Does Home Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

termite damage to wood door
Table of Content
Go to ...

Home insurance provides financial protection against unexpected events such as fire, theft or natural disasters. A common query that homeowners have is whether termite infestations are covered in the policy.

Termites are prevalent in South Africa. They can go undetected in a house for months or even years, gradually ruining your wooden structures. In this blog, we’ll look at how to check if your insurance policy covers termite infestations and what you can do to prevent these pests from wreaking havoc in your house.

Understanding Termite Damage

Termites are small insects that live in colonies and feed on wood and other plant material. These pests can cause severe damage to houses, furniture and any other wooden structures.

Two types of termites are prevalent in South Africa; subterranean termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites rely on soil to survive. They build their nests in the soil and create tunnels into and through your home’s foundation to reach the wood. On the other hand, drywood termites do not rely on soil and can survive completely in any wood area (inside wooden structures).

Since most South African homes have wooden beams or some wooden features, it attracts different types of termites to our homes. However, unlike other infestations, you probably would not know that you have a termite infestation until they have done considerable damage.

Termites (subterranean and drywood) enter your house through cracks in the foundation, roof or walls and start to build mud tubes to travel around. It’s essential to catch termite infestations early to prevent costly repairs. Here are some signs of a termite infestation that should warrant a pest inspection:

  • Sagging floors or ceilings (wooden)
  • Hollow-sounding wood
  • Mud tunnels on the walls on the outside of your home

If you suspect termite damage, contacting a pest control company is crucial. If the professional confirm termite damage, you can try to claim from your insurer for the damage to your property.

Homeowners Insurance Cover in South Africa

There are various types of home insurance policies available in South Africa, although the most popular include; building insurance, contents insurance and comprehensive insurance.

Building insurance is typically affordable and covers damage caused to the physical structure of your home, this includes the walls, roof, beams, etc. Contents insurance, on the other hand, covers the contents inside your home in the case of fire, theft or other unforeseen events. Comprehensive insurance may cost the most, but it covers your home’s physical structure and contents.

That being said, most insurance companies do not cover damage caused by wear and tear or lack of maintenance. Many insurance providers also specifically exclude damage caused by pests, such as termites. 

If you’re concerned about potential termite damage and want your home insurance to cover damage caused by termites, you would need to look carefully at the terms and conditions of the policy contract. Ensure that it specifically states that you can claim for termite damage. 

Additionally, also check for any limitations or exclusions when it comes to termite damage. Some policies might cover pest damage to a certain extent (a predetermined amount). In this case, it would be the property owner’s responsibility to have their house checked on a yearly basis for any pest damage.

Termite Damage Prevention and Control

Since most insurance companies are not likely to cover damage caused by termites, it’s best to take steps to prevent termite damage in the future. Here are some preventative measures that you can start implementing today:

  • Conduct regular inspections of your house for signs of termites, including mud tunnels along the walls and hollow-sounding wood.
  • Seal up any cracks or gaps in your house’s foundation, roof or walls.
  • Keep firewood or any other wooden materials away from your house, do not stack them against the wall of your house.
  • When renovating or building a house, opt for treated wood that is usually termite resistant.

If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, it’s crucial to act as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Here are some control measures that you can implement when suspecting a termite infestation:

  • Use termite bait stations to attract termites (follow the instructions on the product’s label carefully).
  • Use termite-resistant wood treatments when renovating or rebuilding.
  • Consider fumigation for severe infestations.

Seek Professional Help

A professional pest control service can destroy a termite infestation and asses the possible damage done to your home. Additionally, this service can also help homeowners monitor and maintain their homes – which could be a requirement in their insurance policy. This would typically include regular check-ups on a 6-month or yearly basis to ensure your property remains termite-free.

Pest control man spraying pesticide

Pest control professionals will be able to assess your property and recommend the appropriate treatment plan for the severity and type of termite infestation in your house. These treatments could include bait stations, fumigation and heat treatments to remove termites from wood.

When searching for a pest control company, make sure to check that they are licensed and insured. Professional companies usually have insurance to cover any damage that might occur while they are treating a house. This would typically not be covered by normal home insurance.


Termites can cause significant damage to your house, so it’s essential to determine whether your home insurance will pay out a claim for damage caused by a termite infestation. Home insurance policies do not typically cover pest damage, so proactively preventing an infestation is the best way to protect your house.

Do regular inspections of your house walls, floors, and roof. Also, seal any gaps and cracks in your foundation or walls with termite-treated materials. If necessary, contact the professionals to take care of your termite infestation.

These measures will ensure that your home is well-protected and prevent unnecessary repair costs.

Share post with others ❤️


No Spam, "drip-feed" or other BS email!

Get an email from us only when we can provide insights or offers.