Bed Bug Infestation - A Concern for Hospitality Industry

For the second consecutive year, Chicago has been named the worst city in the country for bed bug infestations, according to pest control company Orkin 1 . Bed bugs are being found in hotels, department stores, movie theaters, hospitals and colleges, as well as private homes. The problem appears widespread, and the culprit may be increased travel and the reduced use of pesticides such as DDT, which was banned in the 1970s. Bed bugs, which are brown or red in color and the size of an apple pit, can travel in luggage and clothing, and once they get into an area, they are difficult to exterminate. Are Bed Bug Infestations Covered by Insurance? Standard commercial property insurance does not provide coverage for insect infestation. However, today several insurance companies 2 are offering the coverage for commercial enterprises such as the hospitality industry. These insurance programs typically include an insurance as well as a bed bug management/prevention component. Insurance coverage for lost revenue due to business interruption is also available. Targeted industries include: • Hotels, motels, and restaurants • Retail establishments • Hospitals • Movie theaters • Schools What Can Hotels Do to Minimize the Problem? Proper risk management practices are crucial in preventing or minimizing the effects of an infestation. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends several steps (which can apply to any location, not just New York) that should be taken to prevent or minimize the infestation. • Develop an inspection plan so staff can identify a bed bug infestation before guests do. • Train your employees to inspect rooms upon vacancy and whenever a guest complains about bed bugs. Staff should look for living or dead bed bugs, small bloodstains from crushed insects, or dark spots from droppings. Check linens, the mattress and its seams, bed springs, behind the headboard, or in the seams of upholstered furniture. Bed Bug Infestation — A Concern for Hospitality Industry Is Insurance Available? ________________________________________________________________ 1 In 2013, Chicago was followed by LosAngeles, Columbus, OH, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland/Akron/Canton,Washington D.C., Denver, and Indianapolis. Several southern cities saw an increase in infestations, among them, Nashville and Charlotte. 2 Two large insurance organizations,AON Risk Solutions and Willis NA, offer comprehensive insurance programs for bed bug infestation.risks, among others. 800.382.2468 | Sheila E. Salvatore, Editor | | 126 Business Park Drive | Utica, NY 13502 Copyright © 2018 Rising Phoenix Holdings Corporation.All Rights Reserved.Adjusters International and theAI logo are registered trademarks of Rising Phoenix Holdings Corporation. Insights forYour Industry ® is published as a public service byAdjusters International, Inc. It is provided for general information and is not intended to replace professional insurance, legal and/or financial advice for specific cases. E01-1004 ®