Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pest Control?

Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover pest control.

Sarah Sharkey
Written bySarah Sharkey
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer
  • 7+ years writing insurance and personal finance content

  • Contributor to top media, including USA Today

A passionate personal finance advocate, Sarah’s writing has graced the pages of many of the personal finance and insurance industries’ top web publications.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated July 1, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

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Not only are pest infestations a nuisance, but they can also cause damage to your home. Even if you carry homeowners insurance, you’ll likely have to pay for damage caused by pests without the help of your insurer.

In some rare cases, an insurance company may help you pay for pest-related damage. But most homeowners will have to pay for damage caused by pests. Before you buy a home insurance policy, you should always carefully compare quotes and coverage options.

Here’s what you should know about pest control and when homeowners insurance may cover it.

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Does homeowners insurance cover pest control?

Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover pest control in most cases. If you’re dealing with an infestation from a common critter, like termites or vermin, you’ll have to pay for the repairs of the resulting damage on your own.

Insurance companies view most damage caused by pests as preventable. If the damage occurred over time and you didn’t step in to stop the issue, it’s unlikely the insurer will cover the claim.[1] For example, if termites cause damage to the wood within your home, you’ll likely have to pay for the repairs yourself.

The exception is if your house experiences sudden or unexpected pest-related damage. For example, if a bird flies into your window hard enough to break it, the insurer may cover the repair costs.[2] But your insurance usually won’t cover damages if a portion of your house collapses due to unaddressed termite activity.[3]

Learn More: What Does Home Insurance Cover?

Learn More: What Does Home Insurance Cover?

Damage caused by common pests

No one wants to deal with pest infestations. You can look at some of the damage that common pests can cause below:

  • Termites: A termite infestation can inflict thousands of dollars worth of structural damage on your home by eating through the wood structures within the walls and foundation.[4]

  • Mice: These small rodents can damage structures and personal property within your house. Some of the most dangerous rodent damage occurs when mice chew through electrical wires, which presents a fire hazard.

  • Squirrels: If a squirrel makes its way into your attic, it can destroy insulation and electrical wires.

Types of pest damage covered by homeowners insurance

Although homeowners insurance doesn’t cover most damage caused by pests, your home insurance may cover some types of damage. The exact coverage details vary based on your policy. But some insurers will cover damage from the perils below.

  • Bird strike: If a bird strikes your window hard enough to break it, your home insurance policy might cover the repairs.

  • Raccoon break-in: If a raccoon gets into your house and damages your drywall, your home insurer might cover the repair costs.

  • Deer damage: If a deer damages your fence, your home insurer might help you pay to repair it.[2]

Is secondary damage from pests covered?

Depending on the situation, your home insurance may cover some types of secondary damage done by pests.

For example, if a rat chews through a wire, your insurer likely won’t pay to repair it. But if the chewed wire causes a house fire, your homeowners insurance may cover the secondary damage done by the fire.[1]

Does homeowners insurance cover termite damage?

Home insurance policies usually don’t cover termite damage. Since termite damage accumulates over time, most insurers don’t consider it sudden or unexpected. Because insurers see termite damage as preventable, you’ll generally have to pay for repairs on your own.

How to submit a pest damage claim

If you want to file a pest damage home insurance claim, use the following steps as a guide:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/75b526b26b/protection-and-security-96x96-yellow_025-spy.svg

    1. Take pictures

    Document the damage as soon as you find it. Take pictures and make note of the property damage for future reference.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/1daf58783c/contact-us-96x96-orange_023-customer-support.svg

    2. Reach out to your insurance company

    Since pest damage claims are relatively uncommon, it can help to reach out to an insurance agent to walk you through the details of your policy. They can help you decide if you should move forward with filing a claim or not. Remember, home insurance typically only covers sudden or unexpected damage from pests.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    3. File the claim

    When you file the claim, you should prepare to share details about the damage.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/55b61a5856/jobs-and-professions-96x96-green_017-businessman.svg

    4. Work with an adjuster

    Most insurers will send an adjuster to your house to confirm the damage and estimate repair costs.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/1f77dd73f2/money-96x96-orange_042-invoice.svg

    5. Wait

    With everything filed, all you can do is wait for your home insurance company to approve the claim or not. But while you wait, you might have to start making repairs. If you start repairs, make sure to hang onto the receipts.

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4 ways to prevent future pest damage

No one wants to deal with pest-related damage. Luckily, a little bit of prevention can go a long way. Here are some strategies to help you prevent future pest damage.

  • Remove potential habitats. Eliminate places that a critter might want to call home. Cleaning up piles of leaves against your siding or stacks of cardboard boxes in your kitchen can deter pests from moving in.

  • Store food properly. Unsealed food attracts pests. Store your food in sealed containers and remove garbage from your home regularly.

  • Find and seal entry points. Pests have to get in somewhere. One of the best ways to prevent damage is to seek out entry points and seal them against intruders. For example, you can caulk cracks around the baseboards and cover any holes with wire mesh.

  • Work with a pest control company. Regular inspections from a pest control company can help you stay on top of any potential pests and handle pest removal.[5]

Pest control FAQs

If you still have questions about whether home insurance covers pest control, the following information can provide some answers.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover a rodent infestation?

    Not usually. Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover damage caused by rodents because insurance companies usually consider this type of damage preventable.

  • What are the most common pests?

    Cockroaches, mice, rats, and bed bugs are some of the most common pests. If you hear gnawing in your walls or spot droppings, it might be a sign of an infestation.[6]

  • Does homeowners insurance cover bed bugs?

    Not usually. Most insurance companies won’t cover the cost of removing bed bugs from your home. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for this expense yourself.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover cockroach infestation?

    Not usually. In general, homeowners insurance companies won’t cover the cost of removing a cockroach infestation or repairing the damage left by an infestation. That’s because insurers consider this damage preventable.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover carpenter ants?

    Not usually. Most standard home insurance policies won’t cover the damage insects cause, including carpenter ants. Instead, the homeowner will be on the hook for this possibly preventable damage.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Which disasters are covered by homeowners insurance?."
  2. Allstate. "Does homeowners insurance cover damage from a wild animal?."
  3. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "Termites."
  4. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "Formosan Termite Program."
  5. Environmental Protection Agency. "Do's and Don'ts of Pest Control."
  6. Environmental Protection Agency. "Identify and Prevent Rodent Infestations."
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make savvy financial decisions. She covered insurance and personal finance topics. You can find her work on Business Insider, Money Under 30, Rocket Mortgage, Bankrate, and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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