Is Mold Covered By Insurance?
Why do you need homeowners insurance?
Most U.S. homeowners have a homeowners insurance policy. A homeowners insurance policy not only protects your home, but also your personal property and personal legal responsibility if a person were to be injured on your property.
Although the government here in America does not make it illegal to own a home without a homeowners insurance policy, your mortgage lender will require you to have this insurance. This type of insurance policy is a way for the lender to have their financial investment (loan) protected. The objective of the policy is to make sure the coverage is for 100% replacement cost of your houses, that in the event the whole house is destroyed. Your lender will usually provide you with a “scope of coverage” which will go over what must be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. These requirements will usually include wind, fire, vandalism, hail and if needed a separate policy for flood damage.
How will I know if my homeowners insurance covers mold?
The best way to see if your specific homeowners insurance policy will cover mold is to first read it and then call to ask questions. Oftentimes the wording on mold coverage within your homeowners insurance policy will be vague and could be difficult for you to rely on getting a “yes” or “no” answer on the coverage for mold. Policies will typically exclude coverage for mold damage. If the mold is a result of a covered claim, for example water damage, then the mold damage is most likely covered by your homeowners insurance policy. In insurance there are “covered perils” which are events that your homeowners insurance policy will outline as events they will reimburse you for. Examples of typical “covered perils” are theft, fire, windstorms and hail, lighting strikes, vandalism, and weight of snow and ice.
When does homeowners insurance cover mold removal?
If your homeowners insurance policy does not cover a peril which is the cause of the mold then your policy will not cover the mold removal. If the “covered peril” is sudden and accidental water damage from your water heater that broke and released water which caused black mold to grow then your mold issue will most likely be covered.
Will insurance cover all my mold costs?
If your mold issue is covered by your policy then it will be up to your homeowners insurance company to provide you with the amount they will cover. Mold damage can be expensive, sometimes upwards of $20,000, depending on the severity and also the area affected. A majority of policies will state a maximum limit in the range of $1,000 to $10,000 for mold remediation or mold removal damage.
When would my homeowners insurance policy not cover mold?
If mold is caused by your own mistreatment, abandonment, or lack of maintenance then you claim will most likely be denied by your home insurance company.
An example of this type of neglect would be if you knew your tub had a small leak, but over the years mold infestations resulted due to your lack of maintenance at the beginning of the problem.
What should I do if the mold is a result from a covered peril?
Although you may know that the mold is a result from a covered peril the insurance company will want to confirm this to be true. Call your insurance agent as soon as you notice the mold. The insurance company will send out an adjuster who will assess the problem to see if it’s covered under policy and also to see what the total cost of the damage will be.
During the interim you should open windows and run a dehumidifier or fan to try and dry out the area with mold. You should not try to remove the mold or clean it up on your own. The first thing you should do prior to using fans or dehumidifiers is to take pictures and document all areas that are damaged and in the surrounding area of the mold.
Make sure to follow up with your insurance company after the adjuster has visited your house to find out what the next steps are. Which if the mold is covered then your insurance company will let you know how much of the cost they will cover and when mold removal will begin.
What if my homeowners insurance company does not cover mold?
You can ask your prospective homeowner insurance company prior to choosing them to be your policy holder. Do this before you buy their policy and make sure you shop around to see what each company can cover for you. If you think mold has a high probability of occurring in your house then take that into consideration when choosing your homeowners insurance company.
If you are unsure if you have a mold problem and you need an inspection completed, do not hesitate to reach out to us to get an inspection done and receive your free estimate. We are here to help you and keep you safe.