Bed bugs are frequently linked with travel and hotel rooms, but your house is not immune to the terrible creatures. Bed bugs are found more frequently in single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums than in hotels and motels, according to Bugs Without Borders survey by the National Pest Management Association. Bedbug removal can range from $300 to $5,000, depending on the size of your area and the severity of the infestation. Most folks think that as renters insurance protects you if your house becomes uninhabitable due to a risk listed in your policy, it will also provide coverage in case of bed bugs.
However, even if an infestation compels you to locate different housing, renters insurance does not cover bed bugs or any other form of nesting or infesting critter. This is due to the fact that renters insurance policies are quite detailed about which risks they cover and under what conditions. Bed bugs are unpleasant, and their bites can be painful, but it is unlikely to get coverage for extermination. So, in summary you can say that it does not cover bed bugs (with a few exceptions). A normal coverage will not typically cover infestation-related damages, but all is not lost. Continue reading for advice on how to deal with bedbugs and infestations.
Why bed bugs are not covered under Renter Insurance?
Bedbug infestations are often the result of a lack of upkeep or occur gradually over time, which is why your renter’s coverage will not cover them. Your renter’s insurance coverage is designed to protect you from sudden or unforeseen calamities that result in a loss. Infestations can be avoided through regular maintenance and general inspection. Unfortunately, they can also be costly, such as paying an exterminator, replacing your existing mattress or bedding, medical expenditures if bed bugs become out of control, and a brief hotel stay while the matter is resolved.
Extermination isn’t the only cost your insurance won’t pay. Renters insurance, for example, would not replace an infested mattress that cannot be recovered or cover your hotel fees if you need to relocate for a few nights. That implies you’re not insured by any of the essential renters insurance components. If your mattress is destroyed by fire, your renters insurance provider will replace it under your personal property coverage, but not if bed bugs make it a breeding habitat. If someone is injured and sues you, you will be compensated for liability charges and medical bills to others, but not if bed bugs bite or infest a guest and they sue you for it.
What insurance companies cover bed bugs?
If you require coverage for bed bug damage, you may need to purchase an all-risk policy. Unless a specific risk is excluded, this form of insurance coverage covers almost everything. When looking for a renters insurance policy, ask an insurance representative to show you all-risk renters insurance plans that include bed bug coverage. Few such examples are, Jetty has a “Bedbugs Power-Up” in all of its renters policies. This policy will pay $300 towards the expense of removing bedbugs. However, it is only accessible to residents of the company’s partner homes. Inquire with your landlord whether this is an option. Another option can be, depending on where you reside, some eRenterPlan and ePremium policies may include bedbug remediation coverage. These policies, like Jetty, are only available at participating flat complexes. In certain jurisdictions, Assurant includes eradication and other bedbug-related charges in its renters plans.
Some insurance providers provide a bed bug remediation cost endorsement. An endorsement, often known as a “rider,” is a policy add-on to renters policy. However, the additional coverage is usually not free. Bed bug riders provide limited coverage for bed bug treatment and cleanup, but not for bodily injuries caused by bed bugs. If your insurer provides one, a bed bug endorsement can be beneficial. The endorsement can pay for:
- Remove the bed insect infestation from the house.
- To avoid further infestation, seal off and treat units adjacent to the infected unit.
- Get rid of infested property
- Clean and sanitize the house.
- Clean or replace the policyholder’s belongings that were in the infected residence.
- Confirm the bed bug removal.
Does Landlord Insurance cover bed bugs?
The obligation of a landlord for bed bugs varies depending on where you live. In other states, landlords are not liable for bed bugs found in a single unit. This is because tenants are responsible for routine unit upkeep, including pest treatment. In some states, such as Florida, Maine, and New York City, if bed bugs are discovered in your flat, your landlord is compelled to destroy them. In New York City, for example, landlords are legally required to have bed bugs eliminated within 30 days and to keep affected units from being reinfested. A one-year bed bug infestation history must be provided to new tenants.
Rights of Tenants
Tenants have specific legal rights under the concept of the “implied warranty of habitability.” That means your landlord is required to offer a minimal standard of living, such as heat, structurally solid walls and flooring, safe drinking water, and no vermin. However, this does not guarantee that your landlord will pay to have your bedbugs removed. If there’s a strong case that you brought the pests, you could be on the hook for the extermination fee. Consider two possible cases,
Assume you’ve been living in a single-family rental house for two years, but the bedbugs didn’t appear until you returned from a trip abroad. You probably brought the bugs into your home, and you’ll have to pay to get rid of them.
But what if you live in an apartment complex where bedbugs have infested many units? In such circumstances, it may be more difficult to assign guilt for the infestation, and the landlord may be more willing to pay up.
How to identify Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs can be identified as little, reddish-brown insects that leave rusty stains on beds. Dark patches, i.e., bed bug excrement, may flow onto fabric and mattresses in the same way that a marker would. You may even observe your new friends leaving behind eggs or eggshells smaller than 1mm in size, as well as shed skins as nymphs get larger. Furthermore, you may detect bites on your skin and the skin of your family members. Bites may resemble mosquito or spider bites and, in sensitive individuals, can swiftly escalate into full-brown rashes that can be mistaken for eczema or even hives. Not everyone reacts to bug bites, but those who do may experience burning or stinging in the welts left behind.
How can you get rid of Bed Bugs?
Although nothing is guaranteed, there are some steps you can take to drastically decrease your exposure to bed bugs. Here are some pointers:
· Clean your home regularly
Vacuum your carpet and rug regions frequently, especially after coming in from the outdoors or travelling. Try to keep your house free of clutter. Similarly, avoid leaving food on floor as it attracts different kinds of insect and bugs. This step is most important in general for pest control.
· Use bright bed sheets
Use light-colored sheets and mattress covers to help locate bedbugs. It will help in identifying signs of bed bugs before problem gets out of hand.
· Inspect furniture regularly
Always check condition of your furniture. Especially when you buy second hand furniture. Double-check it for indications of infestation before you take it inside your house.
· Seal Cracks and Crevices
Seal cracks and crevices around baseboards to keep bugs out of your property from neighboring flats or homes.
Bed Bug Insurance Coverage and Cost
Hearing the words “beg bug” from a renter makes landlords and vacation rental property managers’ skin crawl. Finding a beg bug infestation in a rental property sets off a cascade of events that affects both the manager and the tenants. Much depends on how the landlord prepares to deal with this difficult scenario. Bed bug insurance is one option.
Bed bug insurance allows owners to deal with the situation quickly and delegate their expenses to their insurance agent. Similarly, to taking care of repairs covered by a house insurance policy, a property manager can set aside the anxiety of dealing with this pricey situation if it arises for a little monthly fee. Tenants aren’t hit with a large price to deal with the pests, and the landlord can ensure that the home is clean and ready for future guests. One step towards confidently managing a rental property is to plan for an issue like beg bugs with an insurance policy. Whether you live nearby or across an ocean, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place so you can sleep soundly.
This plan can help you cover for an infestation. Any plan with coverage for bed bugs should include:
Commercial Liability: If you face a liability claim, your policy should cover legal fees and settlements up to the policy’s limits (often $1 million).
Extermination Coverage: Hiring an exterminator is costly, therefore ideal coverage should include comprehensive cost coverage.
Lost Income: If your vacation rental loses money, this section of your insurance may help cover losses for a set period of time.
The average cost of bed bug extermination is between $300 and $2,500, depending on the size of the infestation and the location. Therefore, the bed bug insurance coverage may not cover the full cost of the treatment, but it may help reduce some of the expenses.
Contact your landlord if you have bed bugs. Your landlord is required by law in some states and towns to treat a bed bug infestation at no expense to you. Renters should focus on prevention and early identification to reduce the danger of bed bug infestations. Inspecting living places, practicing proper hygiene, and reporting any symptoms of infestation to landlords will help reduce the likelihood of a large bed bug infestation. Furthermore, open communication with landlords and comprehension of the provisions of the lease agreement are critical actions tenants should take to ensure a clear understanding of their responsibilities and potential redress in the event of an infestation.
The renter’s insurance is unlikely to cover bed bug-related charges. Renters should take proactive steps to protect themselves against infestations and always review their insurance plans to understand their coverage in different scenarios.
The goal of an insurance policy is to provide a financial safety net for unexpected, unintentional losses. A bed bug infestation is not considered a sudden damage or loss so it is not covered in most insurance policies.
Many standard homeowners and renters insurance policies typically do not cover damages or infestations caused by bed bugs. However, some provide a bed bug remediation cost endorsement or coverage under all-risk policy.
In states like Florida and New York, it is the responsibility of landlord to pay up for cleaning and extermination process of bed bugs infestation.