What You Need to Know About Crime Scene Cleanup Being Covered By Home Owners Insurance
Having a crime take place on your property can be traumatic and stressful. You may not know where to begin when it comes to taking care of the aftermath of the scene. If you have property insurance, you may be wondering whether or not the insurance will cover a crime scene cleanup service.
Is crime scene cleanup covered by insurance? Many major homeowners insurance policies will cover crime scene cleanup services; however, since this is not something usually discussed when it comes to purchasing insurance, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent to understand the extent of coverage you’ll have in a situation like this.
Crime scenes can vary from homicide and assault to drug trafficking and vandalism. Understanding the situations your insurance will cover can help you be prepared. While dealing with a crime on your property can be rare and unexpected, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. To learn more about crime scene cleanup coverage, keep reading.
How Do I Know If My Insurance Covers Crime Scene Cleanup Services?
Most major homeowners insurance providers will cover crime scene cleanup and damage that has been done to your property. If you don’t have insurance, dealing with a crime scene on your property can be a huge financial blow. Not only can your house be damaged, but also furniture and other fixtures.
My insurance agent once told me to take pictures of everything in my house that I wanted to be covered by insurance and keep the pictures filed away. In the event of damage to the property, I would be able to cover the expensive things in my house. Talk to your insurance agent to see if having a record of your belongings can guarantee coverage for such items if they are damaged at a crime scene.
Another thing to talk to your insurance agent about is death cleanup coverage. This is the coverage that would pay for the cleanup of a homicide, suicide, or undiscovered death scene. This will leave the cleanup process to the professionals so that you can have peace of mind.
What To Do When You Find a Crime Scene On Your Property
Finding a crime scene on your property can be shocking; knowing the steps you should take to ensure the proper authorities are notified and understanding how to handle the situation can help make the situation more bearable. here are steps to take if you find a crime scene on your property:
1. Don’t Touch Anything
If you find a crime scene on your property, it’s important that you don’t touch anything. Touching or tampering with evidence can make it more difficult for the authorities to research and figure out what happened. It can also make it more difficult for them to identify the people involved.
Unless there is someone who requires care or assistance, the best thing to do is to leave the crime scene as it is and remove yourself from the area as a precaution. The perpetrator could still be in the house, the lawn or on the property, so removing yourself can help to keep you safe.
2. Call the Authorities Immediately
As soon as you’ve found yourself a safe place, call the authorities immediately. When you call 911, you’ll need to provide them with an address and let them know what has happened. It’s important to be thorough in your description so that they can notify the appropriate teams. If someone has been injured, be sure to let the dispatcher know so that they can send EMTs.
3. Call Your Insurance Provider
As soon as you get off the phone with the authorities, contact your insurance provider and let them know what happened. They can instruct you on the next steps to take to ensure that your property is covered. They may be able to give you the names of some crime scene cleanup companies that they cover who can assist you in the cleanup process.
4. Get Pictures of Any Property Damage
Once an investigation is underway on your property, it may be difficult for you to even stay on the property. Crime scene investigations are thorough and may take some time. However, you’ll want to get pictures of any property damage that has occurred so that your insurance provider will know the expenses they will need to cover.
While it may be difficult to get pictures once the authorities arrive, you can always request photos from the investigators. They will usually capture on camera any and all damage that has been related to the crime scene. It will be important to assess as much of the damage as possible to pass on to insurance. For example, if an object goes through the roof, it could necessitate an emergency roof leak repair which would also be cover under insurance. You’ll need to check in and around the property and take photos of all damaged areas.
What Does a Crime Scene Cleanup Company Do?
If there has been a crime scene on your property, a crime scene cleanup company will be the ones to properly remove hazards and sanitize the area from the floor to the roof. These companies work closely alongside first responders and private citizens to ensure the aftermath of a crime scene is handled professionally. Here are some things that a crime scene cleaning service company will do:
Remove Biohazards From the Crime Scene
At a crime scene, there can be hazards dangerous to other people’s health. From blood and other bodily fluids to drugs, needles, and chemicals, and potentially dangerous hazards will need to be professionally removed. A crime scene cleanup company can remove anything from drug substances to deceased bodies to even soiled furniture and flooring.
Whatever you do, if you are inexperienced in handling biohazards, do not try to remove these substances on your own. Even bodily fluids can contain deadly pathogens that could greatly affect your health. A professional crime scene cleanup company will have the proper equipment to keep themselves safe and effectively remove and dispose of any biohazard.
Sanitize and Cleanup the Crime Scene Area
After a crime scene and an investigation, there can be a lot of chemicals and substances left on the property. Not only is there the products of the crime scene but there may also be fingerprinting dust on all your furniture and belongings and gun powder embedded in your furniture.
A crime scene cleanup company will be able to effectively clean and sanitize your space to remove any other substances and germs that have made their way into your space. This can leave you with peace-of-mind that your home is your own once again.
How to Choose a Crime Scene Cleanup Company
When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a crime scene, it can be difficult to know which crime scene cleanup companies are reputable and which ones aren’t. Here are some things to consider to help you find the best crime scene cleanup company:
Pick a Company Covered by Your Insurance
First and foremost, you’ll want to contact a crime scene cleanup company whose services are covered by your insurance. This will save you money and time, as the company will usually communicate directly with the insurance company. Most times, your insurance adjuster should be able to tell you the companies that the insurance covers.
Pick a Crime Scene Company Recommended by First Responders and Law Enforcement
Contacting a crime scene cleanup company can be nerve-wracking; the last thing you want after a traumatic experience is to welcome more strangers into your home. If you’re worried about finding a reputable crime scene cleanup company, ask the first responders and law enforcement agents who attend the crime.
They usually work closely alongside these companies and can give you good advice on which one may be the best option for you. Plus, law enforcement usually only recommends companies they know to be honest, trustworthy, and thorough at their job.
Make Sure the Company is Properly Licensed and Insured
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the company you choose to tend to the crime scene is properly licensed and insured to do this work. As I mentioned earlier, biohazards require professional and skilled removal, or they can continue to be a risk to you and everyone who visits your property. You’ll want to make sure the company you choose has the experience needed to effectively cleanup the scene.
When it comes to the licenses and insurance needed for crime scene cleanup companies, it largely depends on the state you’re located in. Do some research to find out the state requirements for these types of companies. Be sure to ask for proof of insurance and licensing before you hire a company.
Dealing with a crime scene on your property can be a traumatic event, but hiring the right crime scene cleanup company can help lift a burden off of your shoulders. Talk to your insurance agent today to make sure you are covered for such an event.
Did you know we have many articles all about what your insurance does and doesn’t cover? You can learn more by reading the articles down below:
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