Mold can develop anywhere there is moisture, and most people know exactly how much of a safety threat it is if it begins to grow undetected in their home. Even small amounts of mold can make your home’s environs unhealthy, not to mention structurally unsafe.
Home insurance does not always cover mold damage by itself. However, it would provide coverage if a covered peril caused the mold. Still, this can be a tricky idea to understand. If you think mold is in your home, it is important to take action. Home insurance can help in some cases.
When Does Home Insurance Cover Mold?
Mold itself usually takes time to develop. It might grow around a leaking pipe, within your shower, or in your attic under improperly sealed eaves. Under circumstances like these, where small problems and simple wear & tear lead to mold development, your homeowners insurance is not likely to cover you. You could have probably done simple maintenance and been able to prevent mold growth, and as a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to do so.
However, if a peril covered by your homeowners insurance causes mold growth, then your plan can help you afford the costs of cleanup and reconstruction.
Some examples of mold being a covered peril include:
- A fire in your home is extinguished, but the water damage causes mold to begin to grow.
- Someone vandalizes your home, and before you can have the damage repaired, mold begins to grow in certain areas.
- An improperly sealed roof causes water to leak into your attic, which leads to mold growing on the structure of the roof and on any items stored in the space.
- One of your pipes bursts, either due to a mechanical issue or to being frozen. The water causes flooding and significant mold growth.
One thing to remember about water damage in your home is that flooding is not covered under homeowners insurance. Burst pipes are, but flooding from rain, storm surge, river swells or other issues will have to be covered under separate flood insurance.
How to File a Claim
Small instances of mold development are often easily fixed by cleaning an area thoroughly with bleach and hot water and disposing of any spoiled items. However, if you face a significant mold issue, then call your home insurance agent. They will discuss with you the cause and other circumstances surrounding the mold, and at that point will make a determination of whether your plan will cover you. Deductibles and coverage limits will apply, however, so it’s important to have your agent review your policy with you periodically to ensure that you continue to maintain appropriate coverage