some companies offer a repair bond as a separate entity and at a different price. Talk to your provider to be sure.
Who Needs a Termite Bond?
Termite bonds are popular with two main classes of people: those who have had a termite infestation and those who are looking to sell their home.
If you’ve dealt with termites before, you know how frustrating it can be. That’s why many customers sign a termite bond afterward.
For those selling their home, a termite bond may be required by prospective buyers. It may also be requested after the home inspection.
If you choose to sign one, ask for a transferable bond, which transfers to the new homeowner in the event you sell your home.
Are Termite Bonds Worth the Money?
Termite bonds are like many warranties: they don’t seem worth it until you need them.
If you are conscientious about savings and keep at least $3,000 in an emergency fund (the average cost to repair termite damage), you likely don’t need a bond. But, if a large, unexpected repair is beyond your means, then the relatively low cost of the bond, plus the peace of mind it brings, are likely worth it.
If you’d like to learn more, contact us any time.Tags: Home Termite Protection, Termite Damage, Termite Exterminator, Termite Inspection, Termite Warranty