Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Cleanup After Traumatic Events?

Cleaning up after an incident – whether it be related to storm, flood, ice, or fire – can be expensive, especially if homeowners insurance does not cover the specific event at hand. When deciding on a policy, most homeowners are informed of what their insurance will cover and can decide on a level of coverage they are comfortable with.

One thing that few homeowners consider, however, is whether their insurance will cover remediation related to crime or traumatic events that occur in the home. Murders, suicides, and serious accidents can cause significant damage to a home, and blood and body fluids carry potential bloodborne pathogens that can render a property unlivable. Therefore, it is imperative that all affected sites are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by a professional crime scene and biohazard cleanup company.

How Do I Know If My Policy Covers Trauma Cleanup?

If you are unsure of whether or not your homeowners insurance covers crime scene, biohazard and trauma cleanup, speak with your insurance adjuster. Although crime scene cleanup companies can handle the cleanup for you and are happy to make claims through your insurance provider, they cannot make guarantees regarding your coverage.

When you contact your provider, keep in mind that you need to speak to your insurance adjuster, not your insurance agent. Why? Your agent deals more in prospective clients, new policies, benefits, and can act as front-line salespeople. On the other hand, your insurance adjuster is deeply ingrained in your policy, understands exactly what is and isn’t covered, and can identify any gray areas to help you better understand your policy.

If my policy does not cover trauma cleanup, is it better to just clean the site myself?

No. Few people have the skills or tools needed to completely rid an affected site of potentially harmful bacteria, and have no way of knowing if all bacteria have been removed. In any case that involves blood or body fluid cleanup it is important to remember this fact: Just because a site looks clean does not mean it is clean. That’s why working with a bioremediation company who provides a Certificate of Treatment is a benefit to you and removes all liability from you.

If crime and trauma scene cleanup is not covered by your homeowners insurance, there are organizations that may be able to help you find financial assistance. One worth noting is the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVB). Don’t fall prey to companies advertising their services as free or requiring no out-of-pocket costs, as this is simply untrue.

Can my insurance provider or policy choose my bioremediation company?

No. This is called steering, and it is illegal. You have a right to premium service, and your insurance provider must pay for that premium service, provided it is covered under your policy. You deserve to have a high quality company to provide remediation services.

Consider this scenario: A tragedy occurs in your home and it is cleaned up. Now, a two year old child comes into the home and picks something up off the floor and puts it in his or her mouth. Are you confident the home was thoroughly disinfected and the child is safe?

With a quality service and a Certificate of Treatment, you can be secure in knowing that the child is safe, and if anything were to happen, the remediation company is liable. If you hire a sub-par company and the site is not properly disinfected,, you are liable for that child’s illness and an actionable suit can be taken against you.

The Aftermath Way

For nearly 20 years Aftermath has been an industry leader in trauma scene cleanup and biohazard remediation. The Aftermath Way is more than a cleaning regimen, it is a mindset instilled in all Aftermath employees that our customers deserve the highest quality service while being treated with dignity and respect.

Contact us day or night for assistance. While we cannot make guarantees regarding your homeowners insurance coverage, we are happy to work with you to find a solution.