Mold remover formula

Does home insurance cover mold?

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Mold can be an unsightly health hazard that is expensive to fix. The typical cost for mold remediation ranges from $1,108 to $3,392, according to HomeAdvisor, but it can be much higher for larger projects.

Unfortunately, home insurance doesn’t always cover damage caused by mold or mold remediation. Mold is covered by home insurance on a case-by-case basis, depending on the cause of the mold and how harmful it is.

Here’s what you need to know about home insurance and mold:

Does home insurance cover mold?

Home insurance can cover mold if the mold is caused by an accident, incident or peril (damaging event) included in your home coverage. Events that might be covered by a standard policy include:

  • Mold caused by broken pipes
  • Mold caused by broken appliances
  • Mold caused by a broken water heater
  • Mold caused by water damage caused by extinguishing a fire

Whether or not you need to file a mold remediation claim depends on how serious it is. In some cases, mold removal can be a do-it-yourself job. If you forget to ventilate your bathroom several times and mold grows on the surface of the shower tiles, cleaning with bleach and properly ventilating the room in the future might be enough to solve the problem.

But suppose mold grows in your ceiling, carpet, or walls after a pipe burst or your washing machine leaked. In this case, the only way to remedy the situation may be to call in a professional. A complete mold remediation service could include an inspection, removal of materials containing mold, and disinfection of the area. In this scenario, insurance could step in to help pay for repairs up to a covered limit.

Keep in mind: Even if mold remediation is covered by insurance, repairing the appliance that caused the mold may not be covered. For example, if your dishwasher breaks and causes mold to grow under the kitchen floor, the cost of repairing the dishwasher may not be included in the insurance payment. A home warranty can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing a broken appliance.

Mold Damage Coverage Limits

Insurance coverage limits for mold are typically around $5,000, according to Experian. So even if your policy covers mold, it is possible that the repair will exceed the coverage limit and you will have to pay some costs out of pocket.

Since policy terms may vary, check the fine print to determine your mold coverage limit. In some cases, insurance companies may allow you to purchase additional mold coverage for an additional fee. Exploring your options can help ensure that you are covered in the event of an accident.

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When does home insurance not cover mold remediation?

Mold remediation is not covered by insurance when it is caused by a peril excluded from your insurance policy. Events for which home insurance policies typically do not cover mold damage include:

  • Bad maintenance: If mold grows slowly over time because you don’t do routine repairs, like fixing a leaky pipe or properly sealing around your windows, the claim for that damage will likely be denied.
  • Negligence of the owner: If mold grows because the landlord doesn’t take steps to reduce humidity, such as running the air conditioning or dehumidifier in the summer, repair costs may not be covered. In humid and dark environments, mold can spread and damage objects in its path. That’s why it’s essential to maintain low humidity in the home, especially in moisture-prone areas like your bathroom or laundry room.
  • Flood: Home insurance does not cover flood or mold damage caused by a natural event, such as a hurricane. For flood coverage, you must purchase flood insurance separately.
  • Sump pump failure: Sump pump failures and water backups are also usually not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, and mold resulting from such a failure likely won’t be covered.
  • Defective materials of construction: If a defect in your home or in the building materials of the home caused the mold damage, mold remediation may not be covered.

To find: How much home insurance do I need?

Other mold coverage options

Purchasing additional coverage could help protect your home and personal property from mold and other water damage. Here are some coverage options to consider:

  • Sump pump and water discharge coverage: Adding sump pump and water backup coverage to your policy could protect you from mold damage caused by a sump pump overflow.
  • Mold endorsements and endorsements: Insurers may offer mold coverage endorsements that increase your protection against mold-related events.
  • Flood insurance: Flood insurance may not be necessary, but can still be worth buying to protect yourself, even if you don’t live in a flood plain. However, even flood coverage may have limited coverage for mold, so be sure to read the fine print. You can purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.

How to file an insurance claim for mold

Filing a mold claim is similar to filing any other home insurance claim. Although the process with each individual insurance provider may vary, you will want to take the following steps:

  • Document the damage. Take pictures of the mold to keep track of the damage.
  • Make temporary fixes to stop further mold growth. Insurance policies require owners to make temporary repairs to minimize future damage from covered events. This could include turning off your washing machine and setting up a dehumidifier to minimize mold growth after a leak.
  • Contact your insurer. Call the provider’s number to file a claim or complete an online claim form. When filing a claim, you may need to provide information, such as the date the covered event occurred, and make an inventory of property damage.
  • Schedule an inspection. The insurer may call you to discuss the claim and send an adjuster to inspect the damage.
  • Review the rules. The insurance company will notify you of a settlement amount. If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer or if your claim is denied, you may be able to dispute it.
  • Receive your payment. You will receive payment for the claim, which may go directly to the contractor repairing the damage.

What to do if your mold claim is denied

The simplest reason a claim could be denied is if an excluded peril or your negligence caused mold growth. If you believe a claim is wrongly denied or payment is less than expected, you have a choice.

First, you can dispute the results with your insurance company’s claims department. Explain why you disagree with the settlement or decline and provide evidence to support your claim. If disputing the claim with the insurance company doesn’t work, you can escalate the dispute to your state’s insurance supervisory office by filing a complaint. The government agency will contact the insurance provider and investigate the issue.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises in the event of a claim, it is always a good idea to read through your insurance policies to understand the terms. If you find gaps in coverage, you can contact your insurer about additional coverage or shop around for quotes from other insurers. At Credible, you can quickly compare home insurance quotes from many insurers.

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Disclaimer: All insurance related services are provided by Young Alfred.

About the Author

Taylor Medina

Taylor Medine is a credible authority on personal finance. His work has been featured on Bankrate, Experian, The Balance, Business Insider, Credit Karma, and more. She is also the author of The 60-Minute Money Plan, a self-published primer on budgeting for people who hate budgeting.

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