Bedbugs can be expensive for homeowners, costing $300 to $5,000 to resolve. It depends on the size of the property and the infestation. Here’s a look at how to deal with bedbugs if you are a renter.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Bedbugs?
Usually, the answer is no as to whether or not your renters insurance covers bedbugs, but there are certain exceptions. Renters insurance helps pay for sudden unforeseen disasters, but not incidents that should have been fixed after a routine inspection. A bedbug infestation is likely to develop over several weeks rather than overnight.
Homeowners must care for problems like bedbugs through maintenance, not insurance. Your renters insurance won’t pay to replace a mattress infested with bedbugs. There are certain renters policies. However, that specifically offers bedbug coverage as an option.
Is Your Landlord Responsible for Getting Rid of Bedbugs?
Landlords typically are responsible for handling bedbug issues, especially if they rent to tenants in a multiunit building. If you suffer a bedbug attack, check your lease agreement to see who is responsible for removing bedbugs. Usually, the only way a landlord is not held responsible for bedbugs is when the tenant is negligent by allowing the infestation to grow.
Tenants who rent from landlords have certain rights to be provided a basic standard for safe housing under the law. If there’s evidence that you caused the infestation, the insurer probably won’t cover the extermination bill.
Each state has its regulations on bedbugs and who is responsible for extermination. In New York, landlords must exterminate bedbugs within 30 days of discovery. You should contact an attorney if your landlord refuses to pay for an exterminator.
How to Prevent Bedbugs
The best way to prevent bedbugs is to vacuum the bedroom thoroughly daily. Make sure the vacuum cleaner bag or container is tightly sealed. Allow space between the bedding and the wall, so there’s room to vacuum regularly.
Infestations often occur in second-hand furniture before bringing it into a home. Always inspect your luggage for bedbugs when traveling. Be sure to inspect your walls for cracks where bedbugs might hide regularly. Use caulk to seal cracks, making your home more energy-efficient.
Consider purchasing a bedbug-proof mattress and boxspring cover. You can also place bedbug interceptors under the legs of your bed. A periodic inspection will help prevent bedbug infestations from becoming a big problem.
How to Get Rid of Bedbugs
The worst places for bedbug infestations are large metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., with many international travelers. If you find bedbugs in your home or rental space, contact a pest control professional as soon as possible. Be aware that bedbug infestations can spread rapidly.
Renters Insurance Options for Bedbugs
Standard renters insurance does not pay for medical bills relating to bedbug bites. Nor will it pay for a new mattress or other bedding materials. It also won’t cover the costs of staying in a hotel while your normal rental space is exterminated.
But some rental insurance policy endorsements provide special coverage to sanitize a residence and eliminate bedbugs. You will need to talk with an insurance expert about special bedbug coverage for renters.
One thing homeowners and renters have in common is that they don’t like bedbugs. While finding renters insurance covering bedbugs is possible, prevention should still be the priority. Contact us at Locke Insurance today to prepare for future disasters.