Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) and Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson have announced that they intend to introduce bedbug insurance legislation. Their bill will requirinsurers who underwrite property and casualty policies in New York State to offer policies which cover the costs associated with bedbug infestations.
“This legislation is long overdue,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Nearly every day you read another story about a bedbug infestation, be it in an upscale department store, an emergency room, or in a private residence. People should not be forced into financial ruin because of a bedbug infestation. We can no longer allow insurance companies to deny coverage for bedbug infestations by classifying the infestation as a standard maintenance issue. I am proud to sponsor this legislation to give people some peace of mind as they battle this epidemic.”
The legislation provides that insurance companies must reimburse renters, homeowners, co-op and condo owners who experience a bedbug infestation for all infestation-related costs, including: extermination services, cleaning of the insured’s property and personal property (such as clothing and bedding), as well as the cost of replacing items which cannot be treated or cleaned, like mattresses or furniture.
The amount of compensation will vary from case to case depending on the amount of damage sustained.
This bill will also allow residential building owners and condo and co-op associations to purchase bedbug insurance for the entire structure.
Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson remarked, “Bedbug infestations in our homes, stores, and hospitals are an unsafe, unhealthy, and costly nuisance burdening far too many New Yorkers. This legislation will provide common sense protection for families being denied coverage for bedbug infestation by insurance companies. I applaud my friend and colleague, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, for his vision and leadership in sponsoring with me this vital legislation that will correct an injustice which has gone on for far too long.”
If the bill passes, it will take effect 90 days after it has become law, and will be implemented by the New York State Commissioner of Insurance.