Is Moth Damage Covered by Insurance? What You Need to Know

Opening up your winter coat to find holes eaten through the wool or discovering your favorite cashmere sweater riddled with tiny holes is disheartening. The damage is likely the work of clothes moths – a pesky pest that can ruin fabrics and textiles around your home. But will your homeowners insurance policy cover the cost of clothes, carpets, and other items damaged by a moth infestation?

Unfortunately, standard homeowners insurance does not typically cover moth damage or the cost of moth pest control treatment. However, there are steps you can take to get clothes moth damage covered, and things you can do to prevent infestations in the first place.

Why Moth Damage Is Usually Not Covered

There are a few key reasons why clothes moth damage and other pest destruction is excluded on most basic homeowners insurance policies:

  • Preventable damage – Insurance companies view moth infestations as preventable through proper home maintenance and pest control. Since the damage could have been avoided, they won’t cover the costs.

  • Gradual damage – Moth destruction happens slowly over time. Insurance is meant to cover sudden, accidental losses.

  • Existing infestation – If there were already moths present when you purchased the policy, any subsequent damage would not be covered.

  • Limited additional coverage – While some insurers offer add-ons like pest damage coverage, it is not common or comprehensive.

So in standard policies, anything eaten, stained, or spoiled by a moth infestation would not be covered. This includes clothes, carpets, furniture, linens, and any other textiles damaged by these fabric-feeding insects.

Getting Moth Damage Covered

While it can be difficult, there are some potential ways to get homeowners insurance to cover clothes moth damage:

  • Resulting loss – If moths chew through electrical wiring and cause a fire, the fire damage would be covered, even if the initial moth damage is not.

  • Higher coverage limits – Upgraded “deluxe” policies sometimes include limited pest damage coverage.

  • Separate pest policy – Standalone pest and vermin coverage can be purchased as an add-on.

  • Proof it developed after coverage – Documenting a clean inspection prior to getting coverage helps prove it was not a pre-existing issue.

  • Negotiate with claims – Making a strong case to claims adjusters as to why the damage should be covered.

But there is no guarantee of coverage – the best option is preventing moths from ever becoming an issue in your home.

Preventing Clothes Moth Infestations

Here are some tips to keep moths and their larvae from feasting on fabrics around your house:

  • Store wool, cashmere, silk, felt, etc in sealed containers.

  • Use cedar blocks in storage containers and closets. The scent deters moths.

  • Dry clean clothing before storage to kill any eggs.

  • Vacuum carpets, upholstery, and cracks around the home regularly.

  • Clean and inspect stored clothing frequently for signs of moths.

  • Discard any infested items – eggs can remain dormant for years.

  • Use pheromone traps and monitors to detect moths early.

  • Call an exterminator at first signs of an infestation to prevent widespread damage.

With vigilance and proper storage methods, you can spare your favorite garments and textiles from moth destruction. Safeguard your clothes and avoid the headache of trying to claim moth damage through insurance by proactively keeping these insects at bay.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, clothes moths and the damage they inflict are considered preventable pest issues by most insurance companies. While you can take some steps to potentially have the damage covered, it is very difficult to guarantee. The best approach is keeping moths out of your home with thorough cleaning, vigilance, and appropriate storage methods for vulnerable fabrics. With preventative measures, you can detect and address infestations early before they have a chance to ruin your treasured items.

Is foundation damage covered by homeowners insurance?


Does homeowners insurance cover moth damage?

Traditional homeowners insurance policies often exclude damage to high-value garments caused by various risks like floods, earthquakes, mold, moths, and accidents.

Does renters insurance cover moths?

If you live near a fault line, speak to your insurance providerabout purchasing earthquake coverage. Pests – Termites, moths, bed bugs and rodents can wreak havoc on your belongings, but damages to your property caused by pests and vermin usually aren’t covered under renters insurance.

Does homeowners insurance cover insect infestation?

More often than not, homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by pests like termites, rodents, or carpenter ants. These types of infestations are considered preventable and are the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain and repair.

Does insurance cover ant damage?

Carpenter ant damage follows the same rule of thumb as termite damage. Insurance companies view it as a matter of general home maintenance. Even if you didn’t know you had an infestation, insurance companies typically won’t cover damage resulting from the ants, such as damaged walls, floors, or ceilings.

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