Does Home Insurance Cover Bedbug Infestations?
The holiday season is once again here, and with the holidays comes increased travel, whether it is to spend time with families and old friends or just to get away from the cold for a relaxing vacation in a tropical climate. Regardless of the mode of transportation or the destination, bringing home bedbugs is a common problem, and many consumers have wondered whether or not their home insurance coverage will reimburse them for expensive bedbug removal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. Bed bugs travel in the seams and fold of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide.
Alternative lodging, dry cleaning, and bedbug removal can be extremely expensive no matter where one lives, costing upwards of $70,000 if the infestation is not discovered right away. Unfortunately, home insurance coverage does not offer any supplemental insurance for bedbug removal at this time.
Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute (III), explained that insurance brokers view the cost for bedbug remediation as a home maintenance problem and will not provide coverage. Insurance brokers do not cover any losses associated with vermin, such as birds, rodents, and insects.
The premiums for these types of policies would have to be based on the probability of risk and occurrence. It would be really hard to calculate the possibility of a bedbug getting into someones luggage at an airport and infesting a house, stated Jeanne Salvatore, spokeswoman for the III.
All that consumers can do is take precautionary measure to decrease the chances of bedbug infestations. The CDC and EPA noted that anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has an increased risk for being bitten and for spreading a bed bug infestation.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) published a bedbug fact sheet to help travelers take necessary precautions against infestation, such as checking luggage and clothing, checking bed sheets for blood spots, washing all clothes, and vacuuming out suitcases.
by: Frank Williams