Dealing with the grief of a loved one is hard enough, especially when their death was sudden as is the case with murder or suicide related deaths. The last thing that families and loved ones need to be concerned with are hidden surprises from unethical crime scene cleanup companies.

Unfortunately, there have been numerous reports recently about this very problem – families being burdened with astronomical crime scene cleanup costs that they weren’t aware of when they initially signed agreements for the cleaning service. Grief-stricken and suffering, the last thing that families need are the kind of issues described in this recent news story and this report from Inside Edition.

How can you avoid this problem? Here are a few tips:

  1. Work with a reputable provider – Ask your victim’s advocate or the law enforcement officer, “Who has been your point of contact for a local cleanup company?”
  2. Research multiple companies – often times there are local providers that provide a higher quality of service than other national or franchised companies.
  3. Discuss with your insurance company – your homeowners insurance may cover all or part of your cleaning service, while you may not be able to immediately find out exactly what the coverage is, you can ask if this is a covered loss. Remember it is your right to choose the company you prefer to work with.
  4. Ask your cleaning provider – What happens if the homeowners insurance denies the coverage?

As we stated, often times, local companies will have flexible fee structures or, at least, pricing that is more economical for your local market vs national companies. Be sure and speak with at least one local or regional provider to ensure that cleanup decisions made during difficult times don’t add unneeded additional costs.