Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Removal?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Removal?

healthyhome-threats-moldGot mold? It can usually be found somewhere in most homes. A few mold spores can be harmless unless they have enough moisture to thrive and spread – creating giant mold colonies that can become toxic, smelly and hard to remediate.  Pervasive mold can also begin to cause structural damage and decrease the value of your home.  Mold removal then becomes essential, but it’s hard to know if you can do it yourself, or if your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of a mold remediation expert.

What Causes Mold Damage?

High indoor humidity, flooding, a leaky roof – any of these situations and many more can cause the type of moisture that gives mold spores the chance to spread rapidly.  If the mold is undetected or unresolved, you can end up with a real problem on your hands. A mold removal specialist can quickly assess the extensiveness of the mold issue – and advise you on what should be done.  He can also provide assistance with your homeowner’s insurance claim.

When Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will generally not cover mold removal, so it’s important to review your policy to look for mold exclusions or limitations.  The coverage will usually depend on the source of the mold.  For example, if the mold was caused by a sudden pipe burst, it should be covered. That’s because the mold growth is a consequence of the pipe bursting – and the pipe burst is the reason for the claim. However, if the mold is ignored or caused by home maintenance neglect, your insurance policy may likely deny the claim.

If your mold was caused by flood damage, most insurance policies will not cover it, unless you have separate flood insurance.  A separate mold rider as an add-on to your homeowner’s policy is also a good idea, especially if you live in an area with a lot of moisture, or if your home is older. Newer homes tend to be built with mold-resistant materials and are less susceptible to water infiltration.

How to Avoid Mold Problems

You can avoid having a mold remediation claim denied by keeping mold from thriving in the first place. Preventing mold and eliminating mold when it does occur are critical to protecting the value of your home.

To help prevent mold growth in your home, take these steps:

  • Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and exhaust fans.
  • Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets.
  • Vent appliances that produce moisture.
  • Don’t keep paper products or clothing in moisture-prone areas of your home.
  • Use a vent in the bathroom when showering.
  • Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach.
  • Opt for paints and primers that contain mold inhibitors.
  • Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks.
  • Insulate cold surfaces.
  • Don’t put carpet in areas that can get wet, such as basements and bathrooms.
  • Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding.

For more information on how you can detect hidden mold in your home, read our previous article on finding hidden mold behind your walls here.

Environmental Consulting Group has expert experience in mold detection, mold removal, water damage clean-up, dry-out and more. If you’re unsure what your homeowner’s policy will cover, contact us today for help.