Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Removal? Here is everything you need to know
Mold is a type of fungus that is nasty and unsanitary and can be found anywhere where moisture is present. You can get rid of it if you properly take care of your home.
But many times, it can spread rapidly without any fault of yours and can make the entire place unhygienic wherever traces of moisture is present like your basement or your bathroom.
Now you may be thinking that does your Homeowners insurance cover mold?
It’s a great question if you are buying an old house where the probability of damage by mold is higher.
But there is no straight answer to this. Here is all you need to know about Homeowners insurance mold coverage.
Does homeowners insurance cover mold removal?
Generally, typical homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage by mold.
Homeowners insurance policy mold damage coverage varies from one situation to another.
Mold coverage is a complex feature of a homeowners insurance policy not only because removing mold is hard, but it’s also very difficult to find how the mold spread which is necessary when you go to file a claim.
In which situations does homeowners insurance cover mold?
If your homeowners insurance policy covers water damage and if the water damage was the root cause for the mold spread, you will be fully covered.
Meaning, if the damage by the mold was due to any covered peril of your policy, you will be covered.
If the moisture developed due to any covered peril in your homeowners insurance that caused the mold to spread, you can file a claim for the repairs of the damaged property.
Situations when homeowners insurance cover mold
Here are some situations when you will be likely covered for mold.
- Mold spread due to appliance malfunction such as water heater.
- Falling objects
- Spread of moisture resulting in mold growth due to frozen, leaking, or burst pipes.
- Your home caught fire and firefighters extinguished the fire resulting in moisture and the spread of mold.
- Water discharge from some installed systems like ACs or fire protection sprinkler system.
These are the situations that are likely covered but it’s not a guaranteed list. Read your policy to know exactly what perils are covered in your policy to have a better understanding of when to file a claim for mold damage.
In which situations mold is excluded from homeowners insurance?
The spread of mold caused due to negligence or lack of maintenance due to your laziness will not be entertained by your home insurance provider.
Suppose there was a minor leak that caused the mold to spread all over. If you file a claim for this after some days when the leak became noticeable, your insurance provider will deny your claim giving the reason that you didn’t act immediately.
Your claim will also get denied if the mold spread occurred before you purchased the policy or before you purchased the home.
Situations when homeowners insurance doesn’t cover mold
Here are some situations when your claim for mold will be denied.
- Your kitchen sink or bathtub leaked for a long time and caused mold growth due to your negligence.
- You live in humid conditions and didn’t use a dehumidifier that resulted in the spread of black mold.
- You live in a flood-prone area and didn’t buy a flood insurance policy. Your claim will be denied if flooding happens and results in mold spread.
- You didn’t do a thorough inspection of your new house where mold was already present and purchased the policy and filed a claim for mold damage.
How to file a successful homeowners insurance claim for mold?
If you have mold in your home, you should follow these tips successfully to get your claim approved.
- Stand your Ground – Your homeowners insurance provider might deny your claim quickly. But if you are sure that you are entitled to the claim, stand your ground! Don’t guess the cause of the mold spread. Instead, have a concrete proof for what caused the spread.
- File a claim – Contact your insurance company to file a claim. Keep a log of every exchange of words with the representative of your insurance company.
- Review your homeowners policy – Understanding your coverage is a must to get a clear idea of when you are covered and when you are not. Reviewing your policy will help a lot in this.
- Don’t let the damage spread – Don’t start repairing your property before the damage has been evaluated by the insurance adjuster. But do your best in preventing any further damage. For example – if stagnant water is present, remove it quickly.
- Provide solid proofs – Take photos, videos and take an inventory of all the damage to your property. Documenting your loss as detailed as possible is important for an easier claim process.
What to do if your homeowners insurance mold claim gets denied?
In case your mold claim gets denied, you can consider getting a licensed contractor to inspect your home and get and get his opinion on the root cause of the damage.
If your insurance company has an appeal process, you can appeal against the denial of your claim.
You can also approach your state insurance commissioner for help on what you need to do for your claim to get approved or how to register a complaint for denial of your claim.
How to prevent mold growth in your home?
The most affordable way to handle mold is by preventing it from spreading. This becomes more important in states with high humidity such as Florida, Hawaii, Michigan etc. Here are some steps to follow that can help you to keep mold away.
- Keep the humidity in check in your home with air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
- Use exhaust fans in areas with more frequent water use like the kitchen and the bathroom.
- Don’t allow water to accumulate anywhere.
- Do regular home maintenance and cleaning of your home.
- Clean your toilet and bathroom frequently.
- Insulate your interior and exterior pipes in winter to prevent them from breaking.
- Consistently check appliances like your water heater for water leaks.
Taking proper care of your home will prevent mold from spreading and will save you a lot of money that you might need to eradicate mold from your house. But it’s also better to have mold coverage in your insurance policy to be free from worries and have peace of mind that your home is protected.