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Homeowners insurance coverage and bed bugs

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Bed Bugs?

When bug infestations are neglected, it can lead to a hefty pest control bill. Extermination costs may cost an arm and a leg if it is untreated, which is why most homeowners would ask if their insurance can cover for the costs incurred to control bug infestations. However, the simple answer to this question is NO. Find out the reason behind this and how to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home.

Bug Infestation and Insurance

Bug infestations do not normally occur often. This is why some homeowners would assume that bed bug infestation is an accidental occurrence that is covered by their insurance policy. However, bug infestation falls under normal maintenance. Therefore, a standard homeowner insurance policy wouldn’t cover the cost for bed bug infestations.

Why is bug infestation not considered for insurance?

First of all, a bug infestation would normally start off as a confined occurrence in a small space. Normally, the cost to exterminate the bugs would only be minimal. It is the homeowner’s responsibility at this point to find a solution to this issue.

The very core of severe bug infestation is neglect, which is why you can’t consider bug infestation as a sudden incident. If you have noticed that there are bed bugs in a room and you didn’t plot out necessary precautionary measures on your part to prevent it from spreading, you become responsible for the cost due to the lack of necessary diligence on your part.

“Insurance companies classify bed bugs as a home maintenance issue and thus the owner’s responsibility”, says Michael Barry, a spokesman for the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute.

Another reason why bed bug extermination isn’t covered by a standard insurance policy is that the cost directly related to the infestation is hard to determine. Often times, one’s lifestyle choices can significantly impact the cost and damage related to the infestation.

How to get your way around the non-coverage of bug infestation

Most insurance policies would state an exclusion clause for bug infestations. However, your guests aren’t covered with that exception. If your guest claims to be bitten by the bug, your insurance policy would most likely cover for it. If your guest can prove that the bed bugs at their place are from your place, your insurance company should be required to pay for the extermination cost.

Moreover, there are some states that hold the landlord responsible for bed bug infestation. Due to the extreme bed bug problem in New York, state laws have provided that the landlord should be held liable for the bed bug extermination and other expenses caused by the presence of bugs. In order to be certain that your home is protected against infestation, you should be certain that the bed bug clause for your insurance policy is explicitly stated in the contract.

How to Detect Bed Bug Infestation

There are people that do not react to bed bugs at all. This is why it is important to look for other signs of bed bugs to determine their presence. Just like humans, bed bugs also poop and give birth. Look out for signs of their excrement or eggs to determine if bed bugs are present.

The excrement of bed bugs is dark in color and small in size. On the other hand, their eggs are yellowish in color. If you find random red stains around the bed, it can be the blood of the bed bugs after being crushed.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you suspect that your mattress has turned into a home for bed bugs, you should make sure that you don’t provide livable space for the bed bugs. A clean home is not an ideal living space for bed bugs, but a home with cramped and dirty places will allow bed bugs to thrive.

Washing up your mattresses and dirty clothes on a regular basis can help eliminate the presence of bed bugs. Heat can kill bed bugs, which is why it is best to use the heat setting when doing the laundry.

Since pest control isn’t covered by standard homeowners insurance, it is best to get to the root of the problem and eliminate it when you see the first signs of trouble.

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