Canadian Underwriters tells us that bed bugs can be a liability risk, “The US federal appellate court awarded $372,000 in punitive damages in 2003 – 37 times the compensatory award in the case – to a couple who had been bitten by bed bugs while staying at a chronically infested hotel in Chicago, Lloyd’s said in its report, ‘Battle of the Bedbugs.’”
Property Casualty 360 shared the story of a lady who reported a bed bug infestation in an apartment where she had just moved. She was evicted, sued and was awarded $800,000.
But what has this got to do with the Exclusively Contents, Inc.? A few years ago a contractor told one of our authors, “Contents cleaners have nothing to do with bed bugs. We don’t do bed bugs.” Then some months later he returned to say, “I’ve got a bed bug story for you…”
The Exclusively Contents, Inc. don’t normally “do” bed bugs. But when they are already on a job and suddenly find the bedding, clothing, and themselves infested with bed bugs, they use their best talents and strategies to go after the miniature vampires.
For example, they sort clothes as they would for smoke damage. Placing colored, darks, whites and delicates in separate bags. Then each bag is sealed and transported to the washing machines, taking care to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination.
The clothes are then dried at high temperature – oddly, not all bed bugs die during the wash cycles. The heat from the dryer finishes the job. In fact, if the clothes are clean and don’t need washing, they can be placed directly into the dryer. Though some Exclusively Contents, Inc. will wash everything again to remove the dead carcasses (depending on the budget to which the adjuster and owner have agreed).
The Exclusively Contents, Inc. deal with many contaminants in much the same way, mold, smoke, bedbugs – isolate, contain, decontaminate and return in pre-loss condition.