Though they are small, bed bugs can certainly make a big dent in your wallet.
Last year, we estimated that a bed bug invasion could cost you between $1,000 and $1,500. So wouldn’t it be great if that was covered by your insurance?
Typically, eradicating pests like bugs, rats and cockroaches has been considered a maintenance expense not covered by insurance. But with the rising population of bed bugs, hotel and property owners, along with lawmakers, have begun to demand insurance coverage for bed bug infestation.
Insurance Bites Back
The insurance industry has listened and responded. Two national brokerage firms, Aon Risky Solutions of Chicago and New York-based Willis North America, now offer bed bug insurance, as well as insurer NSM Insurance Group of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
So far, the annual premiums for insurance that have been sold range from $3,000 (for a 100-room Oklahoma City hotel) to $150,000 (for eight New Jersey state colleges).
For the price, the insurance includes several perks. For example, the insurance offered by Willis North America includes decontamination services, rehabilitation charges, communication with regulatory authorities, crisis management (a hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week) and risk control and prevention.
Without coverage, hotels spend an average of $600 to $800 per room to eradicate the insects. They also stand to lose business if word about the infestation gets out. The insurance isn’t cheap, but it sounds like hotel owners could stand to benefit from the coverage in the event of an infestation.
You still can’t purchase bed bug insurance for your apartment (we New Yorkers would jump at that), but keep an eye out. In the mean time, check out our guide to dealing with these pests, or read our tips about checking for the bugs.