These invasive pests are unlikely to be covered by renters insurance. There are other options.
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of ridding your home of bedbugs could run from $300 to $5,000 depending on how severe the infestation is. Most tenants are unable to count on renters insurance to cover these costs.
Is renters insurance able to cover bedbugs
The answer is generally no. Most renters insurance does not cover bedbugs, with a few exceptions.
This is because renters insurance is meant to cover unexpected, unanticipated disasters like a fire or hurricane. Most policies don’t cover the cost of dealing with bedbug, mouse, or other vermin infestations.
Although you might not consider it a maintenance expense, most renters insurance won’t pay for a mattress that isn’t salvageable or any additional living expenses should you have to move.
There are a few options if you want bedbug coverage. Jetty offers coverage not typically found in other standard policies, which it calls the “Bedbugs Power-Up.” Included in all its renters policies, this coverage will pay $300 toward the costs of getting rid of bedbugs. Jetty insurance is not available to people who live in certain partner properties. Ask your landlord about this option.
In select states, Assurant includes coverage in its renters policies for extermination and other bedbug-related costs.
There are few other policies that cover bedbugs, but they are more for property managers and landlords than tenants.
Is your landlord responsible to getting rid of bedbugs
Yes, in many cases, especially if you live within a multi-unit building. It depends on where you live and what the infestation is. Check your lease to see if it specifies who is responsible for removing bugs.
If you live in a multi-family rental, and receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (USDOHUD), your lease will likely hold the landlord responsible for the extermination of the infestation, unless you are negligent.
Tenants have rights in all states except Arkansas. This means that your landlord must provide basic housing standards, including heat, structurally sound walls, floors, and safe drinking water.
This doesn’t mean that your landlord won’t pay for the treatment of bedbugs. You may be responsible for paying the extermination fee if there is a strong argument that the pests were brought to your home by you.
Imagine that you have lived in a single-family rental home for several years and the bedbugs never came back until you return from an overseas vacation. You are most likely responsible for bringing the bedbugs into your home. If this happens, you will have to pay to remove them.
What if your apartment is infested by bedbugs in other units? It can be harder to pinpoint the cause of infestation and the landlord may pay more.
State laws on bedbugs
Bedbug regulations are in place in some areas of the country. Colorado has a specific bedbug regulation. The landlord is responsible for the extermination. However, tenants are responsible to pay relocation costs and for the replacement of personal belongings. Florida law requires that the landlord exterminate bedbugs and other pests from any rental unit, other than a single-family house or duplex.
To determine if your landlord is required to pay the extermination bill, check your state and local laws.
In areas where such laws are in effect, tenants are responsible for reporting infestations to their landlord promptly and cooperating with exterminators (e.g., clearing up clutter or moving out of buildings while treatment is underway). The landlord must usually respond within a few days to a bedbug complaint and give at least two days notice before an exterminator arrives.
You may need to consult a lawyer if you and your landlord cannot agree on who will pay for the extermination or if you refuse to help.
How to eliminate bedbugs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends these tactics to rid your home and family of bedbugs.
- Vacuum well, then empty the bag or canister of your vacuum cleaner, seal it tightly, and dispose of them in an outside container.
- Place your bed far from the wall, and ensure that the bedding does not touch the ground.
- To eliminate the possibility of bugs hiding in cracks and clutter, clean up.
- Protect your mattress and boxspring with a bedbug-proof cover
- Place infested items in bags and seal them. Then, run the dryer at high heat for 30 minutes.
- Place bedbug interceptors underneath the legs of furniture and beds.
- To clean mattress folds and seams, use detergent