No one wants to deal with mold. Exposure to it can cause health problems for you and your family. If left unchecked, the damage along with the cost to clean and remove it from your home can cause even more problems. The more help homeowners can get in covering mold removal costs the better.
Mold needs a moist breeding ground to grow and reproduce. It can grow almost anywhere there is water intrusion, high humidity, or dampness. It reproduces by generating spores that can be released in the air. Mold spreads quickly; hence, the importance of immediate attention to control its growth by using a professional to clean the area affected.
Are You Covered?
The first 48 hours after water damage can be critical in preventing or containing mold growth. When water is not cleaned up quickly, the mold situation gets worse. The greatest concern about mold insurance claims is whether it existed before or after a major event.
If you wind up with a mold problem, your homeowner’s policy could help you tackle the issue. When it comes to mold, homeowners need to know what is or isn’t covered in their insurance policy.
1. Sudden Events or Accidents
Mold remediation is covered if it is the result of a specific problem covered by your policy. In most cases, if mold results from a sudden and accidental covered peril, such as a pipe bursting, the cost of mold remediation should be covered. Technically the pipe burst is the reason for the claim, not the mold itself.
A house fire would be another example where mold remediation would be covered. The water from the fire hoses to put out the fire has caused mold to develop in your home.
To make a successful mold claim, you must demonstrate that the damage from the mold was sudden or accidental when you found it. Once the mold is found, it should be reported immediately to your insurer.
2. Natural Disasters
Hurricanes, heavy rains, and flooding all contribute to severe water damage to a home. Major cleaning is required after such events take place. The longer water sits, the mold will begin to grow.
No mold damage resulting from a flood would be covered since flooding is a peril excluded from your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if you purchased a separate flood insurance policy, that coverage would typically extend to any mold damage caused by a flood.
Your insurer will not cover a claim resulting from neglect. If you’ve had a leak for months that resulted in mold growth, you are on your own. This could be a showerhead or an improperly sealed window. A mold claim would be rejected because you failed to deal with and maintain repeated water leaks and seepage.
4. Other Exclusions
Most insurance policies have a long list of exclusions for damage caused by mold. Some of these include dry or wet rot, corrosion, pollution, wear and tear, deterioration, faulty workmanship and materials, water intrusion from a construction defect, and a humid climate. You’ll need to read your policy carefully.
Making A Successful Mold Claim
If you suspect mold in your home, here are a few tips for navigating a successful insurance claim.
- Call your insurance provider immediately to make a claim. Keep detailed notes of what is discussed and whom you spoke with.
- Ask for an investigation to determine the cause.
- Wait until the investigation is completed before you agree to the cause of the loss with your insurance company.
- Provide documentation to support your claim. Photographs, videos, and an inventory of all damaged property.
- Review your homeowner's insurance policy to understand your coverage. Go over the coverage limits for mold remediation with your insurance agent.
- Protect your property from further damage such as covering holes in the roof. Don’t start major repairs until an insurance adjuster has evaluated the damage.
- Make sure that you explore all the benefits you are entitled to, such as living expenses if you have to stay elsewhere during repairs.
- Know what mold remediation expenses are included in the coverage.
- Check to see if a mold insurance rider or endorsement can be added to your policy for better coverage.
If you're a homeowner and there is mold growing in your home, the best thing to do is hire a mold remediation professional to clean it instead of doing it yourself. St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration has the necessary certifications and training to get your home healthy again. Contact us immediately for any water damage or mold issues.