New insurance available for bed bug infestations
Three companies have teamed up to take aim at bed bugs with a new type of insurance.
Insurance providers Aon Risk Solutions and Global Excess Partners and pest control company Terminex now provide the first-ever bed bug insurance coverage, targeted primarily at hotels, landlords, student housing operators and businesses. The new offering combines insurance coverage with Terminex’s bed bug elimination services.
Mary Pat Thurston, a partner at Global Excess Partners, says the new coverage raises “the stakes in the war against bed bugs.”
According to a 2011 survey released by the National Pest Management Association, one out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in the home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.
Previously, the costs of bed bug elimination and replacement of infested property were excluded in property insurance policies, and only those hospitality companies with “loss of attraction” coverage had any protection for taking rooms out of service to deal with bed bug infestations.
The bed bug insurance covers the costs of eliminating the pests and treating infested contents; recovers revenue lost from taking hotel rooms out of service during bed bug elimination; and provides discounted mattress encasements and bed bug kits.
Nancy Green, executive vice president of Aon Risk Solutions, says: “The hospitality industry has been dealing with this unplanned, uninsured exposure for years but never had a product to help manage its variability. With the heightened awareness in the real estate and education sectors and the elevated concerns of business and leisure travelers nationwide, there has never been a more important time for the private sector to bring a comprehensive solution to the table.”
For the most part, bed bugs are more of an annoyance than a danger. But getting rid of bed bugs is extremely difficult.
“Spurred perhaps by increases in international travel, bedbugs are becoming a problem once again. The risk of encountering bedbugs increases if you spend time in places with high turnovers of nighttime guests — such as hotels, hospitals or homeless shelters,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to a 2011 list compiled by Terminex, New York City is the most bed bug-infested U.S. city, followed by Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia.