When a person’s home is invaded by bedbugs, his insurance may not cover the exterminators.
Most insurance policies provide an exclusion for damage caused by insects, vermin, and animals. This exclusion usually comes into play where the homeowner has termites and seeks coverage for the repairs.
People with bedbugs in their home may spend much money to eliminate the problem, such as special exterminators with bedbug sniffing dogs. Some have all of the possessions of their apartment inspected and cured and have moved out temporarily to a hotel during the process.
Unfortunately, such expenses may not be covered under insurance. To determine whether bedbugs are excluded there must be a careful reading of the policy.
Although typical homeowners’ policies exclude insects, we secured a recovery for our client’s extensive termite damage. In that case the insurance company did not use the standard language promulgated by the Insurance Service Office, and the insurance company’s poorly written policy allowed coverage. That case will be discussed in a future post.
Mark E. Seitelman, 10/12/10, www.seitelman.com.