September 8, 2010

Bugged by Bedbugs? Insurance Won't Pay

But New York is planning a bill to require coverage for infestation

Amid the seething tide of bedbugs terrorizing the population these days is yet another uncomfortable fact: most infestations are not covered by insurance, with just a couple of exceptions.

Homeowners who find the bloodthirsty beasties upon their return from that hotel they thought was so nice shouldn't count on their homeowner's insurance to pay for the exterminator. Ditto for renters. There generally are vermin exclusions for animals and pests.

But if they've been guests somewhere and come home with a crop of bites, they might just be in luck - it may be covered under the liability portion of the policy.

Now, those exceptions: business interruption insurance can take care of the time that a business must be closed to rid itself of the pervasive little creatures - think Hollister or those plush upholstered seats at the movies.

And there's the possibility that insurers, at least in New York, will be required to provide bedbug coverage before too long. Legislators are planning on the introduction of a bill that will require companies to offer policies that will pay for all the costs associated with an infestation - including replacement of such items as mattresses and upholstered furniture.

New York being what it is, if such a bill passes the odds are good that other infested parts of the country will follow suit.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.