When Tragedy Happens, Who Pays for the Cleanup?
Covering the Costs of Crime & Trauma
FEB 25, 2021 by SARAH WADSWORTH
We have addressed a lot of common questions regarding what we do and why we do it. We have focused on information about the general nature of our job, but we tend to forget the questions that our clients often have.
The biggest question: Who pays for crime and trauma cleanup services?
One thing that most people are surprised to learn is that there is no government agency or entity that helps families with the physical aftermath of a tragedy. Law enforcement does not have a “janitorial unit” that swoops in to help. If you are anything like me, you’re probably shocked by this information.
Crime and trauma cleanup is a private sector industry. Outside of OSHA, there is no government agency involved in our services. Sometimes, this can be unfortunate for our clients because this means they are responsible for payment.
In cases of crime and trauma, if it occurs in a home, homeowners’ insurance will typically cover the cost of our services, minus the insured’s deductible. If a situation occurs in a rental property, property management will typically contact us and handle the responsibility of payment. This may not be the case in all situations that occur in a rental property.
What about incidents that occur in vehicles?
If a vehicle has biohazard in it, automotive technicians will not work on it (and rightfully so, because it can be incredibly dangerous). With vehicles, there are a lot of factors that may affect who pays. If a car or driver is insured, the insurance company may determine whether the car gets cleaned or not, and they may or may not cover the costs associated with the cleanup. Depending on the type of incident, the owner (or the estate) may be solely responsible for payment.
Who pays for hoarding cleanup?
Hoarding cases are always private pay. Insurance companies view hoarding as “neglect,” therefore they will not cover the costs associated with cleaning up a hoarded home.
Bio-One’s mission statement is “Help First, Business Second,” and we stand by that whole-heartedly. We understand that the affects of a sudden tragedy can be very costly, without even including the costs of our services. We want people to be aware that there is help available to those who are going through traumatic situations. Many organizations help victims of crime, as well as families affected by crime. If you or a loved one is struggling to cover expenses incurred by a crime, the links listed below are a great place to start.
· Indiana Criminal Justice Institute: Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund
· Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
· Foundation Center by Candid
· Council on Foundations
For more information about locating applications for victim assistance funds, contact Sarah at Bio-One.
“Help First, Business Second”