Is Mold Damage Covered By Home Insurance? April 13, 2018 – Posted in: Blog
When mold emerges in a home, it’s a stressful situation for homeowners. Not only is mold a threat to the structure and those who live in it, but it’s also expensive to remove.
Does home insurance cover mold? There’s no one single answer to that question, as each policy is a little different. That said, here are some key factors to look at on your policy.
What to Look for in Your Insurance Policy
There are two ways to look at mold insurance claims. First, know that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover things like mold, fungi or bacteria.
If you have mold in your home and you report it to your policy provider, you’re likely to get a rejection. However, mold is often related to something that might be covered by your insurance policies, like flooding.
If you have a leak in your home or there’s a massive flood in your area caused by a weather event, you may run the risk of mold development. In these cases, while homeowners insurance may not cover mold expressly, it should cover the cause of the mold — which would then provide coverage to repair any damages related to the flooding.
There are two ways to check for yourself. First, you can look at the “covered perils” section of your homeowners’ insurance policy. This is the fine print that outlines what is covered and what isn’t covered — and the amount anything might be covered up to.
Perhaps the best way to check for yourself is to call your insurance provider. They are there to serve you, and you can ask all sorts of questions about what is covered and what is not.
If you live in an area that is at risk from flooding – either due to weather events like hurricanes, the overflowing of local water sources or spring snow melt – consider getting flood insurance.
This is often a separate policy from traditional homeowners insurance. Thinking that traditional homeowners insurance covers flood damage is a common mistake made by many homeowners, and many do not realize it until it’s too late.
Steps to Getting Mold in Your Home Removed
If you do have mold in your home, you need to secure a mold remediation professional as quickly as possible. Look for a professional that has been in business a long time — someone with knowledge and experience.
It’s OK to interview possible service providers, too. Ask them about their training, and be sure to get references. Also, make sure they have the right tools for the job. You want someone knowledgeable and experienced, but you also want someone who has the right equipment to get the job done.
Your remediation professional will visit the home for an evaluation. He or she will make expert recommendations about the best course of action, and the remediation pro might even begin taking action immediately. They could run an air scrubber, commercial dehumidifier, air mover or all of the above.
If your insurance does cover mold remediation, you may find that your provider has preferred remediation professionals. This can be both good and bad. It’s good because you’re getting a recommendation, and it’s bad because your choice is limited.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home
How can you prevent mold from developing in your home? There are many actions you can take, but focus on these three:
- Speed: If water leaks into your home, take action immediately. It’s when water is left to stand for even a few hours that mold begins to appear in your home. Don’t wait to deal with water that has leaked into your home. If your home experiences a burst pipe, hurricane flooding or any other type of water damage, don’t wait to call a professional.
- Ventilation: Make sure all areas of your home are properly ventilated. Taking a shower, doing laundry and even cooking can be activities that allow moisture to condensate on the walls and other areas around your home. Make sure that each of these areas is well ventilated to prevent moisture from collecting and leading to the development of mold.
- Drainage: Water should move effortlessly away from your home. That’s why your home needs to be equipped with gutters and other drainage components that are designed to prevent water from moving toward the home and collecting in areas where mold can form. If your home’s basement collects water, be sure to have a functioning sump pump and test it at least once per year to make sure it’s working properly.
Of course, there are many ways to help prevent the development of mold in your home. For more, ask your local remediation professional for recommendations.