Each year, over 30,000 people die at home from accidents or poisoning. Thousands more experience the horror of having a violent crime committed on their property.
Have you experienced such a tragedy in your home or business? If so, you no doubt realize the importance of hiring a professional biohazard cleanup service. The question is: Who pays the bill? Are remediation services covered by insurance? Should you contact a biohazard cleanup company yourself, or will your insurance handle that for you? We’ll answer these important questions and more, so keep reading!
Who Needs a Biohazard Cleanup Service?
Even if you’re normally the DIY type, there are some types of cleaning that need professional attention.
In the event of a violent crime or suicide, there’s likely blood or other bodily fluids on the floors, walls, and furnishings. Once the police have finished their investigation, it’s up to the homeowner or business owner to “clean up” the scene. This includes removing biological materials, replacing damaged materials, and removing odors.
The same principles apply to commercial facilities that handle biohazardous materials. You may also need these types of cleaning services if your property was used as a drug lab or inhabited by hoarders. In any of these scenarios, it’s extremely dangerous to attempt cleanup efforts yourself. You’re unlikely to have the proper tools and protective equipment to do the job, and you could be exposed to deadly chemicals or pathogens in the process.
Your safest bet is to call in a professional biohazard and remediation company to make sure the job gets done right. This leads us to our next question: Who pays the bill?
Does Insurance Pay For Cleaning Services?
Every insurer is different, so it’s impossible to say for certain what your policy includes. Generally speaking, though, most major homeowners insurance policies will cover the costs of crime cleanup or remediation services. The same is true for business insurance (if the event happens in your place of business) or your auto insurance (if the event occurs in your vehicle).
Of course, this isn’t something you usually discuss when you buy an insurance policy. If a crime or accidental death has occurred on your property, you’ll want to call your insurer and find out exactly what your policy includes. Keep in mind that some smaller or older insurance providers may not include this type of coverage in their policies.
For those that do, some insurers will arrange for and cover the cleaning costs upfront. Others may require you to schedule and pay for the costs, then submit a claim and wait for reimbursement. Your insurer may even provide a list of approved cleaning services they work with.
It’s important to know what biohazard cleanup services do (and do not) include. The company will clean and sanitize the scene from ceiling to floor, but they won’t restore every inch of your property to mint condition. If there are broken windows, soiled furnishings, or other damages, you’ll need to speak to your insurance agent about repairs or replacement.
Do’s & Don’ts of Biohazard Cleanup
Nothing can prepare you for the shock of discovering your home or office is the site of a violent crime, a chemical leak, or a similar disaster. Whatever situation you walk into, there are a few things you’ll want to do right away. Here’s a brief overview of the steps to take immediately after finding such a scene on your property.
Don’t Touch Anything
If you walk into a crime scene, try not to panic. It’s all too common for people to unwittingly tamper with evidence by touching or moving things. The more you move around and disturb the scene, the more difficult it will be for the police and investigators to do their job.
Unless someone on the scene requires immediate assistance, leave the area and get to a safe place. You have no way of knowing if the perpetrator is still nearby, and your safety is the most important thing.
Do Call the Police
Once you’re in a safe location, call 911. Give the address where the incident happened and describe the scene. If someone was injured, let them know so they can send the appropriate medical teams to assist.
Do Contact Your Insurance Company
After contacting the police, call your insurance provider and explain what happened. They’ll instruct you on the next steps you should take to ensure the cleanup and repair costs will be covered. They may also provide a list of biohazard cleanup services you can contact (or they may contact one on your behalf).
Don’t Forget to Take Pictures
This part works a little differently than it does in TV shows, as it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed to wander through the scene after the authorities arrive.
If possible, though, try to take pictures or videos of the scene and the damages. You may be able to do this when the authorities first arrive (be sure to ask for permission first). If it’s unsafe to enter the area, you can request photos from the investigators to submit to your insurance company. This will make it easier for you to file your claim and get reimbursed for the cleanup and restoration costs.
Looking for the Best Biohazard Cleanup Company?
No homeowner or business owner ever thinks they’ll have to deal with biohazard cleanup on their property. If such a tragedy has happened to you, take a deep breath. Professional cleaning services are available, and there’s a good chance your insurance will cover some (or all) of the costs.
Armed with this knowledge, what’s next? Do you need to find the best remediation services in your locale? We’re here to help. Spaulding Decon is an industry leader in residential and commercial biohazard cleanup services. Click here to view our locations and we’ll help you find the best cleanup company in your area. You can also call us 24/7 at (833) 804-6600.