Does Renters Insurance Cover Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, most renters insurance policies do not cover bed bug-related damage.

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Will renters insurance cover a bed bug infestation?

No — renters insurance generally does not cover bed bug-related damages (though we've found some exceptions). Why? Renters insurance is designed to cover sudden and significant perils or accidents such as fire, hail, and theft. Bed bugs and other infestations are viewed as maintenance issues: they take time to occur and happen due to the insured’s direct action or inaction.

Let’s explore what renters insurance covers and how best to recoup your losses after a bed bug infestation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Renters insurance does not typically cover bed-bugs because they are considered maintenance issues resulting from the insured's actions or inaction
  • Landlords in FL, NY, ME, and some US cities are required to exterminate bed bugs if they are found in your unit
  • Assurant (landlord insurance) and Proper Insurance (renters insurance) are two insurers that offer bed bug coverage

Why doesn't renters insurance cover bed bugs?

Renters insurance policies dictate specifically what they do and do not cover. Minus some weather-related claims, a covered loss in renters insurance needs to be sudden, direct, i.e., not caused by the insured, and unavoidable in order for coverage to kick in. In the eyes of an insurance company, a bed bug issue is avoidable, not immediate, and a maintenance issue at its heart. 

 

Locating bed bug exclusions in your renters policy

Most renters insurance policies won’t explicitly say “we do not cover bed bugs.” On your declarations page, they usually group animals, pets, insects into an exclusions section of personal property damage. Look for exclusions to “nesting,” “infestation,” or “discharge of waste” when reviewing your policy information. 

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Renters insurance and other pests and vermin

Renters insurance typically excludes damage from rats, cockroaches, termites, and other pests considering it the tenant's responsibility to maintain their rental unit. However, some policies may cover hidden insect or pest damage if the damage causes a structural collapse and the policyholder was unaware of the damage.


What insurance companies cover bed bugs?

Major renters and home insurance companies like Lemonade, Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, and State Farm do not cover bed bug damage. However, two smaller companies, Proper Insurance and Assurant, offer optional bed bug coverage:

  • Assurant, a renters insurance company, claims they cover bed bugs for renters in some areas. This coverage includes extermination, damaged belongings, and even additional living expenses should you have to stay elsewhere during the extermination process. 
  • Proper Insurance specializes in homeowners and landlord coverage for owners of short-term rentals. Proper Insurance's Bed Bug Coverage offers liability and revenue loss protection as well as extermination cost coverage with no deductible.

Although renters insurance generally does not cover bed bugs, it does cover you and your personal property against many perils. Speak to one of our friendly and experienced agents at 1-888-255-4364 today to find the best renters insurance policy for your needs. Or, get quick quote from our friends at Lemonade below!



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Are landlords responsible for bed bug damage?

This depends on where you live. In Florida, New York, Maine, or certain cities across the US, your landlord is required to exterminate bed bugs if they’re found in your rental unit. In other locations, this may not be the case.

If you can prove the bed bugs were already there before you moved in, your landlord should cover any and all damage that occurred. This may include damage to your personal property, any bodily injury, and additional living expenses.

If you notice bed bugs in your apartment or a rental unit, contact your landlord immediately. Depending on how the bed bug infestation started, your landlord may pay for the professional extermination fees themselves or pass the bill along to you.

How to avoid bed bugs

The EPA recommends you:[1]

  • Check any second-hand furniture you buy for bed bugs
  • Use protective encasing on mattresses and box springs 
  • Vacuum frequently 
  • Be vigilant with shared laundry facilities
  • When traveling, keep luggage away from beds and unpack directly into the washing machine

How to get rid of bed bugs in your apartment

It can be difficult to determine the extent of your bed bug infestation. This is why it can be helpful to call a professional exterminator. In the meantime, we recommend the following:

bed bug
Clean all linens, bedding, curtains, and clothing in hot water

Dry them and anything that can’t be washed (but is fabric-based) in the hottest dryer setting. 

Bed bug
Vacuum and scrub

Vacuum your bed or any fabric area (such as a couch) where they are living. Scrub the area prior to vacuum.

Bed bug
Encase your mattress in a bed bug proof zippered case

Bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding. If your mattress is damaged enough, throw it away.

Bed bug
Declutter your living space

Decluttering reduces hiding spots for pests, making it easier to detect and eliminate bed bugs.

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Repair any cracks in walls or paint

Bed bugs could be living in them.


Does renters insurance cover bed bugs FAQs

No most renters insurance companies will not cover bed bug-related damage. This is because bed bugs are viewed as a maintenance issue developed over time, not the result of a sudden, direct, or unavoidable peril.

While most insurers do not cover costs related to bed bug infestations, Assurant (renters insurance) and Proper Insurance (landlord insurance) both offer coverage related to bed bug damage and extermination.

Renters insurance is designed to cover sudden and significant perils or accidents such as fire, hail, and theft. Insurers view bed bugs and other infestations as maintenance issues related to the insured’s direct action or neglect.



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