Bed Bugs And General Liability Insurance

When growing up in a small, rural, Southern Plains town, my grandmother would come for a visit in the summer.  She had a strange saying to us when it was time for us to go to bed.  It was “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” and she would chuckle.  I suppose because I did not know what that meant.  As I got older and putting my own children in bed I would always remember that phrase even though I never said it.  Today, however, because these critters are in the news, I now know what she really meant. 

 

Bed bugs were essentially extinct while I was growing up, but because of more extensive travel both in the U.S. and abroad, there is a resurgence of infestation even in the most exclusive locations.  Now the reason I am speaking of this is insurance companies are in a quandary as to how they should respond to the claims against the Commercial General Liability policy rising out of this hazard.   Regarding a 1st party (our insured ) claim, the policy specifically excludes damages to property from an infestation of insects or rodents.  However, the liability to a 3rd party is not so clear.  There is a duty to defend and maybe indemnify a 3rd party and there have been some very sizable awards from the courts. 

 

I recently watched a documentary about dogs being trained to sniff out these little creatures, and properly trained, are quite successful.  But this takes time, and training is expensive.  In the meantime, insurance companies are looking for ways to help insureds contain exposure.  If you have questions regarding your coverage, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

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Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

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