With flood and water damage claims on the rise in certain areas of the United States following the recent natural disasters, people have more questions than ever regarding their insurance policies. Even the individuals with minor damages to their homes from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma face one serious concern: mold.
Not only is mold a costly issue to fix in one’s home, it can even be life-threatening if not removed quickly. Mold can grow from a variety of causes, including flooding and poor ventilation, among many others. Your homeowners insurance may cover these repairs in some cases but may not in other instances. How do you know when to file a claim on mold and when it will not be covered by your insurer?
When It’s Covered
Mold will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy when the cause is something that is also covered by your insurance coverage. In instances of burst pipes, broken AC units, and other forms of internal water damage, you will receive coverage on any resulting mold. Certain issues relating to poor weather may cause mold to form in your home; you will most likely be covered in these instances.
Many insurance policies only cover a specific limit of mold damage. This is why many Americans purchase floaters and endorsements to ensure that they receive full coverage. Floaters and endorsements are additional amounts of protection you can purchase to gain more coverage than a standard coverage amount. If you experience $8,000 in damage costs but only have $5,000 of mold coverage from your insurance company, you would need to supply the $3,000 out of pocket if you don’t already have a floater.
When It’s Not Covered
Your homeowners insurance company may not give you coverage on mold if it is due to causes that normally would not be covered. For example, if mold forms in your home due to negligence on your part, your insurer may not approve your claim. If you’ve had leakage from your bathtub or shower for months and have not gotten it checked out, any resulting mold would most likely not be covered. This is why you need to act immediately if there is an issue with your home, especially when it involves water damage.
Unless you have flood insurance, any mold that was caused by flooding in your home will not be covered. Water damage that is covered by your insurance company is often limited to internal damage. Since floods are often caused by external circumstances, like natural disasters or water seepage, they fall under a completely different category.
Above all concerns, prioritize your safety over anything else when it comes to damage to your home, especially with something as harmful as mold. You may need to seek alternative housing while any repairs are being made, which your homeowners insurance may cover depending on your policy. Finally, file a claim on water damage and flooding as soon as possible to make sure you get the coverage you need.