Unfortunately renters insurance does not cover bed bugs. Since eliminating and deterring pests is considered part of ongoing maintenance of a home, this is considered part of your responsibility as a tenant.
Bed bugs can be quite the event and can end up costing a renter a lot of money, so why would remediation of these pesky creatures not be covered under your renters insurance policy you might ask? The fact of the matter is bed bugs don’t all come at once and are a preventable issue if handled promptly. Renters insurance is designed to cover you from sudden, unexpected loss. Bed bugs unfortunately don’t fall into this category.
Unless it is deemed that the source of a bed bug infestation was a problem in a common area, your landlord will not be responsible for bed bugs in your unit. As a renter, you are required to conduct regular maintenance of your space and preventative measures at the onset of any problem. It isn’t the landlord’s responsibility.
It is highly unlikely that a landlord would be responsible for bed bugs. An exception to this would be if the common area of a building had a bed bug issue that spread into individual suites. In this case, it would be deemed the landlord’s responsibility. However the costs associated are still not covered under your insurance policy. Your recourse would be to seek compensation from your landlord. Most landlords are going to be very proactive to ensure their buildings are pest free. It doesn’t take long for word of mouth to spread when there are problems in a building, making it difficult to rent out units. Property owners are highly motivated to ensure their buildings are earning rental income and want to retain and attract happy renters!
As is the case with bed bugs, the same goes across the board for all creepy crawlers. There is no coverage for remediation of an infestation of any kind of bug. The onus is on you, the renter, to maintain and upkeep your space to avoid this situation. Don’t let the bed bugs bite (financially) and keep an eye out for tell tale signs so the problem can be handled before it becomes a bigger problem!
For more information on renters insurance and what it does cover, check out our post, renters insurance 101.