Mold is something you don’t see until it appears. Sometimes, even with preventive steps, mold can still appear and cause damages.
Before you buy an insurance policy, ask this: does homeowner insurance cover mold? Knowing what to expect will help you to choose the right remediation strategy when mold appears.
1. Mold Causes and Homeowner Insurance Coverage
Moisture-related problems cause mold, but the actual causes may be different between houses. Possible causes of mold include:
- Untreated dampness in the bathroom or kitchen
- Plumbing damage that leads to a leak
- Flood, rainstorm, and other natural elements that cause dampness
- Certain constructions that reduce proper sunlight and circulation
- Ruptured/malfunctioned appliances, such as water heater and dishwashing machine
- Widespread dampness from ceiling showers after a fire
You must understand the exact cause of the mold problem in your house because not all damages are covered. Insurance companies usually only pay for “covered perils,” which means mold damages caused by problems listed in the policy.
2. Covered Peril Definitions in Mold Damages
If your policy mentions covered perils, it means that the insurance company will only pay for nonpreventable mold causes. The causes must also be something covered in the policy. If the mold is preventable or caused by your neglect toward visible problems, the insurance company will not cover it.
Different insurance companies may use unique words to describe covered perils. For example, some may use “specified perils,” while others use the more general “all-risk.”
All these words imply that the insurance company will only cover mold removal cost if the causes are listed. These terms may hide certain exceptions and policy details, so make sure to underline them for discussion purpose.
You must also pay attention to any exclusions in the policy. The exclusions may involve things such as time span before damage report, wear and tear, long-term damage, poor maintenance or repair jobs, and construction faulty.
3. Case Illustrations of Mold Damage Claims
Is mold remediation covered by insurance when you notice the problem? It depends on the details of each case. Here are several case illustrations that show when the company may accept or reject your claim.
- Case 1: a fire breaks in your home, and you call firefighters to extinguish it. The water used by the firefighters causes a mold In this case, the insurance company usually covers the mold remediation, since fire damage is a common peril.
- Case 2: your washing machine, AC, or other electronic appliance at home malfunctions (despite its good condition), resulting in drips, leaks, or splashes. You are late to notice it since you are not at home. Mold grows from undetected moisture damage, which you don’t notice after clean-up.
- Case 3: your bathroom sink has a very noticeable leak, but you don’t fix it for months until mold starts to grow. In this case, your insurance company may not cover the mold remediation cost, since the problem roots from your neglect.
- Case 4: you live in a hot and humid area, but do not apply preventive measures, such as not installing a dehumidifier and good circulation. Mold grows in your house because of humidity and poor circulation. The insurance company will declare you neglectful and not cover your remediation cost.
Other cases may be more specific, so you need to discuss with your insurance provider before choosing the policy.
4. Mold Remediation Service and Causal Incidents
These explanations apply to houses that already have mold problems. However, some insurance companies may partner with mold companies to provide preventive service. This is usually related to causal incidents, which are things that the homeowner insurance policy covers.
For example, if your pipe or plumbing system is damaged and you report immediately, your insurance company may give reference to affiliated mold remediation service.
This is a part of early prevention, which can benefit you in the long run. Make sure that your insurance provider covers this mold remediation service in your claim.
When making a claim, remember to give a detailed explanation about the source of water damage. You need to convince the insurance provider that the mold signs are related to the reported damage.
If you cannot prove it, you may need to pay double deductibles for troubles caused by one thing.
5. Tips to File Mold Damage Claim
When you are ready to file a mold damage claim, make sure you follow proper steps. Here is what you should do after noticing the first sign of possible mold problem:
- Take pictures of all the damaged area, including several close-up photos if necessary. If the damage is caused by busted pipes or appliances (sink, dishwashing machine, bathtub), take pictures of the problematic parts as well.
- Contact your insurance provider or agent immediately. Delaying the call can reduce your success opportunity in filing a claim. Expect the visit of adjuster from the insurance company that will assess the damage.
- Conduct mitigation steps such as installing a dehumidifier and opening the windows. You can also turn on the fan to prevent the mold from However, don’t move anything in the room until the adjuster comes.
When the adjuster visits, explain your problem as detailed as possible. Show your photographs to the claim adjuster as proofs. Prepare your policy to discuss possible claim solutions.
You need to convince the insurance provider that the water damage is responsible for mold, especially if you want to avoid double deductibles.
Mold is a common result of water damage, but homeowner insurance does not cover all types of mold damage. Insurance companies may have different policy details, but they usually don’t cover mold caused by neglect or preventable problems.
You must discuss the details with the insurance company before buying a policy, especially if mold is your main concern.
Will homeowner insurance cover mold if the cause is not from neglect? The answer is yes, but only if you convince the company that the water damage is directly responsible for mold.
To get successful mold remediation claim, make sure you follow proper reporting steps and contact the insurance provider to get claim adjustment. If lucky, you may get mold remediation service as a part of regular damage coverage.