Complete Guide to Blood and Biohazard Cleanup & Insurance

12 Things to Consider

Jump to Frequently Asked Questions

  • What constitutes biohazard and medical waste?
    • Biohazard waste, also called infectious waste (such as blood and bodily fluids), is waste contaminated with potentially infectious agents or other materials that are deemed a threat to public health.
    • Medical Waste is waste generated in labs or clinical settings that is not contaminated, but could appear hazardous to outsiders.
  • What are examples of biohazard waste?
    • Liquid biohazardous waste
      • Human or animal blood
      • Human or animal elements, including bodily fluids  
    • Dry Biohazardous waste
    • Human anatomical specimens
    • Sharps, including but not limited to hypodermic needles and blades.
    • Animal carcasses
  • Is a biohazard loss covered under my auto or homeowners insurance?
    • Yes, for the most part. It depends on the facts of loss and your policy type.
      • A gun-shot suicide in your home is covered under the “explosion” named peril policy and also under an open peril policy. 
      • An open peril policy will cover many other losses in your home, i.e. gun-shot suicide, decomposed bodies, accidental bleeding, etc.
      • If you have auto comprehensive coverage, then blood cleanup is covered.  
  • Why do I need a biohazard company to clean-up human blood and other biohazard waste?
    • When you have been through a traumatic experience, the last thing you want to do is worry about protecting yourself from a health hazard. Blood is a health hazard and if you come into direct contact with blood, it can expose you to HIV, hepatitis, and other dangerous blood pathogens.
    • Contaminated biohazard waste must be collected by a licensed biohazardous waste professional.
    • If you have experienced an accident, crime, or other traumatic situation on your property, contact a licensed and experienced biohazard remediation company as soon as possible.  
  • Do I need to file a police report or notify the coroner?
    • Yes, immediately notify the police and/coroner if a crime or other traumatic experience has occurred.
  • What kind of service provider do I need to clean-up a biohazard incident?
    • You need a company that specializes in biohazard remediation and is fully licensed and certified.
    • There are several state and federal regulations that address how blood and biological materials should be handled and disposed of.
  • Who will pay for this biohazard loss?
    • Typically, your homeowners insurance will cover this incident and you would only be responsible for your deductible.
    • Contact a qualified biohazard remediation company to help walk you through the process.
  • Do I need to schedule an estimate?
    • In most cases, your biohazard remediation specialist can provide you with a no obligation, on-site estimate at no cost to you.
  • Will insurance pay for the blood clean-up involving a gun-shot suicide?
    • Generally, yes. The dwelling protection coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy applies to this situation. Please check your policy and know your coverage limits.
  • Will insurance pay for the clean-up of a decomposed body?
    • Generally, yes. The dwelling protection coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy applies to this situation. Please check your policy and know your coverage limits.
  • Will insurance pay for accidental damage to my property involving blood? 
    • Generally, yes. The dwelling protection coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy applies to this situation. Please check your policy and know your coverage limits.
  • Will my insurance cover temporary living arrangements if my home is damaged?
    • It depends. Check your policy for Additional Living Expense coverage (ALE) and know your coverage limits. ALE coverage helps cover additional living expenses, such as hotel bills and meals, if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered biohazard loss.

Common Questions & Answers

What is Steering? 

Steering is when an insurance company requires an insured to use a specific provider or in-network provider, often referred to as a Preferred Service Provider for Property claims and Direct Repair Program for Auto claims. Many states now have specific laws prohibiting this practice.  

Why do Insurers Recommend Preferred Service Providers? 

This is widely considered as a cost-saving scheme and monopolization between insurance companies and contractors & providers in the in-network programs. In-network providers in the Preferred Service Provider Program have an agreement with the insurance company, which usually means they agree to price concessions in exchange for customer referrals from the insurance company. The insurance company’s main priority is cost savings, not quality. The in-network provider’s main priority is having a strong & consistent stream of income from the insurance company.  

What are the Benefits of Using a Preferred Service Providers?

  • Insurance companies save money, remediate, repair or replace the property for less, and may improve their loss ratios. 
  • In-network providers receive a consistent stream of work and payments from insurance companies. 
  • Insurance companies guarantee the provider’s work. 

What are the Cons of Using a Preferred Service Providers?

  • The insurance company, rather than a qualified provider, determines the scope of work. Consequently, the scope of work may be inappropriately restricted, because the insurer’s incentive is cost savings. 
  • A Preferred Service Provider works for the insurance company. A Preferred Service Provider is more apt to accept the insurance company’s scope of work, even if a qualified vendor disagrees, because the Preferred Service Provider wants to continue to receive additional work from the insurance company. 
  • Insurance companies pay only the “prevailing competitive rate” as determined by insurance companies. This often reduces or eliminates the margins necessary for qualified vendors to make a profit. Once qualified vendors lose profits, they often go out of business. 
  • Insurance companies determine the price of work and apply discounted rates, which are normally much lower than non-Preferred Service Providers. This eliminates the Preferred Service Provider’s profit margins and provides incentive for the Preferred Service Provider to complete less than quality work and use less than quality materials in order to avoid losing money on the project. 
  • Non-preferred, qualified service provides are unable to submit a competitive estimate given the insurer’s control over the scope and price of the remediation, repair or replacement work. The best interests of an insured are disregarded. 

What are Your Rights? 

Insurance companies are required by state law to pay any reasonable and customary charge regardless of who performs the work. 

Even if your state doesn’t have a specific anti-steering law, most states already allow you to choose your own vendor or repair shop. If you feel you’ve been steered, contact your state’s insurance commissioner.

Work closely with your provider of choice and they will advocate for your best interests.