Insurers could soon be paying for your bed bugs

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
August 11, 2010 - 3:04PM
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New York's bed bug victims might be in for some financial relief next year: A Brooklyn politician is about to introduce a bill forcing property insurers that do business in the state to offer policies against bed bugs infestations.

“Right now insurers don’t cover this because they say it’s some kind of routine maintenance, like roaches,” Allison Witty, the director of communications for State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, told BrickUnderground. “But it’s not okay to not cover this when people are being financially ruined.”

Hikind’s office has received numerous bed bug complaints from its constituents in Borough Park and Flatbush, Brooklyn, says Witty. When her own one-bedroom rental recently fell victim, the idea for the legislation was born.

“My apartment at 1650 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn was infested. We caught it from somebody else and we lost everything—we threw everything out,” says Witty, who has posted her story on 

“So far we’re out $7,000,” says Witty, now living with her mother.

The bill will be introduced next week but it won’t be brought to vote until January when the state legislature goes back in session.

The proposed law is certain to meet stiff resistance from property insurers.

“It’s such a high risk that I don’t think companies would want to be responsible for that,” a representative of the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry trade industry, told BrickUnderground last fall. “If they did create it, I’m sure it would be expensive.”

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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.

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