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Will my home insurance pay to rid my house of termites?

No, home insurance does not pay for pest removal because insurers consider pests a home-maintenance issue. Home insurance is designed to cover perils that are sudden and accidental, such as fire, theft, and storms. It does not cover costs associated with maintaining or cleaning a home.

But don't delay addressing the issue if you have termites. These nasty bugs can eat through wooden beams supporting the house structure – causing serious and expensive damage that won't be covered because your insurance company will consider the problem stemming from a lack of maintenance.

Hire a reputable termite professional to inspect your property regularly. Homeowners often remain unaware they have termites until a serious infestation occurs and significant damage has been done. The cost of inspection and preventive measures is much less than paying for later damages.

Other types of icky but common problems typically not covered by homeowner insurance include rats, mice and other vermin, bed bugs and in some cases, mold.

Some of the perils that are covered include fire or lightening; windstorm or hail; explosion; riot or civil commotion; damage caused by aircraft or vehicles; smoke; vandalism; theft; volcanic eruption; falling objects; weight of ice, snow or sleet; overflow of water or steam from a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, fire-protective sprinkler system or household appliance; and sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current.

For more, read that's gross! Why home insurance won't pay for disgusting problems.

Last updated: Nov. 19, 2010