In the spirit of Halloween, but staying away from the macabre, I am revisiting a topic blogged about previously by Chip Merlin and Nicole Vinson of our firm. Is the clean-up of dead bodies covered under a standard homeowners policy? I never thought I would come across a dead body claim, but I recently got such a claim covered for a policyholder after it was initially denied by the insurance company. As I explain in this video, insurance companies typically misapply the pollution exclusion to encompass the decomposition of remains. While this type of claim is rather unique, coverage should be afforded in most cases.

  • Roger Poe

    Fresh Dead people are “Debris”. Not to sound callous..But when a person dies, and becomes part of the natural dynamic to restore a property to a pre-damaged state..Are they a pollutant, or, simply debris? Maybe they are naturally/eventually both..However being fresh “debris” trumps the pollution principle.

    A fresh dead body is nothing more than a fresh live body. Without a heart beat. Escalating damage to a body can turn it into a pollutant.

  • Ernie Keebler

    If my insurance carrier offers coverage for the expense of cleaning, is it possible they may not cover the entire invoiced amount? Is there a standard regarding the scope of work and the amount being charged? How can I protect myself if the cleaning company and my insurance disagree on billing? Thank you