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Termites are found in more than 5 million homes on average each year in the United States, and it is estimated that termite damage costs U.S. homeowners $5 billion each year. Since insurance doesn’t cover termite damage, you, the homeowner, are on the hook for the repair costs. What’s even worse is termites do their damage from the inside out and often aren’t detected until after significant destruction has already been done.

Structural damage caused by termites costs homeowners an average of $3,000. This amount varies depending on the extent and location of the damage that is caused. In addition to the structural damage, cosmetic damage can also require repairs to fix things like discolored sheetrock, buckled floors, and peeling paint. This amount varies depending on the materials that were damaged and the materials used to repair or replace it, but can be in the thousands as well.

And don’t forget the termites. You must have them exterminated before repairs can even start. Another cost. Cha-ching!

Homeowners can get peace of mind with a termite warranty (also called a bond) which guarantees that the pest control company will continuously inspect your home and make sure that new infestations are caught before they can multiply. Each company varies in what is included in their termite warranty but they generally include an agreement for annual (or more often) termite inspections during the lifetime of the warranty and an agreement to provide treatment if termites are discovered (at no additional charge to the homeowner). It’s important to note that these bonds typically cover treatment only, not repair of damages to the home. However, some companies may offer a repair bond as a separate entity and at a different price. Talk to your provider to clarify.

Although homeowners don’t need to have a termite warranty on their home, they are often required to have one as a condition of purchase, sale or refinance before the transaction will be completed. It may also be necessary after a home inspection. If your home is a new build, you’ll want to know if pretreatment was performed. You will also want to know whether the home is built using termite-resistant materials.

It’s also good to know if your home is in a high-infestation area. Some neighborhoods are simply more prone to termite problems than others. Knowing whether your home is in such an area, can help you stay vigilant.

Termite warranties are like any other types of insurance – they don’t seem necessary until you need them. If you have emergency funds that you have saved for a termite infestation, you likely don’t need to worry. But if a large, unexpected treatment and repair bill would put a strain on your savings, a termite warranty is likely worth the peace of mind.

Signs of termites in your home? Even if you don’t see evidence, maybe it’s time for an inspection by a professional pest control company who can put your fears to rest.