Filing an Insurance Claim for Blood Cleanup
When a tragic incident occurs in a home resulting in the cleanup of blood or bodily fluids, there are several things that must be considered.
· Are there infectious materials present?
· How do I clean up the blood?
· How can I dispose of affected materials?
· Are there regulations that need to be followed or licenses required by the state?
· Who will pay for the cleanup?
The purpose of this blog is to answer the question about payment and filing an insurance claim. But first, let’s answer the other questions that surely will come up.
Infectious materials – You should assume, unless you know definitively otherwise, that there may be infectious materials. These could include blood and ANY bodily fluids. Infectious materials may contain blood-borne pathogens that can live outside the body for up to six months, in some cases.
Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans like MRSA, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Cleaning up blood yourself is not recommended for anything larger than the size of a dinner plate. Any amount of blood can pose a risk, but a larger amount suggests it may have spread into deeper layers of furniture, flooring, etc. which you may not be equipped to reach. The threat (and odor) could remain for a long time if not properly addressed.
Disposal of blood or medical waste should go through a licensed disposal company who will incinerate and document all waste items.
Regulations vary by state and can change from year to year.
In most cases, a homeowner’s policy will cover suicide, unattended deaths and crime scenes that occur in the home. If the task of submitting an insurance claim is too daunting for the family members, Steri-Clean will navigate that process at no additional charge and communicate with the insurance company on the client’s behalf.
How to File an Insurance Claim
1. Locate a policy statement and confirm it is active
2. Call the 800 number to file a claim. You will need the name of the policy holder, account number, address and a basic description of what occurred.
3. The insurance company will confirm coverage and send out an adjuster to assess the scene. In some cases, he or she may not be able to get there immediately and will verbally approve the cleanup by a biohazard remediation professional who will then submit documenting photos to the insurance company.
4. Most policies will cover removal of the affected materials including bedding, carpeting, padding and sub flooring, as well as the replacement costs of those items.
5. The remediation company should respond immediately with a team to remove the affected materials, disinfect and deodorize if needed.
6. A client can pay the remediation company directly, or can sign a Direct Payment Authorization. Some insurance companies will recommend contractors or coordinate with those contractors directly.