Does Renters Insurance Cover Bed Bugs

Your renter's insurance policy is unlikely to help you with these invasive pests. But, you do have other options.

Getting rid of bed bugs can be expensive, costing anywhere from $300 to $5,000, depending on the size of your space and the severity of the infestation. So does renters insurance cover bed bugs? Unfortunately, you can't count on your renter's insurance policy to help with these costs since most renters' insurance policies are designed to cover a sudden unexpected loss due to a fire or break-in, not an infestation. Dealing with vermin is considered part of home maintenance. Therefore, bedbug infestations are not covered by most policies. So how do you deal with the problem without getting into debt? There are a few options that vary by state, but you have rights as a tenant, so only agree to pay for the extermination after you do your research. Keep reading to find out more about your liability in the event of an infestation.

So Is My Landlord Liable?

If you find bed bugs in your apartment, who pays? Since your renter's insurance does not cover a bedbug infestation, you may think that your landlord should be the one to sort it out. While this is not always the case, there are instances in which your landlord will be responsible for getting rid of bedbugs in your rental property. If you live in Florida, New York, and select other states, it is always your landlord's responsibility to take care of a bed bug infestation. You must check your state and city laws concerning vermin and pests to see if your landlord is obligated to foot the extermination bill. If your state isn't covered, but you can prove that the bed bugs were there before you moved in, it could still be your landlord's responsibility.
does renters insurance cover bed bugs

What Are My Rights?

In every state in the USA (excluding Arkansas), you have rights under the concept of the "implied warranty of habit­ability." But what does this mean concerning renters insurance and bed bugs? Your landlord must provide a basic standard of housing that includes heat, structurally sound walls and floors, safe drinking water — and no vermin. While you may think this means that they are liable for extermination, this doesn't guarantee that your landlord will pay to get rid of your bedbugs. If there's a possibility that you introduced the vermin into your rental property yourself, you may be liable for the extermination bill. However, if you live in an apartment building where several units are being affected, then it can be more difficult to pin down blame for the infestation, and your landlord may have to pay.

bed bugs in apartment who pays

What Can I Do?

The best way to get rid of bedbugs is to bring in an exterminator. But, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also recommends doing the following: First, vacuum your home thoroughly. Then immediately empty the vacuum cleaner canister, tightly seal its contents and dispose of it in an outdoor container to control the spread. After vacuuming, clean your home from top to bottom and seal cracks in walls to reduce bugs' hiding places. Use detergent to clean your mattress and move your bed away from the wall. Finally, seal infested items in plastic bags, then place them into your dryer and run at high heat for 30-45 minutes. If your landlord is liable and they fail to fix the problem, you can withhold rent, break your lease, or bring a lawsuit for damages to your personal property.