Who is Responsible For Paying Crime Scene Cleanup Costs?

After a crime is committed in a home or business, not only can it cause significant emotional trauma—it can also leave behind biohazards and chemical contamination that may be dangerous to occupants. Depending upon the type of crime and ensuing investigation, the scene may also have fingerprint powder or tear gas present as well.

It’s reasonable to ask who is responsible for paying crime scene cleanup costs. Unfortunately, although it may seem logical that emergency responders are responsible for at least their share of the cleanup costs, in reality, it’s the owner of the home, business or other type of property who is almost always responsible for biohazardous decontamination, such as the cleanup of blood, bodily tissues, and other bodily fluids.

Costs of Crime Scene Clean Up

Cleanup costs can vary significantly, depending upon the crime, the amount of time that elapsed between the crime and the start of the cleanup, the size of the area affected, the level of structural damage, the difficulty in accessing the crime scene and more.

If you’re faced with the distressing task of crime cleanup at your home, we recommend that you contact the company that holds your homeowner’s insurance policy. Many but not all policies provide coverage. Make sure you talk to your insurance adjuster, rather than the insurance agent whose job it is to sell policies and handle general questions.

It’s important to clearly communicate to the adjuster what happened. Emotionally challenging as it may be to discuss, your policy may pay for certain situations but not others. For example, one homeowner’s policy may pay for homicide or suicide cleanup, while another may pay for that plus cleanup after assaults or accidental deaths. Yet another may not cover these costs at all (more about that soon).

Important facts to know:

  • If your policy does cover crime scene cleanup, the insurance company isn’t allowed to require you to go to a certain cleaning company. They must provide the coverage you’re entitled to, and you pick the crime scene cleaners you want.
  • You may be able to get crime scene clean up funds from your state’s program connected to the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards
  • The court system may ultimately award the crime victim or his/her family with funds for cleanup, but that won’t happen quickly.

Which Crime Scene Cleaners Are Right for You?

Make sure the company actually specializes in crime clean up. Some companies may list this as a specialty, but it’s really a sideline—and this is not the type of situation where you want inexperienced cleaners. You need experienced professionals who provide fast, compassionate service and who can help with insurance claim paperwork and communications.

Advanced Bio-Treatment Crime Cleanup Services

Whether you need forensic cleaning services or another type of crime cleanup, we have live operators ready to take your call anytime of night or day, any day of the year. Call us at 800-295-1684.

Tips for Choosing a Crime Scene Cleanup Company

Crime scene cleanup requires professionals who have highly specialized experience. Since biohazardous material may be present at a crime scene, it’s critical to choose crime scene cleaners who have the skills and qualifications to return your home, business or other property to a clean condition that’s safe for occupants.

Making your choice of a crime scene cleanup company can be easier when you know what to ask and what to look for. These tips for choosing crime scene cleaners can help:

#1 Look for an efficient, effective, empathetic company

Clearly, you want the cleanup to be as efficient as possible, so you can return to using your home or business as soon as possible. Plus, effective cleanup of any blood, bodily fluids and other biohazards is needed for the health and safety of everyone involved.

Don’t forget about the importance of also choosing an empathetic company. Dealing with the aftereffects of a crime can be traumatic, especially if it involved a friend, family member or co-worker, so selecting a cleanup company with technicians who offer compassionate service can help to ease the emotional situation.

#2 Make sure the company specializes in crime scene cleaning

Not all companies specialize in this type of cleaning, but offer it as a sideline. To ensure that your property is thoroughly cleaned and free of biohazards that may pose a health threat, confirm that the company you choose focuses on crime scene cleaning as one of its core services.

Avoid companies that mainly offer cleanup after damage created by storms, fire or water. They may have crime scene cleanup on their service list, but they may lack the experience to properly do the job.

#3 Verify the company is properly licensed

Some states’ licensing authorities require companies that transport, store, and dispose of biohazardous materials to have a license. Biohazards include any blood or bodily fluids and body tissues left behind after a crime has been committed on a premise. So, be sure to ask if a cleaning company you’re considering is properly licensed.

Note that companies with fewer than 10 employees are not required to be OSHA compliant. Consider whether you want a company that isn’t required to follow these mandates.

At Advanced Bio Treatment, we strictly follow guidelines for the safe handling and disposal of biohazards, including EPA and OSHA mandates. Our certifications include:

  • API Worksafe-certified
  • Crime Scene Cleanup Decontamination certification from AMDECON
  • State Certification for Meth Lab Decontamination License #CML 0805-05
  • Odor control-certified by IICRC
  • Code of Safe Practices – OSHA specialist tested

Certifications matter because of the serious health threats that bloodborne and airborne biohazards present to those who come in contact with them. Infectious diseases—from HIV to Hepatitis B and C, MRSA—can be found in blood, bodily fluids, and body tissues. Technicians who clean up this biohazardous material must have what the equipment, products, training, and knowledge to do the cleanup job properly. Plus, your insurance company may require professional licensing before paying out for cleanup.

#4 Experience and references are crucial

The company you select should have:

  • Professional training in trauma cleanup
  • Safety briefing meeting logs
  • Employee handbooks
  • Code of Safe Practices
  • Plenty of relevant experience
  • Client recommendations for crime scene cleanup services

Questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many crime scenes have you cleaned up?
  • And, if in your case, the crime included a death: How often have you cleaned up after this particular type of traumatic situation?

Choosing cleaners experienced in crime scenes is crucial. This experience is what allows these cleaners to safely restore your location to its original condition, which helps to protect your property’s value. Experienced crime scene cleaners know how to remove the biological materials that can cause psychological trauma, effectively doing so in a way that can save you both time and money.

Here’s a key reason why client recommendations are also important with this type of cleanup. There’s not a specific certification for crime scene cleaners, so you’ll want to find out how satisfied customers have been with the thoroughness of a particular company before hiring them.

#5 Ask about employee training programs

How well front-line technicians are trained plays a critical role in how thoroughly a property is cleaned, and how fully it is returned to a safe condition. Technicians should have:

  • Extensive training in crime scene and death cleanup
  • Thorough knowledge in safely cleaning and disposing of biohazardous materials
  • The ability to recognize biohazards that aren’t readily seen, knowing which areas of the scene are more likely to contain them
  • The knowledge to choose the most effective cleaners and disinfectants for a particular cleanup scene
  • Experience in cleaning up materials left behind by law enforcement that could add to health risks, including:
    • Fingerprint powder
    • Tear gas
    • Pepper spray
  • The ability to operate special equipment required to effectively remove all blood/bodily fluid traces

#6 Remember that you deserve respect and discretion

Not all companies (even licensed ones) offer the level of professionalism you deserve or provide cleanup services discreetly. You deserve to have your privacy protected, but there is no piece of paper that will guarantee that. When you check a company’s client testimonials, see what they have to say about how they were treated throughout post-trauma cleanup. This need for privacy may be especially important when the situation involves particularly sensitive factors such as suicide.
Members of the cleanup team should be able to explain the entire process to you, clearly and concisely, so you understand what will take place. They should respectfully answer your questions and provide excellent customer service. Here’s more information about choosing a crime scene/death scene cleanup company.

Crime Scene Cleanup FAQs

If I need crime scene cleanup services, will my insurance pay for them?

Some residential homeowners’ insurance policies cover this type of cleanup. If so, then you’ll pay your deductible and then insurance should pay the rest. If your insurance doesn’t cover the cleanup, you’re responsible—but government programs exist to help victims of violent crimes, with some programs paying crime scene cleanup costs. These benefits vary by state. At Advanced Bio Treatment, we work with insurance companies regularly, and happily help our customers to fill out their insurance claims.

How much does a cleanup of this type cost?

No two crimes are alike, and neither are the cleanups. Plus, some residential homeowners’ insurance policies cover crime scene cleaners, while others don’t. We’ll be happy to discuss how we can help, so please contact us online or call us at 800-295-1684.

How can you help if we need fingerprint dust cleanup?

It can be challenging to clean up fingerprint dust—and, if cleanup doesn’t happen quickly, this dust simply spreads around the premises, turning this into an even bigger job. Our technicians are trained in this type of cleanup, though, and can handle comprehensive crime scene cleanup jobs. The cost of cleanup varies by the extent of what’s needed. We can provide an estimate to you and help you file your insurance claim. Our goal is to return homes and businesses to original conditions.

Do your services include homicide cleanup?

They do—and it’s especially important that professionally trained technicians perform this type of forensic cleaning for the protection of people who currently inhabit the property, as well as future inhabitants. Our team is well trained in removing, cleaning and disposing of materials contaminated with blood or other body fluids and tissues, even locating places where biohazard contamination isn’t visible to the eye. We focus on returning homes and businesses to their original conditions, efficiently, effectively, and safely.

What are the differences among crime cleanup, trauma cleanup, and death cleanup services?

Crime cleanup services are needed to address what’s left over at a location after a crime was committed there. This can range from fingerprint dust cleanup to biohazard cleanup because of blood and other bodily fluids, as well as tissues. This may or may not involve a death. Trauma cleanup may involve many of the same services, and a crime may or may not have been part of what happened; a death may or may not have occurred. For example, cleanup needed after an attempted suicide could fall into this category. Death scene cleanup is needed to remove biological materials; this may or may not involve a crime. If you’re in need of having your home or business restored to its original condition through crime, trauma or death cleanup services, please contact us online or call 800-295-1684.

Do you provide suicide cleanup services?

We do, and we provide them with the utmost discretion and compassion. We recognize this can be one of the most challenging life events to deal with, and we have provided respectful suicide cleanup services since 2003. We provide fast professional services so you can spend time with friends and family, rather than worrying about cleanup challenges or the health risks associated with the process. When you contact us, we will guide you through the process with respect, from giving you an estimate to helping you file your insurance claim.

Types of Crime Scene Cleaning Services

Advanced Bio Treatment offers a wide range of services to help you through your challenging time, including:

Advanced Bio Treatment has provided biohazard response cleanups at the highest standards, with our experienced team responding quickly and professionally. One of our specialties is crime scene cleanups, offered to fill this niche need. Our company was founded by Jerry Turner, who worked as a police officer, and saw first hand how traumatizing it was to deal with crime. In response, he created Advanced Bio Treatment for residential and commercial cleaning needs.

Our teams are on call around the clock, 24/7/365, to ensure we provide you with the services you need, right when you need them. Our goal is always to return the location to a clean, safe condition, so you can focus on what matters. We remove all traces of trauma, including biological contaminants for your health and safety.

Here is what just one satisfied customer had to say:

I just wanted to reach out and thank you and your team for the amazing job you guys did. Your team was kind, professional and discreet, and I was genuinely amazed by the results. This has taken an enormous pressure off me. I intend to recommend you should anything like this happen to friends, colleagues or relatives in the future.

Patrick T

If you need crime scene cleanup services quickly, please contact us online or call 800-295-1684. Live operators are available 24/7/365 to offer you assistance.


Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Death Cleanup Costs?

Facing cleanup after a death in the home or place of business—particularly an unattended death— can be emotionally challenging, and few people know how to deal with the situation. In addition to how to go about the cleanup itself, one common question we hear is whether homeowners insurance covers death cleanup costs. To help, here’s information about insurance and after-death cleaning services.

First, whenever an unattended death occurs, an investigation must take place to try to determine what happened. Law enforcement or other investigators are not responsible for cleanup, leaving this challenging burden to friends and family. It’s a task that’s difficult emotionally, and one that can potentially involve dangerous biohazard cleanup of blood and other bodily fluids.

Next, the answer to the question about homeowners insurance is “sometimes.” So, step one would be to contact your insurance adjuster to find out about your coverage for after death cleaning services. This call isn’t easy to make, but it’s your adjuster’s job to provide you with this information.

This person isn’t the same as your insurance agent who sold you the policy and answers general insurance questions. It’s the responsibility of the insurance adjuster to delve into the specifics of what is and isn’t covered by your policy.

Coverage may vary based upon the specifics of the death, so specifically communicate what happened. A policy may cover cleanup costs after traumatic events such as murder or suicide. Another policy might cover that, along with cleanup after a serious accident, while a third might not cover these costs at all.

If your insurance policy does cover death clean up services, your insurance company can’t choose which cleaning company you use. It needs to provide the coverage you’re paying for in your policy, and you pick the best company for your situation.

What Else to Consider

Organizations exist that can help pay for cleaning costs, such as the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards; you can find more specifics by finding your state programs. Also note that, if a crime occured, such as homicide, the court system may ultimately award the family funds for cleanup, but that won’t happen quickly.

All Companies That Clean Up After a Death Are Not Equal

It’s important to choose a company that specializes in biohazardous cleaning, not one that does this only as a sideline. Plus, you need a company that sympathizes with the situation you’re going through, that you feel comfortable with, and that will help you file your claim with your insurance adjuster. No cleaning company can guarantee what your specific insurance policy covers, but you’ll want a cleaning company that assists with the paperwork during this traumatic time in life.

Advanced Bio Treatment Death Cleanup Services

We recognize how, any time a friend or loved one dies, this can be a difficult, emotional time. If the death was unattended, the situation can become even more traumatic. To ease the challenges, even if only a little, we show up fast and on time, then work quickly and thoroughly with the utmost compassion for friends and loved ones.

We are also glad to work with your homeowner’s or property insurance company to ensure your claim is properly filed. To get started, contact our live operators, 24/7, at 800-295-1684.