If you are a tenant renting a property, you might want to know if your renter’s insurance covers biohazard cleanup.
Between toilet backups and broken sewer pipes and accidents, crime, and death, a lot of hazardous messes that can be harmful to humans and animals can occur. The costs of replacing and repairing structural damages and personal belongings, let alone cleaning, can quickly escalate and become quite an expense.
And, if you don’t have the right insurance coverage, you might be left responsible for footing the bill — an expense that most individuals aren’t ready to cover. That’s where your renter’s insurance comes in, and the property management company’s or landlord’s property insurance (more on that later).
Learn more about biohazard messes and renter’s insurance below.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance, also called tenant’s insurance, is usually purchased to cover the costs of replacing damaged personal items and belongings and limit personal liability when renting a property. It is very similar to homeowners insurance but is meant for those renting properties.
Many property management copies and landlords require their tenants to have insurance before they let them move in. Even if they don’t require it, tenant’s insurance can be one of the best investments a renter makes. You never know when damage or disaster (in any form) will hit.
It’s important to check the specifics of your coverage; however, most policies typically cover these three areas:
- Personal Belongings and Property — Renters insurance can be used to cover the costs of replacing personal items like furniture, clothing, electronics, books, etc., up to the policy limits (depending on your specific policy, coverage might extend to items stolen from your car).
- Loss of Use Expenses — If the property you are renting is damaged and deemed unlivable, renter insurance can cover your additional costs above normal living expenses for a time, such as a hotel room or other living accommodations.
- Liability — Tenants insurance can cover the cost up to the coverage limit to repair property you damage or a visitor’s medical bills if you are found at fault for their injury.
What is Considered a Biohazard Cleanup?
Cleaning up biohazards involves cleaning, deodorizing, sanitizing, and disinfecting any areas containing highly-contaminated water or traumas. Dealing with biohazard messes typically means handling body contaminants and water contamination.
The Price of Cleaning Biohazards
The cost of biohazard cleanup can vary significantly from one situation to the next, depending on the type of mess, the time between the unfortunate event and when the cleaning process started, the extent of the damage, and difficulty locating and accessing the damaged area.
Who is Responsible for Cleaning a Biohazard?
It’s a common misconception that a government organization, such as a police agency, should handle crime scene cleaning. However, the responsibility falls on the property owner’s shoulders.
But what happens when the event happens at a rental property? Does the responsibility fall on the landlord or the tenants? Well, it depends on the circumstances leading up to the event. In most cases, the responsibility of cleaning up biohazards falls on the property owner. However, there are some circumstances that the renter would be held responsible.
For example, if the biohazardous mess is the result of a sewage backup because it is the landlord’s duty to maintain the drainage system, the responsibility goes to the landlord.
But if the drain gets blocked because the tenants were careless, the renters are at-fault. Or if there’s a biohazardous mess because of a crime that took place at the rental property, the renter could be held responsible for cleanup.
If you want solid answers, it’s best to talk with your property management company or landlord to find out precisely what is covered in case of these events since policies can vary from one to the next.
What About Damaged Personal Belongings?
If the property you’re renting becomes damaged by bodily fluids, sewage waste water, or other hazardous materials, your landlord’s home insurance should cover the cost of replacing building materials and repairing the structure.
However, their insurance will not cover the cost of replacing any damaged and unsalvageable personal items. That’s where renter’s insurance comes in.
Without tenant’s insurance, you will be left footing the bill out to replace all of your personal belongings. Do not rely on your landlord’s insurance policy. Even if your landlord doesn’t require you to obtain your own insurance, you’ll be paying to replace or repair any of your personal items that become damaged out of your own pocket.
Does Insurance Cover Hazardous Cleanup?
In some cases, individuals are able to file claims in their renters or homeowners insurance policies for damages caused by the hazardous event. However, it is not universal for all insurance policies to cover these events.
Before purchasing your insurance policy, whether it be a homeowners or renters plan, it’s important to review the ins and outs of what is covered. Learn the specifics before committing yourself to any policy. If the policy you’re reviewing doesn’t offer the kinds of protections you require, it may be wise to consider a policy or expand the policy’s scope.
Contact Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration
If you’ve experienced a biohazardous mess in your rental property, the best thing you can do after you reach out to your renters insurance company and landlord or rental management company is to contact the pros at Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration.
Biohazardous contaminations can be very dangerous. When it comes to cleaning up these messes, you want a professional to handle the repairs. When you contact Black Diamond, licensed and insured professionals will assess the damage. Our specialists are experts in blood, virus, toxin, and other biohazardous contamination cleanup and restoration.
Our skilled crew members are also experts in smoke, fire, mold, water damage, and flood remediation in Provo, Orem, and neighboring Utah cities. Our trusted team of remediation technicians is available for prompt service, even 24/7 emergency service, and are dedicated to restoring and reconstructing your home. Contact our team today.