Bed bug insurance? Apparently not

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
September 29, 2009 - 9:25AM

We’ve written a lot about bed bugs, notably including the Manhattan co-op with a $250,000 clean-up bill.  

One prominent interior designer we know (whose clients occasionally call on him to manage their extermination effort while they decamp elsewhere) tells us that some white-glove buildings are so worried about contracting bed bugs that they have quietly begun conducting monthly inspections using bug-sniffing canines. 

That sounds smart - and economical.  In addition to footing the cost of building-wide extermination, co-op and condo dwellers are legally responsible for cleaning up the bugs in their own apartment if they brought them into the building.  The pricetag can quickly surpass several thousand dollars per apartment.  

So does insurance cover any of this?


“Insurers view it as a maintenance issue, like mold or termites—it’s up to the person who owns the property to maintain their home and make sure there are no bug infestations,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry trade association.

Worters directed us to a standard clause that appears in property insurance policies (including renter’s insurance) carving out damages resulting from “birds, vermin, rodents, or insects.”

The only bed bug-related damages that might be covered, she says, would be the medical expenses of someone who sues a policyholder after being bitten in the insured's bedbugged home.

Worters says she's not aware of any plans afoot to introduce bed bug insurance policies.

“It’s such a high risk that I don’t think companies would want to be responsible for that,” she explains. “If they did create it, I’m sure it would be expensive.”


Related links:

About that bed bug insurance bill...

Bed bugged storage (Part 1):  Is your stuff safe?

Bed bugged storage (Part 2): How to protect your stuff

NYC bed bug stats: A vast understatement?

$250,000 bed bugs online; another co-op goes to war

Brooklyn still #1 bed bug borough; Manhattan (UWS & North) next

Co-op hair-raiser: $250,000 bed bug bill

Your neighbor's bed bugs


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.