Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Problems?
Mold problems affect many homeowners each year in the United States. If you're one of these unfortunates, your homeowner's insurance policy might cover the costs to remove and fix the mold damage. However, each policy is different, and each scenario that caused the mold differs too. Check with your insurance company or review your policy to determine if and when mold damage is covered.
Mold, a common type of fungi, can grow practically anywhere, including wood and carpet. To thrive, mold needs a considerable amount of moisture and some type of organic food source. Temperature isn't of vital importance to mold growth. Mold can grow in small patches or consume large areas of your home. The majority of molds won't harm you, but they might have an unpleasant odor.
Mold problems arise from various causes. Mold can grow over time in poorly maintained areas, like a humid basement or laundry room. It might grow after an accident, such as a burst water pipe. Depending on the cause, mold removal can prove to be such a monumental task that you require professional help. Mold can also ruin furniture, curtains and other items. For large or serious mold problems, filing a claim with your homeowner's insurance might be necessary.
Whether or not your mold problems are covered by homeowner's insurance depends on your particular policy, although problems resulting from some type of accident -- like that burst pipe -- are generally covered. The claim is actually for the repair of the pipes and the damage caused by the rupture. However, other mold causes -- such as a small leak you should have repaired, or a naturally damp basement -- might not be covered. Additionally, the standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage. If your mold problem is the result of flooding, the cleanup and damage probably won't be covered.
Take precautions to prevent mold problems. Regularly check for water leaks from pipes or plumbing fixtures. Maintain the foundation of your property to prevent cracks from allowing water into the basement. If a particular area of your home is naturally humid, use a dehumidfier to remove excess moisture. To protect yourself from the costs of a comprehensive mold cleanup, ask your insurance company if it offers an additional mold damage policy or rider, or even a clause promising coverage up to a certain amount.