Are you trying to get rid of a mold problem? Mold is one of those pesky nuisances we tend to neglect until it gets out of control. Yet studies have shown that this annoying fungus problem should be addressed as quickly as possible as it is not just ugly to look at. Mold has adverse effects on one’s health and needs to be removed as soon as possible.
There are several methods of removing mold, and depending on the severity of your mold problem, they can range from a couple of dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. Many people find that working out their financing might be holding them back from addressing this issue, so it’s no wonder that the number one question we get as a company is – is mold remediation covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, giving a simple answer to this question is nearly impossible. That’s why we decided to write an entire article in an effort to provide you with a better understanding of what is and what isn’t covered by a homeowners insurance policy when it comes to mold removal.
Things to Know Before Filing for a Mold Remediation Insurance Claim
Mold remediation is not automatically covered by homeowners insurance. Let’s just get that out of the way, shall we? If you live in a high humidity area, chances are mold will appear on your bathroom tiles, wet wooden surfaces, damaged walls, and every other damp and warm indoor area. Mold is naturally occurring in areas that are suitable for its growth, and if it’s not dealt with immediately, it will grow into a severe problem and pose as a potential health risk.
In cases where mold has naturally found its way into your home and is left untreated, trying to file a mold removal request through homeowners insurance won’t do you much good. That being said, there are instances where mold is the consequential result of a common peril covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy. In these instances, mold removal should also be included.
The bottom line is that depending on the cause of your mold problem, it may or may not be covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
Let’s talk about instances where filling for a mold remediation insurance claim makes sense:
Damage to Your Property During Heavy Winters
Harsh winter conditions can cause significant damage to your property. For instance, due to heavy snow and low temperatures, a large block of ice can form in your roof gutter. Water starts to build-up behind the ice block and slowly starts penetrating underneath the shingles. Then it starts leaking into your attic, creating a perfect environment for mold to form. If you inspect your attic regularly, especially during winter, chances are you’ll notice lumpy insulation or wet floors. Call your insurance company immediately and file for a claim.
Sudden and Accidental Water Damage
Another great example is water damage due to accidental water leakage or frozen pipes bursting. The water will immediately soak the floor and drywall, causing mold to form abruptly. Again, it’s important to distinguish an accidental water leakage that’s going to be covered by an insurance policy and a neglected pipe or water heater that’s malfunctioning due to wear and tear.
Your washing machine malfunctions and starts leaking water that damages the wall behind it. The machine is relatively new, and there are no signs of wear and tear. You prevent the water from doing any more damage and call your insurance company. Again, mold will probably form abruptly, so there’s not much you can do here. Luckily, your homeowner’s insurance policy will most likely cover the damage and mold removal.
There Are a Few Exceptions
Aside from situations where mold is a side effect of something that is covered by your policy, there are exceptions where you might be able to file a claim. We suggest inspecting your homeowner’s insurance policy and looking for paragraphs that mention mold claims. Some insurance plans may provide limited coverage for mold claims. In these cases, you might be paid a certain amount, but not all expenses will be covered.
On the other hand, you could additionally protect yourself by purchasing an endorsement to your policy that provides coverage for mold-related damage. However, the question remains if it’s worth it or not.
Is Mold Covered by Insurance When the Damage Is Not the Result of an Accident?
If your mold problem is the result of years of neglecting your property, chances are your insurance policy won’t cover it. For instance:
A leaky roof that hasn’t been repaired in 30 years will most likely lead to moisture build-up in the attic, slowly making way for mold to take residence. On top of that, attics usually have limited air flow, making it an even better environment for mold to grow.
Mold forms in areas that are damp and warm, making your bathroom an ideal place for it to thrive. The area around your tub, sink, and water heater is the perfect breathing ground for fungus growth. While it might not pose as a threat at first, mold will rapidly grow in moisture-prone areas, triggering a suite of health issues in the process. Once you notice dark stains on your bathroom tiles, it’s already too late.
In these cases, insurance companies won’t cover your expenses for removing mold and restoring your property because it’s the result of years of neglect and lack of regular maintenance. In other words, it’s not caused by accident.
Another thing worth noting is that if your house falls into the category of “risky homes” due to being old or having old wiring and plumbing, chances are you won’t even be able to upgrade your homeowner’s policy with additional mold coverage.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stay on top of your mold problem or don’t allow it to happen in the first place. Keeping areas that are prone to mold growth dry is a good start. Make sure to provide adequate ventilation for your bathroom, replace your roof on time, and don’t forget to inspect your basement regularly.
As you can see, mold is tricky to deal with on multiple levels. In some instances, your insurance company might be able to help you out financially and filling a mold remediation insurance claim might make sense. Unfortunately, as you’ve read in this article, more than not insurance companies will either decline you or request an additional endorsement to your policy. The best course of action is to stay on top of your mold problem and be proactive about it. Dealing with it before it gets out of hand will always be the most affordable solution.
If you’re interested in getting acquainted with 5 Steps of Mold Remediation and Removal, keep up with our blog. For professional help, give us a call, and we will make sure to restore your home’s previous shine and help you forget the mold problem ever existed. Spaulding Decon is a leader in expert cleaning and mold prevention. For more information, contact us, and a member of our team will happily assist you.