Does Home Insurance Cover Mold The Answer Is A Bit More Complicated Than You Might Think
Mold is very tricky. Sometimes you dont notice it at first. Sometimes it festers in corners or behind wallpaper. Sometimes it can even make you sick. But does home insurance cover mold? Rather, does it cover mold removal? Because when you find mold in your house, the very first thing you want to do is get rid of it. Your home is likely your largest investment, and severe mold damage can harm the resale value.
Tips For Filing A Home Insurance Claim For Mold Damage
Filing your homeowners insurance claim doesnât have to be a hassle and working with the right group of agents can streamline the process to ensure that you receive the best reimbursement as fast as possible. Because mold damage isnât always covered, knowing how to approach your claim is important for it to be successful:
One of the first thing homeowners should do for any claim is to document the affected areas. A common example would be hail damage which causes rain to enter your home causing water damage. Youâll need to report the loss to your insurance agent and document as much damage as possible whenever it is safe to do so. Photos and videos with timestamps of any damage are encouraged. Keeping this media organized to submit to your insurance company can help you showcase your loss and help validate your claim.
Again, mold damage is not something typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy. By gaining the expert opinion of a professional that the mold damage was caused by a sudden and accidental event, you can help improve your chances of a successful claim.
Mold Resulting From Negligence
The third category of mold-related damage is associated with negligence on the part of the homeowner. What this means in simple terms is ignoring home maintenance or repairs to the extent that they allow mold to develop. Mold typically isnt covered by your homeowners insurance policy if it forms because of neglect or lack of upkeep, Howard says. If you knowingly could have prevented the mold by fixing leaky pipes or using a dehumidifier, your insurer wont reimburse you for mold removal and remediation.
Say that you notice the seal around the base of your toilet is leaking water. Instead of replacing the seal or the toilet, you let the leak continue, which causes damage to the subflooring. From there, mold sets in and spreads to the baseboards and walls. In that instance your homeowners insurance policy claim may be denied because you were in a position to prevent the mold from happening.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft
It sure does!
When theft is covered
Homeowners insurance covers theft both inside and outside your home. So if your phones stolen in a coffee shop, or someone snatches your bike from your garage, your homeowners insurance policy will cover you.
Take note that homeowners insurance covers both stolen items and structural damage to your home caused by theft. So if a burglar damages your doors or walls , youre covered.
When theft isnt covered
A few types of items require special attention when it comes to theft: cash, and valuable items.
First off, theres generally a limit to how much your insurance company can reimburse you for stolen cash its usually around $200. Therefore, not all of your stolen cash may be covered.
Make sure to check your policy so youre all clear on exactly how much cash is covered.
And if you have valuable items worth over $1,500, such as jewelry, bikes, fine arts, etc, they arent covered under your base homeowners insurance policy. But no fret you can still insure em.
Youll need to get Extra Coverage for these items, so theyre covered in case of theft . Bonus: items with Extra Coverage are usually covered for accidental loss and mysterious disappearance as well.
What Should You Do If You Find Mold In Your Home
Because there are so many species of mold, it’s important that you determine the type of mold you have growing in your home to figure out if it’s harmful and to what degree. You’ll want to have it removed from your home as soon as you can.
The following steps can be a helpful guide if you find a mold problem in your home:
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What To Do If Your Mold Claim Is Denied
If your homeowners insurance company denies your mold claim, you may want to get a licensed contractor to offer a second opinion on what caused the damage. You could also attempt to appeal the denial with your insurance company if it has a specified appeals process. If not, your state insurance commissioner may be able to offer help on what you can do to get the claim approved or to file a complaint about denial.
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The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.
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Is Mold In The Attic Or Bathroom Included In My Plan
The answer to this question depends entirely on the circumstances. If you reported the incident instantly, the insurance company might approve your claim.
A simple example to explain this situation is a burst pipe. If you report the incident correctly to the insurance company without any delay, it will compensate. On the other hand, if you keep delaying and inform the insurance company after several months when the damage has become even more severe, the company will hold you responsible.
When talking about mold in the attic, you may not notice it for quite some time. You need to be vigilant in these cases and check your house for mold regularly.
As far as the mold in the bathroom is concerned, the approval of your claim depends entirely on what caused the mold. If it is due to leakage, the company will compensate, but if the mold appeared due to a lack of attention on your part, you will be held responsible.
Guide To Mold Damage And Insurance Cover 2021
Dealing with mold problems goes beyond tackling its adverse effects on health. Often, the first headache for home or business owner comes from not having a plan or budget for mold restoration services.
Well, no one builds a home or office with plans for it to be taken over by some dangerous fungi. However, when you find mold growth in your workplace or apartment, you have to deal with it immediately. The fact that expert mold remediation services are more expensive than general cleaning makes this even more bothersome. It also brings to mind the subject of insurance.
What do you do when you find out that you are facing mold issues, and feel the need to use your insurance?
The answer to this is hardly straightforward. Does it lead to several other questions like how do you know if the mold damage you are dealing with is covered by an insurance? If you have mold problems and are unsure whether or not your homeowner or commercial insurance covers the damage caused by mold, then you are at the right place.
This article attempts to answer some of the most sought after questions regarding mold damage and insurance claims.
- What is mold insurance or mold liability coverage?
- Is mold damage covered by insurance?
- When does home insurance cover mold?
- Does homeowners insurance pay for mold removal?
- Mold insurance claims?
- Mold damage and insurance claims What to do?
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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsburys 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve…
- Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover mold
- Some policies may offer coverage for mold mitigation caused by covered events, like storms
- Make sure you keep up with your house cleaning and maintenance to reduce mold in your home and increase the chances for a successful insurance claim
Does homeowners insurance cover mold? Does affordable homeowners insurance cover mold? Specifically, is mold removal covered by insurance? When is mold covered by home insurance? Also, if your homeowners insurance does not cover mold damage, who pays for mold remediation?
The answers to these questions depend on your homeowners insurance company. For instance, consider the events the company will cover and the level of coverage you have on your policy.
In most cases, your policy may expressly exclude mold. Otherwise, you may find a way to reduce the costs of mold mitigation through the claims process.
What Is Mold Buyback Coverage
If your insurance policy doesnt offer mold coverage, then there may be another way around to getting coverage. Some home insurance companies offer a buyback scheme for mold claims, which lets the customer pay more money on their policy in exchange for limited mold coverage.
However, there are some insurance companies that will cap the amount that they offer for this coverage or only pay for certain parts of the process like testing or the clean-up, as mold remediation can be very expensive.
If your insurance policy doesnt offer mold coverage, then the best thing to do it so take preventive precautions like ventilating your home properly, using dehumidifiers in areas like the basement, installing exhaust fans in the kitchen and the bathroom.
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What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied
The first thing you should do is consider whether the insurance company may have made a mistake in denying your claim. You always have the ability to file an appeal, either directly to the insurance carrier or the states department of banking and insurance, if you feel its a legitimate loss thats been denied, said Hickey.
If you dont have mold coverage or your appeal is denied youll want to hire a professional to remediate the mold before it gets worse. If you have difficulty financing mold removal that wasnt covered by insurance, consider a home equity loan or home equity line of credit . Some mold remediators also work with lenders to offer financing directly. And your family could qualify for state or federal loans or grants. For example, the Section 504 Home Repair program provides loans and grants to qualified low-income families.
Finally, you should make sure that mold damage doesnt become an issue in the future. That means making sure that you have the right coverage in place and taking proactive steps to prevent mold. It comes down to being aware of moisture, says Hoffman. Cleaning up spills right away, using exhaust fans, and maintaining your appliances and air conditioning system can all help you avoid common causes of mold.
Strategies For A Mold Insurance Claim
If you do have mold coverage in your home insurance policy, Blumkin advises you to make sure that only the additional cost for mold remediation above what would normally be charged if mold were not present is applied toward your policys mold limitations, rather than the full repair cost.
For example, if restoration crews are cutting out wet or burnt drywall, only the additional cost for handling moldy drywall rather than regular damaged drywall should be placed into the mold remediation category.
The fact that it was moldy doesnt mean that 100 percent of the removal cost goes into the mold limits only the increased cost to deal with mold on the drywall should go into the mold limitation amount, Blumkin says.
So, for example, if it costs $1 per square foot to remove drywall that is damaged or destroyed as part of the covered event but its $1.10 per square foot to remove drywall with mold on it, only the extra 10 cents should be applied toward the mold coverage amount. The remaining $1 should be considered as regular damage coverage.
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Getting Sick From Mold
Another way to detect mold is to consider whether you or your family have been experiencing the physical symptoms of mold exposure. These can include the following:
- Sore throat
All of the above symptoms may be related to a multitude of illnesses especially allergies and the common cold. However, you can distinguish between a common illness and mold exposure if you can determine whether the symptoms are worse on evenings and weekends, when you spend more time at home. Also, if others in your home display similar symptoms over a long stretch of time, you may have a mold problem.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
How To Avoid Having A Mold Damage Claim Denied
There are several things you can do to prevent mold and/or improve the odds of having your claim approved if you incur mold damage.
On the prevention side, you can:
- Install dehumidifiers in areas that are prone to dampness
- Regularly check plumbing pipes and fittings to look for leaks
- Adequately ventilate bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other areas of your home where mold may have an opportunity to grow
- Keep gutters clean to prevent the formation of ice dams in winter, which can lead to leaks
- Regularly inspect your roofand around windows and doorsand caulk cracks that could allow water to leak in
- Properly insulate interior and exterior pipes in winter to avoid breakages or leaks
- Routinely check appliances and hot water heaters for signs of leaks
If you have to file a claim for mold damage:
- Properly document the damage with photos and/or video
- Provide up-to-date maintenance records if you have them
- Follow any and all instructions the insurance company gives you to process the claim
- Contract approved mold removal companies to clean up the damage
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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.
When Mold Damage Is Not Covered
Mold damage will not be covered in the following cases under standard homeowners insurance :
1. Mold damage that cannot be linked to any covered damage: If the mold growth source cannot be associated with any damage covered by insurance, an insurer will likely not cover for mold damage. Damage that is not sudden or accidental
If the damage is not accidental or sudden, your home insurance will not cover such mold damage. A preventative issue such as a foundation leak is not a covered peril.
2. Damage from Poor maintenance or negligence: Insurance companies expect that home and property owners maintain and take good care of their property and all appliances. This means that a mold growth that occurs from poor maintenance or bad handling of your roof, plumbing or HVAC, or other appliances are not covered.
3. Flood: Mold as a result of water damage caused by a flood is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policy. Usually, such damage requires a different flood insurance policy.
5. Long term wear and tear: Home insurance will not cover mold damage that results from wear and tear. A good example is mold growth caused by a 15-year-old leaking roof. Insurance companies expect you to be proactive about fixing such an issue before it leads to more damage like mold.
6. Sump pump overflow: It is vital to keep your sump pump in good shape as mold damage that results from a sump pump damage or overflow will not be covered by insurance.
7. War and earthquakes
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