A truly devastating experience, on many different levels, is a violent crime occurring in your home. The shocking reality is that a high percentage of violent crimes occur in residential settings each year. If you’ve experienced a violent crime in your home, you may now wonder who is responsible for the costs associated with crime scene cleanup. This article is prepared to provide you with an overview of how the costs associated with crime scene cleaning can be addressed.

Examples of violent crimes that occur in residential settings include:

  • Homicides
  • Attempted homicides
  • Physical assaults
  • Rape
  • Other sexual assaults
  • Home invasions
  • Robberies
  • Burglaries
  • Domestic violence

In some instances, an incident at a residence involves more than one type of violent crime.

Personal Liability for Crime Scene Cleanup

If a violent crime occurs at your home, the reality is that you bear personal responsibility for the cleanup, which is also known as biohazard remediation. There are misconceptions associated with certain aspects of the aftermath of a violent crime – including who is responsible for the cleanup. A common misconception is that some local governmental agency bears responsibility for the remediation of a crime scene.

Because you bear personal responsibility for crime scene cleanup at your residence doesn’t mean that you should personally undertake the task. Indeed, a consistent recommendation is that a person in your position retains the services of an experienced, reputable, reliable crime scene cleaning company.

Hiring a professional ensures that the crime scene will be fully remediated. What this means is that the scene of the crime and the residence overall will be restored to a fully livable or habitable condition.

In addition to full restoration, a professional ensures that crime scene cleanup is undertaken in a safe manner. The fact is that a crime scene can present biohazardous risks. There can be dangerous pathogens at the scene of a violent crime that can be transferred to others if appropriate safety protocols (like those used by professionals) are not fully utilized. Examples of these hazardous pathogens include:

  • HIV
  • MRSA
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage and Crime Scene Cleanup

Although you are personally liable for crime scene cleanup at your residence that doesn’t mean that the total cost of the remediation work has to come out of your pocket. You may have other resources available to you that can aid in covering the costs associated with crime scene cleanup at your home.

When it comes to covering some (or even all) of the costs associated with residential crime scene clean up, you will want to ascertain what is or isn’t available in the way of coverage by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Some homeowner’s insurance policies do provide coverage for costs associated with residential crime scene cleanup.

You need to contact your insurance carrier or agent and ascertain whether coverage is available. If coverage is available, you need to find out how extensive it is.

If your homeowner’s policy will provide coverage for some or all of a crime scene cleanup, you need to ascertain whether or not a crime scene cleaning company accepts insurance. In addition, find out if a biohazard cleaning company will assist in preparing and submitting a claim with your insurance company.

California Victim Compensation Board and Crime Scene Cleanup

Another resource through which you may be able to obtain financial assistance to pay for crime scene cleanup at your home is via the California Victim Compensation Board. The Board provides up to $1,000 to go towards the costs of crime scene cleanup. This can go to crime scene cleanup at your home, business, or vehicle.

Understanding the challenges that flow from a violent crime in your home, Eco Bear has a special program for people in your shoes. We charge a flat rate for crime scene cleanup up to the $1,000 limit of compensation available from CalVCB. We assist a client in preparing a claim for compensation from CalVCB, including the preparation of effective claim support materials.

The Board also provides other resources to victims of violent crime. These include compensation for the costs associated with medical care as well as for grief support or other mental health assistance that may be needed in the aftermath of a violent crime.

In summary, it is important that you are as proactive as possible when it comes to initiating the process of crime scene cleanup. This includes identifying a reliable crime scene cleanup company as well as making sure that you fully understand the financial resources that are available to you in regard to paying for this type of professional assistance. By undertaking crime scene cleanup in a truly timely manner, you get yourself on the pathway to moving onward from this type of challenging and even traumatic live event or experience.


Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services like biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.