Meth Lab CleanupA typical landlord insurance policy written with a standard market carrier should provide coverage for meth lab cleanup under Vandalism coverage, but there can be many exceptions, such as the type of policy you have, as well as its coverages and exclusions. For instance, if you have a Basic Form Policy, you would need to specifically add coverage for vandalism. If you have a Special Form Policy,  then it might be  included on your policy.

Insurance Policy "Perils"

"Named Perils" or Basic Form Policy -vs- "Open Perils" or Special Form Policy A peril, as referred to in an insurance policy, is a cause of loss, such as a fire or theft. Coverage can be provided on either an All Perils basis, or a Named Perils basis.

Named Perils

Named Perils policies list exactly what is covered by the policy. Named Perils policies are generally more restrictive. A dwelling policy usually provides coverage for both the dwelling and contents on a named perils basis. A homeowner's policy usually provides coverage  for the contents of a home on a named perils basis.

Open Perils, All Perils

Open Perils (or All Perils) policies will list what is excluded from coverage. A homeowner's policy usually provides coverage for the dwelling only on an all perils basis (but not its contents). For older dwellings or for those in poor condition, the insurance carrier may not offer anything other than a named peril or basic form policy, so coverage for vandalism may not be available.

Vandalism  Coverage

Vandalism is typically defined as a person knowingly causing serious physical damage to a structure or its contents. You will need to read your policy or ask your insurance agent if vandalism is covered on your policy. Depending on the circumstances, if you have coverage for vandalism and you have a tenant who is not your family member with an illegal, operational lab in the dwelling, and you have no prior knowledge of meth lab operations, your insurance company is likely to pay for meth lab clean up. This would include all of the pre and post hazardous contaminants testing, lost rents, cleaning costs, as well as any necessary repairs following the completion of the decontamination process.

Crime Exclusions

If a property owner or family member was the person(s) directly involved in cooking or smoking the meth that contaminated the dwelling, or the property owner had knowledge of another family member living in the dwelling who had an operational meth lab, the property owner's insurance policy is NOT likely to cover any of the costs. Most policies have what is called a crime exclusion in the property coverages. Illegal activity or intentional acts are not covered on an insurance policy.

An average meth lab cleanup is $30,000

Ultimately you are responsible for reading your policy coverages and talking to your agent about what types of coverage’s are available to you. Call us today for a policy review and make sure you obtain this valuable coverage if you need it. This article was written by Stacey Scott Commercial Elite Agent at Farmers Insurance and Owner/Broker of Madison Avenue Insurance Group. For more information please contact her office at ; or Phone: (425) 481-1430