By Kari Dybdahl
With the new ANSI/IICRC S540-2017 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup, more and more restoration contractors are capitalizing on the opportunity to train and take on these complex projects. When you are going to a new job, the question, “Do I have the right insurance?” probably doesn’t come to mind. You are not alone, and that is why we have Kari’s Korner to answer any lingering insurance questions out there. So, let’s find out: Do you have proper trauma and crime scene cleanup insurance?
If you only purchase a Commercial General Liability policy without a Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) policy, the answer is, no, you do not have proper insurance for trauma and crime scene jobs. Commercial General Liability policies have a slurry of exclusions, from a pollution exclusion that is over a page long, to the fungi and bacteria exclusion that means you won’t be covered on a biohazard jobsite.
Let’s say you do purchase a Contractors Pollution Liability policy. Did you know there are over 144 policy variations to a CPL policy? I didn’t either until I attended the Society of Environmental Insurance Professionals conference. It is safe to say not all pollution policies are the same. Since they were created for contractors cleaning up nuclear waste facilities and Superfund sites, the policy needs to be significantly altered for fire and water restoration contractors, mold remediators, and trauma and crime scene cleanup professionals.
What if you bought the least expensive CPL option given to you just to find out it doesn’t give coverage for bacteria or virus? That won’t help you on any type of biohazard jobsite, and unfortunately, this happens to many restoration professionals, leaving them uninsured for the risks these jobs pose.
Before your next trauma and crime scene cleanup project, make sure to ask yourself, “Do I have the right insurance for my risks?” If you’re not sure, call your insurance agent. Check to see if you have coverage for at least bacteria and virus to start. If they are not able to answer, that’s okay. Your next call should be a wholesale insurance broker who specializes in restoration contractors and can work with your insurance agent.
I assume you never really know what you are going to run into when you take on a biohazard job, but it is a much-needed service, so let’s make sure you’re properly covered. Interested in diving deeper into the topic of trauma and crime scene cleanup insurance and the coverages needed? If so, comment below, and we can write an article in the magazine.
Until next time,
Kari Dybdahl has a decade of experience in the environmental insurance industry assisting clients from carpet cleaners to municipalities. She has received multiple awards and recognition for her work placing compliant insurance for Crawford Contractor Connection members, ICRA members, and many others. Dybdahl designs custom insurance programs alongside Dave Dybdahl. Please reach out to Kari A. Dybdahl with any questions at 608-824-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.