Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2021

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Homeowner’s insurance Q&A: Does homeowner’s insurance cover bedbugs?”

The national media is aggressively reporting on the wave of bedbug infestations currently ravaging households in the United States.

There must not be anything more pressing (like the economy) to talk about.

Either way, as more and more people and businesses discover they have been exposed to bedbugs, they are turning to their insurance company for help to pay the associated extermination costs for the little buggers.

Insurance Probably Won’t Help Your Bedbug Problem

Whether the bed bug infestation in question is large or small, you can forget about filing an insurance claim with your insurance company in nearly every case.

Damage caused by birds, vermin, rodents, or insects is generally not covered on a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Unfortunately, neither homeowners insurance policies nor renters insurance policies cover bed bugs. This insurance coverage protects against named perils that destroy or damage your home due to a sudden and accidental cause. A bed bug infestation is not included in this category.

Insurance companies provide coverage against the named home insurance perils on the policy such as fire, lightning, storms, hail, theft, vandalism and some types of water damage.

Many of the costs associated with detecting and exterminating them are considered to be maintenance costs (your problem) by insurers. Therefore, home insurance won’t cover damage that occurs as a result of poor maintenance issues. Moreover, insurers don’t cover preventable situations such as insect infestations.

One of the “hidden” costs of homeownership is taking all necessary precautions to keep these pests out of your home in the first place.

This explains why you’re bombarded by pest control solicitors the very second you purchase a home, and why the ads seem to never stop.

Additionally, renters insurance policies provide similar coverage to homeowners policies. These policies cover a tenant’s personal property in a rental unit if they’re damaged by a named peril. There are expenses that your renters or homeowners policy won’t cover such as bed bug damage; pest control, extermination costs, and removal of bed bugs; replacing items infested by bed bugs; personal things destroyed during the extermination process; and additional living expenses if your home was uninhabitable.

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Insurance Is Designed to Cover One-Time Incidents

Additionally, insurance is designed to pay claims resulting from a one-time, measurable incident that leads to a financial loss…a tornado or fire for example.

The financial losses associated with bed bug infestation normally occur over an extended period of time, rather than all at once.

If perhaps, your roof was destroyed by thousands of frogs striking it as a result of a waterspout in a lake, you would likely receive insurance money.

Why? Because the event occurred at one, measurable point in time and would be considered a covered cause of loss (weather-related).

All costs associated with removing bed bugs and other vermin are considered part of home maintenance and aren’t covered in a standard homeowners policy. Additionally, if your home is infested with bed bugs, standard homeowners policies won’t pay for medical expenses for bed bug bites, buying a new mattress or bedding, and staying at a hotel while there is a bed bug extermination in your home.

Read more: Types of homeowners insurance.