Bed Bug Risk Management: Help Is At Hand

A comprehensive bed bug insurance program, the result of a skilful strategic partnership in bed bug risk management, was announced earlier this week.  Aon Risk Solutions, Global Excess Partners (GEP) and Terminix have struck a strategic arrangement to be the first to offer a helping hand in fighting bed bug infestations for landlords, hotels, student housing, recreational travellers and corporate businesses.

“This is the first comprehensive insurance product for bed bug infestation and the first response from the private sector to address a growing national issue” stated Al Tobin, Aon Risk Solutions’ National Property Practice Leader.

“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 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” said Nancy Green, Executive Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions.

Terminix contributes targeted bed bug eradication resources and an integrated pest management approach; while GEP offers the guidance of an insurance speciality business and Aon is a global risk management player.  GEP partner Mary Pat reported “When we heard and saw what Terminix can do, we realized there was an opportunity to not only develop an insurance product, but to partner with the resources of the leading professional bed bug specialist to raise the stakes in the war against bed bugs”.  

The bed bug insurance program includes:

  • Cost of bed bug elimination
  • Lost revenue from out of service rooms
  • Increased ability to successfully treat the contents of a room as opposed to destroying and discarding those contents
  • An integrated bed bug management attack program – which includes a new, non-toxic 5-day elimination treatment regime that can return a room to service in 5 days or less
  • Lowered rates for various bed bug paraphernalia, e.g. encasements, kits, plus a ‘tips’ package.

My first take is 'wonderful' and 'it is about time' - such a risk insurance package is bound to be welcome by landlords, hoteliers, businesses and recreation visitors alike.  Three additional points appear to be missing:

  1. No mention of individual household coverage; though the press release closes with a teaser that expansion to additional ‘industries’ is under consideration.
  2. No mention of an educational or public awareness aspect – seminars for staff, homeowners and the general public would surely be a positive public image benefit – ‘spread the word, not the bug’ approach, and oh, by the way, for your peace of mind - here is an insurance program.
  3. No mention of the important role of scheduled preventative inspections, e.g. bed bug dog inspections.  Regularly scheduled pro-active k9 inspections, by a properly trained and maintained bed bug sniffer dog, is the fastest and most economical method for early detection of bed bugs.  Human inspectors, even professional pest control operators, are not as accurate or as fast as a bed bug dog in pin-pointing the master pest in the game of hide and seek – the bed bug.

As for the “new, non-toxic 5-day elimination treatment regime”, we can only wait with baited breath.  Is this the long-anticipated silver bullet?