Is Home Insurance Ever Covering Mold Damage?

Homeowners insurance typically does not cover damage or the removal of mold, unless it is caused by a covered hazard. If the mold in your home is due to something sudden or accidental, such as a broken pipe or some other incident covered by your policy, you can be protected. Home insurance covers damage caused by mold, but only if it was caused by a covered hazard. To file a mold insurance claim, you must document it with photos and provide the home insurance company with an explanation of how the mold originated. Homeowners in high-risk flood areas should ensure they have adequate home insurance and flood insurance, as well as basic knowledge about mold detection and prevention to protect their homes from damage.

Mold claims paid for a property could exceed the homeowner's insurance limit due to several claims. In the past, damage caused by mold was covered as part of homeowners insurance, and insurance companies spent thousands of dollars on claims. However, if mold contamination occurs as a secondary or “subsequent” problem due to damage caused by the water that is covered, your insurance company may cover the additional cost to remedy the mold contamination. Natural disasters that produce high winds and heavy rainfall, such as hurricanes, can cause mold growth and are generally covered by homeowners insurance. As a general rule, most insurers try to exclude coverage for mold contamination associated with prolonged leaks, moisture or water ingress due to a construction defect, wear and tear, deferred maintenance, or poor repairs.

Mold can quickly take over a home and become a costly removal project that requires professional help. Since your home insurance policy may only offer limited coverage related to mold, there are a few things you should consider to avoid the enormous cost of trying to get rid of it. However, if an ice dam forms in winter, water seeps into the attic for a short period of time and mold begins to form before the damage becomes apparent, then it can be covered. Even if you kill mold with bleach, but don't get rid of it, when it dries you could exacerbate the problem by altering the dried mold and releasing spores into the air. While there are several home remedies for eliminating mold or at least preventing it from growing and spreading, hiring a professional to address and remedy a widespread mold problem is the best and safest option.

Don't try to guess the cause of mold on your own unless it's obvious such as a broken pipe. Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, the insurance industry changed the wording of home insurance policies to limit coverage for mold after an increase in claims for both mold damage and water damage from homeowners insurance.

Cassie Ulery
Cassie Ulery

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