Friday, May 24, 2024

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Caused By Water Damage

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage And Removal

Does my Homeowners policy cover mold damage? – Restoration Renegades #8

Mold the four-letter word a homeowner never wants to hear. It can conjure up images of health problems and expensive removal solutions.

Whether youre covered for mold damage and removal often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy. For most standard homeowners policies mold removal is only covered when the source of the mold is an already covered peril in your policy, such as water damage.

Mold Due To Covered Water Damage

While mold can commonly cause damage to your home, it isnt always covered by home insurance. Ridding your home of a mold infestation can be expensive, so it can be beneficial if your homeowners insurance policy covers part of the removal cost. Whether mold will be covered under your policy depends on what caused the mold.

If mold is caused by a covered water damage peril, the damage is likely to be covered under your home insurance policy. If a situation like an accidental overflow or a burst pipe led to mold growth, your policy may cover part or all of the removal cost. In this case, the damage from the mold is covered as its considered a result of water damage. If the mold damage is a result of neglect or lack of maintenance, you may not get coverage.

If you decide to file a claim for mold damage with your insurer, the cause of the damage will be determined by an adjuster. To ensure you have mold coverage, you may want to consider purchasing an endorsement or floater. You can also try to prevent mold growth by addressing leaks and spills as soon as possible and keeping your home dry. Consider the following mold prevention tips:

Can Mold Travel Through Walls

Yes, mold spores can travel through drywall boards. Drywall is organic and high in cellulose and therefore provides a good food supply for mold spores. Additionally, the soft nature of drywall makes it easier for moisture to spread in all directions, leading to rapid growth of mold damage.

Qualifications a Mold Remediation Company Should Have

  • The Company Has Liability Insurance.
  • The Company is IICRC Certified.
  • The Company has Extensive Experience with Mold.
  • The Company Considers Mold a Health Hazard.
  • The Company Wears Protective Gear.
  • The Company Has Clear Containment Measures.
  • Recommended Reading: How Do You Clean Mold Off Of Leather

    How Much Will Insurance Cover For Mold

    Mold damage can cost between $15,000 and $30,000 to remediate, so insurance companies have enacted several measures to reduce their risk. One of them is reducing the amount they will pay for mold damage even if it is caused by a covered peril. Typically, insurance policies state a maximum limit of between $1,000 and $10,000 for mold remediation.

    If you want to purchase mold coverage above that amount, it can usually be added as an optional rider. However, if you live in a mold-prone state, such as Florida, this coverage can be expensive to obtain.

    When Does Home Insurance Cover Mold Removal

    Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

    Fortunately, there are plenty of instances where mold is covered by insurance, especially if the cause was something that you couldnt have predicted. Mold removal is covered by insurance when the source of the mold is water damage from a covered peril.

    Instances where mold is covered by home insurance includes water damage from an accidental event, like:

    • A burst pipe or water heater
    • A malfunctioning appliance
    • A firefighter extinguishing a fire in your home using water

    Homeowners insurance doesnt cover mold alone, but the resulting damage of the covered peril. This means that insurance may not cover the entire cost of mold removal and the resulting damage.

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    Will Rates Increase After A Mold Damage Claim

    Its likely premiums will increase after filing a claim. Having a claim on record means youre likely to file another one, making you riskier in the eyes of the insurance provider.

    If you have a loss-free credit on your homeowner policy, you would see your rates increase after a mold claim since you would now lose this discount, Hickey noted. Premium increases could also result from the total number of claims filed in the past. For example, multiple homeowner claims within a short period may result in a greater increase.

    If your mold problem costs less to fix than your deductible is high, you may want to consider paying for the cost to fix it yourself rather than filing a claim with your insurance company to avoid a premium increase.

    To lower your premiums you can look into every possible discount available, increase the deductible, or switch providers.

    Why Claims Are Denied And What To Do About It

    First, if you are being denied a claim, make sure that you ask for the full reason. You have every right to understand exactly what part of the policy wording excludes what you are asking for and why the claim is being denied.

    Know that there are many people who represent the insurance company during a claim, so you will want to know where the decision is coming from. Was it your agent, the insurance adjuster, or a contractor? Each person plays a different role. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity to avoid misunderstandings. When a claim is denied, you will normally receive word in writing telling you of the official decision.

    If you still do not know why something isn’t covered, you can see whether there is a chance for a review of your claim. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent or representative for a second opinion. In a stressful event such as a claim, things may not be expressed clearly on either side. You will want to make sure you understand fully.

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    How To File Mold Insurance Claims

    You can file a mold claim the same way you file a regular homeowners insurance claim, with a few slight adjustments. To improve your chances of a successful claim, you need to take every step possible to prevent mold from forming. That way, the claims adjuster can see that youve acted responsibly to mitigate the damage, even if unavoidable mold begins to form. Before filing a claim:

    • Dry all affected areas as quickly and thoroughly as possible
    • Stop leaking pipes by shutting off the water to your house
    • Remove soaked items such as carpeting, furniture, insulation and mattresses
    • Open doors and windows and use fans to promote faster drying
    • Clean all affected areas with detergent to prevent bacteria spread
    • Cover damaged areas such as a hole in the roof or a broken window
    • Take photos of all damage, including closeups and wide shots
    • Contact your insurance agent to file a claim

    If your policy doesnt exclude mold damage for covered losses, its best to separate the mold repair expenses from other repair costs. For example, if storm damage soaks the drywall in your bedroom and mold forms, the contractor likely will charge you a mold remediation fee. List the mold remediation fee separately from the drywall removal costs. By separating the expenses, you can minimize the risk of a claim denial if the insurer doesnt want to pay for mold remediation.

    Mold And Home Owners Insurance

    Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold? | Home Insurance Mold and Water Backup
    • Reduce indoor humidity by using dehumidifiers
    • Make sure that every exhaust fans in your bathrooms are connected and exhausting outside
    • Ensure that there is enough or not too much insulation in your attic
    • Make sure that there is sufficient airflow throughout your home
    • Be sure that the soffits in your attic are not blocked

    Also Check: How To Prevent Mildew In Shower Grout

    How To File A Claim For Mold Damage

    In many cases, homeowners insurance claims related to mold are part of a larger water damage claim. For example, maybe a pipe burst, flooded your basement, and months later you discover mold growth in your walls.

    In the event you discover mold months after the initial incident, reach out to your insurance company to see if youâre still able to file a claim for the damage. Most insurers require you to report mold damage no later than six months from the date of the covered event that caused the mold.

    Here are a few steps you should take to ensure that youâll get reimbursed for mold-related loss.

    • Contact your insurance company right away to report the water damage incident or mold growth

    • Document the damage with photos and videos

    • Ventilate the affected area as much as possible to prevent further mold growth

    • Closely follow your insurance companyâs instructions for filing a claim

    • Contact local mold removal companies to get cleanup and repair estimates

    • Provide insurance company with estimates and receive a payout

    When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage

    Most of the homeowners insurance policies that cover mold do so based on the source of its growth.

    Examples of these are:

    • Water damage after extinguishing a fire
    • Burst or broken pipe
    • Broken appliance, like dishwasher or washing machine, causing a leak

    Take note that mold formation is the result of any of the above and not the initial damage. In such scenarios, a homeowners insurance policy will repair your floors or walls and remediate the mold. However, most insurers wont replace the broken appliance.

    Additionally, the policy may limit the amount to be paid for mold remediation, which may be less than what you need.

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    A Fire Being Extinguished

    If mold forms from a fire that was extinguished whether from a sprinkler or firefighter, you may be covered.

    Keep in mind that these instances vary and whether or not youre covered from mold is dependent on your provider and your policy. If mold damage is a concern for you then talk with your provider and see what your policy covers. If anything you may be able to add on some extra coverage for mold related damages.

    What Water Damage Does Home Insurance Not Cover

    Does your Homeowners Insurance Cover Water &  Mold Damage ...

    While your homeowners policy will cover water damage under one of the perils noted above, there are other instances of water damage that are not covered under standard policies, including:

    • Flooding
    • Neglect or unsolved maintenance issues
    • Sewage
    • Water backup

    In the event your insurer does pay for damage caused to your home by one of these conditions, they typically will not pay to repair the item that caused the damage. This means that if a neglected pipe bursts, your insurer may pay to fix the damage caused by the pipe, but will not cover the cost of replacing the pipe itself.

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    What Does Mold Cause Thats Covered By Home Insurance

    Before signing your home insurance policy, its best to do your research on the types of mold growth covered by your insurer. This way, youll know what to expect when the time does come to file a claim and pay your deductible for mold damage in your home.

    What mold coverage your home insurance policy includes is mostly dependent on your covered perils. While every policy is different, youll most likely be covered from the following things that could cause mold:

    • Frozen, damaged, leaking or burst pipes
    • Mold buildup from putting out a fire
    • Water and steam overflow or discharge within a:
    • Plumbing system
    • Heating and air conditioning unit
    • Automatic fire protection sprinkler system
    • Household appliance
  • Weight of snow, ice and sleet
  • The above is by no means an exhaustive or guaranteed list, so you should make sure to read your policy carefully to determine what perils youre protected from. Once you have that list, you can better understand when youll be able to file mold claims.

    Another issue worth noting for mold coverage is that most insurers require that damage be from a sudden and accidental issue. Basically, this means that the issue that causes the mold needs to happen suddenly and without fault for it to be covered. Mold caused by neglect or homeowner negligence falls into the uncovered category.

    How To Control Moisture

    To effectively tackle excessive moisture content in your home, adhere to the following tips:

    • Clean up water spills and leaks immediately after they occur or as soon as you notice them
    • Regularly clean air conditioning drip pans and clear the drain lines to ensure proper water flow
    • Regularly clean and repair roof gutters
    • Ensure that the ground slopes away from your home to prevent water from pooling around your foundation

    Mold growth is an unpleasant occurrence. Fortunately, it is largely preventable. Make it a habit to conduct regular examinations to identify when maintenance is needed. This way, you can avoid having mold grow in your home, along with its consequence.

    At Abbate Insurance, our team of expert professionals can help you get the right home insurance coverage for your unique needs. Contact us today to get started!

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    Costs Of Mold Damage Repair

    If your homeowners insurance doesnt cover your homes mold damage, you likely pay out of pocket for repairs. A mold inspection is the first step because it identifies the source and extent of the damage and provides a repair estimate. An inspection costs about $200 to $600, though some companies offer a free initial inspection. Once you know the extent of the damage, you can decide if you want to tackle the cleanup on your own, or if you want to hire a professional.

    If you pay for mold remediation, the cost depends on several factors, including the size of the impacted area and the amount of damage. Homeowners spend on average between $1,100 and $3,325 for mold remediation. Larger areas can cost as much as $6,000. If your whole house has mold damage, expect to spend between $10,000 and $25,000 per 1,000 square feet to remove it.

    What Are Examples Of Gradual Damage

    How to prevent water damage, mold after pipes burst

    Common causes of gradual damage that can cause a claim to be blocked include:

    • Plumbing, faucets, or pipes leaking over time, causing damage to walls, ceilings, or floors
    • Damage caused by water seeping in from cracks in the basement
    • Flashing, tiles, or shingles on the roof that show signs of needed repair
    • Mold, rot, or rust
    • Poor repairs or lack of repairs

    You might not know why a claim got denied. But if you tried to make a claim and it turns out the damage was caused over time, that’s likely why you got denied.

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    What Do You Do If You Have Mold In Your House

    If you discover mold in your home you need to take action before it spreads.

    Step 1: Check your homeowners policy to learn if mold is covered

    Step 2: If not, call a professional mold remediation company to remove the mold

    Step 3: If you can’t afford a professional company, a home remedy may help. Before you begin, put a mask on to prevent breathing in mold spores, cover your clothes from head to toe, and wear gloves. One common home remedy includes baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how it works:

    • Mix two parts baking soda with one part vinegar and one part water
    • Mix it into a thick paste
    • Spread onto the moldy surface and allow it to dry
    • Scrub the area. Repeat the process until the mold disappears

    A home remedy may work for a small area of mold, like in a shower stall, but bigger jobs will almost certainly require the help of a professional crew.

    When Does Homeowners Insurance Exclude Coverage For Mold

    Mold caused by your own neglect and lack of maintenance will likely be denied by your home insurance company.

    Over time, a minor leak could cause mold to spread throughout the surrounding area. If you tried to file a claim for the leak and the resulting mold weeks or even days after the leak became apparent, your insurance provider would likely claim that you failed to act immediately and therefore deny coverage.

    Also, no mold damage resulting from a regional flood is covered, since flooding is a peril excluded from your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if you purchased a separate flood insurance policy, that coverage would extend to any mold damage caused by a flood.

    Examples of when mold isn’t covered

    • Your bathtub has leaked for years, resulting in a mold infestation.
    • You live in a humid climate and failed to use a dehumidifier in your basement, and black mold grew as a result.
    • A storm causes flooding, and subsequently mold growth, in your home.

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    What Is Mold Insurance Or Mold Liability Coverage

    Mold insurance is the coverage for damage due to mold, which is included in an insurance policy. Environmental insurance, General Liability, and Property policies sometimes include coverage of mold. If these policies do not include mold insurance coverage, then, an insurance coverage could be made available by purchasing an endorsement to the forms.

    How To Treat Mold

    Does Your Insurance Cover Mold In Phoenix Arizona?

    If mold is visible on your home’s hard surfaces, it can be cleaned with detergent, water, and intense drying. Make sure to wear gloves and protective goggles. For hidden mold or large infestations, call a professional for removal to make sure it’s not toxic.

    Learn more about what home insurance policies typically cover.

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    Broken Pipes And Water Damage

    Suppose there is a broken pipe or water tank that gets worse over time, or a washing machine breaks. The actual pipe, tank, or machine will not be covered. However, the resulting damage that occurs after the sudden break may be covered.

    Resulting damage is different than the initial damage. For example, if water damage resulting from a broken pipe or appliance is listed in your wording as being covered, then you may be paid for a portion of the damage caused, even though the pipe replacement or new appliance would not be covered. This is an example of the cause of the damage not being covered, but the resulting damage being covered.

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