If you have discovered mold growing in your home, you may wonder if your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cleaning and restoration of the affected sites. Some types of mold can be hazardous by producing mycotoxins, which can cause moderate to severe symptoms in some people. Acting quickly to mitigate the growth of mold not only protects your family’s health, but your quick action can be a factor that determines if your insurance company reimburses you.
Specified Perils or All Risk?
Homeowner’s insurance policies differ greatly in coverage and scope. Whether your insurance company covers a particular situation depends upon the language in the policy and the causative factors of the mold contamination. Some policies use “specified perils” as the basis, which means that you must prove the mold contamination resulted from a covered “peril” or source. Other policies fall into the “all risk” category, which should cover the remediation unless the insurance company can prove that the causative factor is specifically excluded in the written policy.
The Laundry List of Exclusions
Most homeowner’s policies include long lists of exclusions for damage from mold contamination, deterioration, wet or dry rot, construction defects, faulty materials and workmanship and more. To add complexity, some carry exceptions to the exclusions, which sometimes seem like a paradox or double negative. In some states, insurance companies have demanded limitations to mold coverage unless the state insurance regulators issue rules that allow insurers to pay for only minimal mold remediation unless the homeowner purchases premium policies. It is a prudent move to review your policy upon renewal to check if the contract now contains mold coverage limitations.
When Will the Insurer Pay?
Generally, if the mold contamination results from water damage that your insurance company covers, then the policy most often will cover the cost of remediation. Frequently, the battles originate over identifying the prime cause of the mold contamination. Is that cause covered or excluded? Moreover, many states have not made official determinations to define mold as a “pollutant,” and most policies have pollution exclusions, which the company may try to exploit.
Act Quickly to Mitigate by Using a Professional
In general, most insurance policies will try to exclude remediation coverage due to water intrusion or moisture from defective construction, long-term leakage, deferred maintenance, wear and tear, and poor repairs. However, the crucial element in the exclusions is the length of time it took you to act. Most insurers will cover remediation of mold contamination if you show that you took reasonable actions to mitigate the damage by acting quickly. Thus, utilizing a professional restoration service at the first sign of mold can save you money in the end. In addition, using home remedies such as bleach, tea tree oil or distilled vinegar, may sound cost effective; however, they may give the insurance company reason to reject your claim by proving that you allowed the problem to worsen.
In dealing with the insurer, never guess or speculate about the cause of the contamination, nor should you agree with the insurer that the problem has existed for a long time. The company will issue an opinion as to the cause, and that will be the basis for pursuing reimbursement for a covered loss. Moreover, double check the declarations page for all covered expenses including hotels if you need to move out.
You can count on Professional Restoration to Respond, Recover and Restore your home and life back to order. Call on our experienced team to schedule a free estimate 720-457-1831.