A standard homeowners policy or condo owner insurance covers the house, related structures, personal property, yard, and liability. A common problem that can cause issues for homes is mold. Here is a look at how home insurance deals with mold coverage.
When Is Mold Covered by Your Insurance?
Your condo, homeowners or renters insurance policy will only cover mold removal if the mold was caused by already covered perils like water damage. The standard homeowners’ insurance protects against water damage resulting from accidental and sudden incidences. For instance, if a pipe bursts and the resulting moisture leads to the growth of mold, you can claim repairs and mold removal.
Here Are Examples of Incidences That Your Insurer Will Cover:
- There is a fire incident in your home, and mold develops due to the water used by firefighters to put out the flames.
- Your water heater bursts releasing water that triggers the growth of black mold on the nearby walls.
When Is Mold Not Covered by Your Insurance?
Your insurer will most likely not compensate you for mold damage caused by poor maintenance or neglect. For example, leaving a plumbing leak unattended for a long time is likely to cause mold growth. In such a situation, your home insurance will not cover the resulting mold damage. Remember, even a small plumbing leak can cause extensive mold damage. If you try to file a claim days after it was apparent that there is a leak, your insurer will likely deny your claim because you failed to act promptly.
Moreover, mold damage caused by regional flooding is usually not covered because standard homeowners and renters insurance do not cover weather-related flooding, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). However, you can buy a standalone flood insurance policy that covers mold damage resulting from floods.
How to Prevent Mold
You can prevent mold growth by ventilating, dehumidifying, and regularly cleaning areas prone to mold growth. Here are a few effective tips for dealing with mold.
- Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens
- Avoid putting carpets in damp sections of your home like basements or bathrooms
- Clean your bathroom with bleach regularly
- Clean your gutters frequently
- Regularly check cabinetry, crawl spaces, and laundry rooms for dampness
- Ensure rainwater is channeled away from your house
- Ensure your dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, refrigerator, and all other machines that use water are well maintained.
What Are the Signs of Mold Infestation?
- Visible Mold – Mold can appear threadlike and white, or it can look like dirt. Even a tiny amount can signal a more extensive out-of-sight infestation.
- Odors – Mold has a distinctive musty scent. The smell is strongest in rooms that have a mold infestation. If you only smell the scent when your heating unit or AC is on, the mold infestation is probably in that system.
- Health Issues
If you have nasal congestion, a running nose, or itchy eyes, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction triggered by mold, particularly if symptoms worsen when you’re in the house.
What Is Hidden Mold?
Mold can be present even if there aren’t any mold stains. If you smell an odor and suspect that there is a mold infestation in your walls, you should contact a mold remediation expert.
How to Treat Mold?
Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if there is visible mold in your home, you can eliminate it with water, detergent, and intense drying. Make sure to wear protective goggles and gloves. For large infestations or hidden infestations, you should call a mold removal professional.
Although most standard home insurance will not cover mold, there are still many covered perils protected under a standard policy. Contact the experts at John E. Peakes Insurance Agency for the assistance you need today in purchasing the right home insurance coverage. Our dedicated team is happy to address all your coverage needs in Lancaster, California.