You had water damage in your home and now you have a mold problem. Mold spores can be dangerous to you and your family, and costly to remediate.
What do you do? Will your homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of fixing a mold problem? Read on for more details about mold damage and what your policy is likely to cover.
What is a Covered Peril?
A “covered peril” is the specific incident that caused the damage you are requesting reimbursement for under the coverage in your policy. Mold damage that is a direct result of a covered peril will be covered by a policy, but this is often difficult to prove because mold is so often caused by existing water damage.
Some examples of covered perils that might result in mold damage after the fact are:
3. Falling Objects
4. Water Damage from frozen pipes
5. Breakage of pipes
6. Accidental Leaks or Overflows from other appliances or systems (heating, air conditioning, sprinklers, plumbing, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.)
These are all common “covered perils” where your homeowner’s insurance should pay for the mold.
When Should You Expect Mold Damage to be Covered?
Mold damage claims can get complicated quickly because there can be a presumption of gradual damage by your insurance company, or they can say that you failed to inform them in the necessary period of time for mold resulting from otherwise covered damage.
You could reasonably expect your insurance company to cover mold damage if a pipe burst in your home while you were away, and by the time you returned the drywall and floor were soaked and there was mold growing as a result.
Another scenario that should be covered is if your washing machine or sink line unexpectedly breaks and causes water to accumulate inside your wall. You report the water damage claim and fix the leak, but that insidious mold is already forming behind your walls as a result of the broken water line.
Something you may not consider if you live in a warm climate, but is a reality for many around the country, is an ice dam in the rain gutters. In late winter and early spring when temperatures still dip below freezing at night but can climb into the 50’s during the day, snow and ice can melt and run into your gutters, then freeze again over night. Repeat this cycle a few times and you can have a situation where there is ice in your rain gutter and then water backs up under your shingles and into your attic.
The resulting moisture in the attic floor and insulation can result in a serious mold problem, but you can expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover the damages.
When Will Mold Damage Not Be Covered?
Homeowner’s insurance is an agreement between you and the insurance company that you will keep your property in good repair, and they will pay for circumstances beyond your control.
The following scenarios could be considered negligence or gradual damage, and they will not pay for something that you could have prevented.
1. If you have pipes that freeze and burst and you don’t notice for several weeks, then delay in reporting the damage to your insurance company, by which time you have a mold problem.
2. You haven’t replaced your roof in decades and the shingles are worn out. A storm hits and rain gets into your attic through the damaged roof and the trapped moisture causes a mold problem.
3. You have been watching a stain slowly creep across your bathroom ceiling, but haven’t been bothered to report it to your insurance until someone in your home said “enough is enough, we need to do something about that.
In all of these cases, there are things that the homeowner could have done to prevent the damage and failed to. The insurance company will not pay for oversight and disrepair.
Let’s Talk About Flooding
You’ll notice that flooding is not on the list of covered perils at the beginning. This is because no standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers flooding.
Because flooding is not covered in the policy, any resulting mold damage from flooding will not be covered. The worst types of mold damage are caused by flooding situations because the water is allowed to stand and soak in for long periods of time.
You can purchase additional flooding insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, and then you will have coverage from mold and mildew that result from the flooding, but even then, they will not cover any pre-existing mold damage, or any mold that could have been prevented. If you are arguing the specifics of mold damage in your policy, it may be worth it to hire a public adjuster to be on your side throughout the process.
Why You Need Continental Public Adjusters
Continental Public Adjusters is proud to serve the entire state of Florida in handling property claims, and they have the experience to help you get the most out of your policy.
If you have a new property claim, or even worse if your claim is denied, delayed or underpaid, you need an experienced public adjuster.
Continental Public Adjusters will do five key things for you:
1. Advocate: Our sole responsibility is to make sure you receive the maximum recovery for your loss.
2. Review: A comprehensive investigation helps us understand each specific type of loss. With our experts and consultants, we begin to determine the overall value of your property loss.
3. Estimate: Using the latest cost estimating software to prepare supporting documentation and provide to your carrier.
4. Adjust: We will adjust your claim and negotiate with your insurance company adjuster to reach a settlement meeting your approval, in your best interest.
5. Maximize: We can foresee issues and obstacles in the claims process with the experience that comes from settling thousands of claims, and will work to reach your maximum benefit.
Start with a free consultation with one of our team members to learn about your options. Continental Public Adjusters, Inc. has 38 years of experience successfully settling thousands of claims related to both personal and commercial property in the state of Florida.