Misconceptions and confusion surround mold and insurance requirements. After all, insurance companies sometimes cover molds; other times they do not. Many insurance companies specifically exclude mold from their policies, while others will sell you additional coverage. To make it even more confusing, some states, such as Illinois, indicate under what circumstances the insurance company must cover mold. So, what is the scoop with your home mold problem? Will your insurance company cover it or are you yourself? Lets explore insurance and mold in more detail.
First, mold is not a new problem. Mold has been for eons. Its everywhere. In recent years, mold has become more concerned due to scientific and medical discoveries about its health risks. When public awareness has increased, the number of mold injuries has increased, which causes insurance companies to return to how they deal with mold damage often specifically excluding mold protection or severely restricted coverage.
In general, insurance companies will not pay for mold damage in connection with home maintenance or lack of it. For example, if water has siped into your living room due to bad drainage, the insurance company will not likely pay. Similarly, if mold overcomes your bathroom because the bathroom is poorly ventilated, you are probably lonely. Keep in mind that insurance coverage is designed to protect your home from sudden unexpected losses, not as a replacement for routine maintenance.
Floods and molds that inevitably follow a river event are really sudden and unexpected. But since most homeowners insurance specifically excludes floods, the resulting mold damage is also not covered. If you have a national flood insurance, the resulting mold can be covered, but the final decisions are taken on a case by case basis. Anti pollution measures taken after a flood event are usually covered by the National Flood Insurance, if it is reasonable and appropriate.
Now, what about mold caused by water damage from a covered insurance event like a bursting tube? Should insurance cover for damage in mold in these cases? Maybe maybe not. The answer to this is due to your insurance. Many insurance policies now specifically exclude or limit the coverage of molds that have arisen through a covered water loss. Take a look at your homeowners insurance policy and any plans to find out if your insurance policy specifically excludes mold, including form resulting from a covered loss. Typical insurance coverage exclusions include:
Exceptions for all form related damage
Exceptions for all form related damage with the possibility of purchasing an approval at an additional cost
Limitations on the amount of mold damage the insurance company will cover and under what circumstances
Limits what type of mold costs the insurance company. For example, the insurance company may be willing to pay for mold clean but not for complete reduction and restoration.
Nobody understands your insurance policy better than your insurance agent and a public insurance adjuster. Ask your insurance agent to explain anything you do not understand about your homeowners insurance policy and mold protection. It may also be worth, especially if you have extensive water and mold damage, to hire a public insurance adjuster to negotiate your claim directly to the insurance company.
In addition to evaluating your insurance policy for mold coverage, check with your state insurance department to see if your states mandate mold coverage under any circumstances. Each state regulates insurance, with laws that vary from state. For example, in Illinois, if your mold is the result of water damage that occurs under a covered fire or lightning strike, mold damage is covered all damage is covered by the political limits. Some states are considering the mandate that insurance companies cover at least a minimum of mold damage, so be sure to check with your state insurance department to find out the latest rules, if any cover your insurance companys liability.