Guest Post from Rachel at Custom Contractors Insurance
Simply put, insurance is a contract that is represented by a policy where an entity or individual gets reimbursement or financial protection against losses from an insurance company.
There are various types of insurance. For instance, modern-day contractors invest in builders insurance to ensure they are protected against bodily injury or third-party property damage.
There’s also no shortage of insurance coverages available for homeowners, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and even mold insurance.
The Lowdown on Molds
For decades, mold has been a controversial topic in the home insurance industry. Between the late 1990s and early 2000, the insurance industry changed home insurance policies’ wording to limit mold coverage. This happened after a massive rise in mold damage claims.
When mold-related damage was covered, insurance companies paid out hundreds and thousands of dollars in claims. However, insurers realized covering mold was too risky. Nowadays, most policies provide limited coverage (if any).
Most states now allow home insurance companies not to include mold in their coverage except when the mold is the result of an issue covered by the policy.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
Since most homeowners insurance policies provide limited mold-related coverage, there are certain things you can take into account to avoid the exorbitant cost of trying to get rid of mold.
Mold is a fungus that’s present almost anywhere—both inside and outside the house. However, some mold forms are deemed more hazardous than others like the black mold stachybotrys which can cause severe illness.
Typically, mold, fungus, mildew, and spores are covered by home insurance if it’s the result of a specific problem covered by the policy. One example would be water damage from a burst pipe that results in mold.
In essence, to make a successful mold claim, you need to prove that the mold’s damage was accidental and sudden when you found it, and it was reported promptly. This is one of the best ways to ensure the insurance provider covers the damages.
Still, most mold coverage will likely be limited to $10,000. In certain instances, mold coverage can be added in exchange for a premium increase. Most homeowners insurance policies come with a long list of exclusions that are related to mold damage.
Some policies may also come with exceptions to the exclusions and provide minimal coverage for mold contamination. Typically, homeowners insurance won’t cover any damages from mold if caused by:
● Long-term leaks that were not repaired
● Typical wear-and-tear
● Bad repairs
● Water or moisture from construction
Finding Coverage for Mold
For homeowners who live in an area prone to high humidity or mildew, routine maintenance may be required to fend mold and moisture. In some instances, even if the property has been cleaned meticulously, mold can still go unnoticed and cause extensive damage.
However, there may be a few coverage options:
Policies that include mold remediation
Certain homeowners insurance policies, such as policies for high-value homes, might provide coverage automatically. In some cases, the coverage can include indoor testing surfaces and air quality, developing a mold remediation plan, and removing, containment, and disposing of the mold.
Mold insurance riders
Some insurers provide an endorsement or mold-damage rider that you can add to the policy. The rider will remove a policy’s exclusion for mold. Keep in mind that mold damage riders may not be offered by your insurer or in your state.
Making a Successful Mold Insurance Claim
If you suspect mold in your home, below are some steps you can look into to navigate your claim effectively:
Be prepared to advocate yourself.
A home insurance company can deny a mold claim. If you believe you are entitled to coverage, be prepared to stand your ground. Don’t attempt to guess what the mold’s cause is unless it’s pronounced, like a burst pipe. Ask for the cause to be investigated.
Review your policy.
Go over your homeowners insurance policy so you can check and understand your coverage.
Make a claim.
Get in touch with your insurance provider immediately if you want to make a claim. It would also be smart to keep detailed notes of conversations you had with your insurance providers and the people you spoke with.
Safeguard your property from additional damage.
Don’t start any actual repairs if an insurance adjuster has not evaluated the damage yet. However, you can take action to prevent further damage.
Provide supporting materials to back up your claim.
Videotape, photograph, and take an inventory of all your property that has been damaged. You have to document your loss as meticulously as possible to support your claim.
If you are considering getting coverage for mold damage, talk things out with your insurer. Make sure you also ask questions, so you’ll be able to cover all the bases and protect your interest.
About the Author
Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC, an Arizona roofing and contractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.