Renters Insurance and Bedbugs: What You Need to Know

Renters Insurance and Bedbugs: What You Need to Know


When it comes to dealing with bedbugs in your rented home, the costs can quickly add up. From hiring exterminators to replacing infested furniture, the expenses can range from $300 to $5,000, depending on the severity of the infestation and the size of your space. But here’s the catch: most renters insurance policies do not cover bedbugs. Renters Insurance and Bedbugs: What You Need to Know. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this and provide insights into your rights as a tenant, potential coverage options, and steps you can take to get rid of bedbugs.

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Does Renters Insurance Cover Bedbugs?


In most cases, renters insurance does not cover bedbugs. This is because insurance policies are designed to protect against sudden and unexpected disasters like fires or hurricanes, not infestations. Dealing with bedbugs is considered a part of home maintenance, which falls outside the scope of most policies. As a result, renters insurance won’t cover expenses such as extermination, replacing infested mattresses, or hotel bills if you need to temporarily relocate.


However, there are a few exceptions. Some renters insurance providers offer coverage for bedbugs as an add-on to their policies. For example, Jetty includes a “Bedbugs Power-Up” in all its renters policies, providing $300 towards the cost of extermination. However, Jetty’s insurance is only available to those living in the company’s partner properties, so it’s essential to check with your landlord if this option is available. Additionally, some eRenterPlan and ePremium policies may include bedbug remediation coverage, but these policies are typically limited to participating apartment complexes. It’s crucial to review your policy carefully or ask your insurance provider about any potential coverage for bedbugs.


Landlord Responsibility


In many cases, the responsibility for getting rid of bedbugs falls on the landlord, especially in multiunit buildings. However, this can vary depending on your location and the circumstances of the infestation. The first step is to check your lease agreement, as it may specify who is responsible for addressing pest issues. For instance, if you live in a rental property with assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, your lease likely holds the landlord accountable for extermination unless your negligence caused the infestation.


Tenant Rights and Legal Obligations


As a tenant, you have certain rights under the legal concept of the “implied warranty of habitability.” This means that your landlord is obligated to provide you with a basic standard of housing, which includes addressing vermin infestations. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that your landlord will pay for extermination if bedbugs are discovered in your rental unit. If there is evidence that you introduced the pests yourself, the responsibility for extermination may fall on you.

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On the other hand, if you live in an apartment building where bedbugs have infested multiple units, it may be more challenging to assign blame for the infestation. In such cases, there is a better chance of the landlord being responsible for the extermination costs.


State Bedbug Laws


In some parts of the country, specific bedbug regulations have been enacted. For example, in Colorado, landlords are required to pay for extermination, while tenants are responsible for relocation costs and replacing their belongings. Similarly, Florida law mandates that landlords must eliminate bedbugs and other pests in any rental unit, except for single-family homes or duplexes. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and city to determine whether your landlord is obligated to cover the costs of extermination.


Under these laws, tenants are generally required to report bedbug infestations to their landlord promptly and cooperate with the exterminator’s instructions. This may involve cleaning up clutter or temporarily vacating the premises during treatment. Landlords are typically expected to respond to bedbug reports within a few days and provide sufficient notice before the exterminator arrives.


If you find yourself in a situation where you and your landlord cannot agree on who should bear the cost of extermination, or if your landlord refuses to assist, it may be necessary to seek legal advice.


How to Get Rid of Bedbugs


If you discover bedbugs in your rental home, there are steps you can take to help eliminate them. In addition to hiring a professional exterminator, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following tactics:

  • Vacuum Thoroughly: Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean your home, paying close attention to areas where bedbugs may hide. After vacuuming, tightly seal and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag or canister contents in an outdoor container.
  • Move Your Bed: Pull your bed away from the wall and ensure that bedding does not touch the floor, making it more challenging for bedbugs to climb onto your bed.
  • Reduce Hiding Places: Clean up clutter in your home, as it provides hiding places for bedbugs. Additionally, use caulk to seal cracks around baseboards and electrical outlets, reducing potential entry points for bedbugs.
  • Use Bedbug-Proof Covers: Encase your mattress and box spring in bedbug-proof covers to prevent bedbugs from infesting them.
  • Heat Treatment: Seal infested items in plastic bags and place them in a dryer. Run the dryer at high heat for at least 30 minutes to kill any bedbugs and their eggs.
  • Bedbug Interceptors: Place bedbug interceptors under the legs of your bed and other furniture. These devices can help capture and prevent bedbugs from climbing onto your bed.


By following these recommendations, you can complement the efforts of professional exterminators and increase the effectiveness of the treatment.



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While most renters insurance policies do not cover bedbugs, it’s essential to review your policy and check for any potential add-ons or coverage options. In many cases, the responsibility for extermination falls on the landlord, but this can vary depending on your lease agreement and local laws. Understanding your rights as a tenant and the obligations of your landlord is crucial in navigating bedbug infestations. By taking prompt action, cooperating with exterminators, and following recommended prevention methods, you can effectively address bedbug problems in your rented home.


Remember, each situation is unique, and it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals or experts in your area for specific guidance on dealing with bedbugs and understanding your rights as a tenant.


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