Does a common legal responsibility coverage cowl bodily harm brought on by mattress bugs?


The insured person’s rental property is infested with bed bugs. How is such an event insured? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Every claim is different and some insurance policies can be difficult to interpret in specific situations. FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, the recognized authority on insurance interpretation and analysis for the P&C industry, makes it easy for you to find credible answers to your complex insurance questions. Analysis by our FC&S experts.

Editor’s note: Our question this week comes from a subscriber whose customer has AAIS general liability insurance and wants to cover for mental and physical injuries caused by bedbugs.

Question: Our insured rents a house to a family. The family complains about bed bugs and claims the mental and physical damage caused by the bed bugs. Does the infestation count as an accident and personal injury within the meaning of the general liability insurance of the insured person?

– Arkansas subscriber

Analysis: There doesn’t seem to be a time of year when bed bugs actually go away or dormant, but they can go without food for months, even up to a year. Contrary to popular belief, they have little to do with how clean a home is, because even a clean and well-maintained property doesn’t mean it isn’t free from these tiny bugs. A bed bug can crawl up to 30 meters in one night to find a meal. The reason they are called bed bugs is because they hide in the crevices of mattresses, bed frames, and box spring beds. Eggs are laid along the edges of or around buttons on mattresses. They are a nightmare for landlords and renters because once in a house they are very difficult to get rid of completely. They are such an epidemic that a number of states have laws governing landlords and tenants.

Reply: For the answer to this week’s coverage questions and answers, please contact your Interpretation of the FC&S expert reporting Account.


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