Will My Home Insurance Policy Cover Mold Damage?
Will My Home Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
If the damage was sudden and the mold occurred in the last couple days by a covered peril, then you should be covered. An example would be you were out on vacation for 3 days, a pipe burst, and you return to find water damage and mold in your walls which you immediately report to your insurance carrier.
If the mold occurred slowly, over weeks or was caused by poor home upkeep and lack of maintenance (like a 20 year old leaky roof that was left unrepaired), then it would not be covered. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to keep your home's roof, HVAC, plumbing, and appliances up to date. Normal wear and tear is never covered.
Read your policy or check with your insurance agent to know what is covered in your policy.
Keep It Clean
When mold has formed in your home as the result of a maintenance problem, rather than a one-time incident, your insurance claim is likely to be denied. For example, if the mold is a result of a pipe that has been leaking, even if you didn’t know it was there, it’s very likely you won’t be covered for the damage and will have to foot the bill for mold remediation yourself.
Every state except for Alaska, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia allows insurers to exclude coverage for mold damage when it isn’t related to a covered peril . Be sure to check your policy thoroughly for these exclusions. In cases where it is excluded, you can usually purchase an additional rider for your existing policy.
Another to consider with your policy is that as the costs for mold remediation rise, many insurance companies are putting limits on mold damage coverage, regardless of cause. Common limits are $10,000 in property damage and $50,000 in liability.
Black Mold - Beware
Black mold. Two words that have the power to strike fear into any homeowner. Mold is one of the few hidden dangers that can damage both the health of your family and the structure of your home.
First up, what is black mold?
Black Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a layperson’s term for any mold that is black or green in appearance commonly found in building materials. It is a variety of microfungus that is linked to sick building syndrome.
Why Do Homeowners Worry About Mold?
In addition to the health risks, mold in your home can cause serious structural damage if left unchecked. With a consistent source of moisture, many molds start producing spores within 24 to 48 hours and will continue to grow until the moisture source disappears or the mold is removed.
Molds are made up of tiny organisms that feed on organic material, which is great when they’re working in nature to break down fallen trees and dead leaves. However, when the mold moves indoors and starts breaking down drywall, studs and other building materials, it can cause real problems.
Contrary to popular belief, though, not all black mold is toxic and not all toxic mold is black. There are more than 100,000 types of mold, and many of them pose no health danger to humans.
However, any mold found growing in your home should be addressed immediately.
The average range for professional remediation of mold in a home is from $1,120 to $3,348, though costs can easily soar above $6,000 if the mold has spread into a large area.
Know Your Mold Risk
Keeping the humidity in your home under 50 percent is a great start, with an ideal humidity range being around 35 percent . You can check the mold risk in your area:
Free Home Risk Report
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