Unattended Death Cleanup Cost: What To Know

by | Jun 23, 2023

What Is an Unattended Death?

An unattended death is something that occurs unexpectedly. In this scenario, the body is not found for several days or weeks and it will begin to decompose.

In most cases, this occurs when individuals live alone and don’t have friends or family to check in on them regularly.

On the other hand, an attended death often occurs in a hospice or hospital setting when the death is expected.

Types of Unattended Death

There are five types of unattended deaths: accidents, suicide, disease or illness, homicide, and natural causes.

Each scenario may affect the cost as it changes the level of biohazard material the cleaning crew can expect when assessing the scene. Natural causes and accidents may require less cleanup, for example, but an unattended suicide or crime scene cleanup can become messy and require more extensive bio recovery cleaning. Likewise, disease-related deaths require additional precautions to control biohazard risks associated with the particular infectious disease.

What Happens After an Unattended Death?


First, law enforcement must be alerted, and a forensics team will assess the scene. The body may be taken away for autopsy, but this team is not responsible for cleaning.

If the death is suspected to be a part of a crime scene, it’s possible the scene may remain open for the forensics team to continue collecting evidence. If the death is suspected to be from natural causes or self-infliction, it will likely be cleared for clean up.

Once cleared for cleaning, it falls to the property owner or next of kin to shoulder any costs and to find a company to help.

Is Unattended Death Cleanup Expensive?

Yes, the cost of an unattended death cleanup can be expensive, but it is often covered by insurance policies. The cost, however, is well worth it as cleanup crews are thorough and equipped to handle any type of scenario. (1)


“The average cleanup job for a death [not pictured] is about $2,500”



It’s important to keep in mind that death cleanup services are there to ensure friends and family of the deceased don’t have to endure the traumatic experience of cleaning up after their loved one’s passing. No matter how expensive the price tag or how lengthy the insurance policy discussions become, it’s an important piece of logistics to ensure that friends and family can begin grieving and healing from the incident.

What Factors Affect Unattended Death Cleaning Prices?


There are several factors that play into an unattended death cleanup cost. Unfortunately, unattended deaths can be more costly than typical death cleanup services, as the body will begin to decompose before a cleanup crew can address the situation. Depending on what stage of decomposition the body is in, biohazard materials become more saturated into the property and require deeper cleaning and sanitization.

Additional factors that affect the cost can include the climate while the body was left unattended – as hotter climates will speed up the rate of decomposition – and whether there are external factors that cleaning crews must contend with, such as pests, hoarding, or difficulty in accessing the location.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Unattended Death Cleanup Costs?

Yes, most – but not all – homeowner’s insurance will cover death cleanup costs in most circumstances. Insurance may not only cover the biohazard cleaning but also even unlikely situations related to the death like fire damage or some other type of damage repair because they see it as all damage to the property – even the biohazard cleaning. While it is a difficult call to make, it’s important to first call the insurance company to assess the policies in place for coverage.

Depending on the policy, the death may be covered only under certain circumstances, such as a death related to a serious accident, or by self-inflicted means. Other policies may not cover this type of insurance at all, which is why it is important to understand what you are covered for and any deductible costs.

While your insurance company can explain the benefits and limitations of the current policies, they cannot choose a clean-up company for you, which means it will fall to you to request quotes and choose the biohazard cleaning or crime scene cleanup company that is most compatible with your coverage.

Who Pays for Unattended Death Cleaning Services?

In most cases, homeowners or business insurance will cover the costs related to an unattended death cleanup. Most insurance companies will only cover a death that occurred within the building or property that is insured.

In cases when this isn’t covered by insurance, costs typically falls to the property owner, whether it is a landlord, homeowner, or business.

While direct friends or family members of the deceased are not liable for the costs, it occasionally falls to one of these individuals to contact a cleanup service and initiate the process of seeking quotes for cleanup services. Because of this, it’s important to talk to the company insuring the property to determine how much of the costs are reimbursed – if any cost at all -or if the cleaning is covered outright by the insurance company.

How Long Does Unattended Death Cleanup Take?

The amount of time that an unattended death cleanup takes depends on the individual circumstances. In most cases, a cleaning can be performed within a day. For deaths that involve a lot of biohazard material or significant levels of decomposition, cleanup can take longer as more material must be cleaned and sanitized before it is rendered safe for contact.

The amount of time it takes to clean may also depend on the size of the cleanup crew, though this can also impact the cost. A larger team will make quicker work of a larger project, but will require more man hours of labor on the final bill.

What is the Unattended Death Cleanup Process?


While an unattended death can come with a host of biohazard problems, professional biohazard cleanup companies are trained to assess, control, and clean any scene – no matter the scenario. Each cleaning process follows a thorough, OSHA-mandated process to ensure that employees and future inhabitants are kept safe from any potential biohazard.

The first step is to assess the scene and understand where the perimeters for cleaning should be established based on the circumstances of death. Depending on the amount of time the body has been left unattended, it can become more difficult (and costly) to clean up the body. It’s important to address the cleanup as soon as possible.

Once the scene has been assessed, the scene is secured from other areas in the building, and the most obvious, visible portions of the scene are removed. After these biohazardous materials are removed, the team then moves into cleaning and disinfection phase using EPA-approved sanitization techniques and deodorizers. Finally, a verification check is performed to ensure no biohazardous material is left on site.

Don’t Hesitate
Book a Biohazard Cleanup or Crime Scene Cleanup Today

We can get a team of our thorough and professional unattended death cleanup and crime scene cleanup technicians to your location quickly. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why pay the cost of a Professional Restoration & Cleaning Company?


Hiring a professional cleanup company like Florida Emergency Cleaning is important not only to ensure the place is safe from biohazard material, but also to reduce the burden on family or friends.

It’s important to let friends and family grieve without the added emotional strain of cleaning up after the scene or enduring traumatic imagery. Death is a complicated subject that can be difficult to talk about, and few people are prepared for such an incident. Don’t let the burden weigh you down; contact a company that can help you take care of the aftermath so you can begin healing.

When the last thing you want to do is think about logistics, let us help. At Florida Emergency Cleaning, we take the time to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Learn more here.



  1. com, The Dirty Stinking Truth About Real-Life Hoarders, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/crime-scene-cleanup-photo_n_4760389