Is Mold Covered In Homeowners Insurance?

Home insurance concept , vector illustration

Like any other organism, mold needs food and water. It loves to eat wood, and that’s one reason why homes and other structures sustain mold damage. When it begins depleting its food source, damage occurs. Mold is easily identifies by how it looks and its odor.

Any type of water damage can result in mold. How the water gets into your home determines whether your homeowners insurance will cover the mold damage and remediation. All homeowners policies declare their covered perils along with their exclusions from coverage. An occurrence that’s typically covered in the context of water damage is a pipe burst. That’s because the actual pipe burst is the cause of the claim, as opposed to the mold itself. If a mold claim arises from Florida weather activity, like a hurricane or flood, it’s not likely to be covered without special coverage. You’ll want to review your policy or talk to your insurance representative to learn whether you have flood coverage.

Most basic homeowners insurers do not provide mold coverage within their covered risks, but that does not necessarily mean your claim will be denied. For instance, the pipe burst, which would be an accidental occurrence, which may lead to mold due to the moisture, should be covered, because the pipe burst is the claim reason, not the mold. However, a home showing neglected maintenance (unrepaired water leaks or exposure to humidity over a prolonged period of time) will be more likely to have a denied claim. You do need to be aware that mold coverage that is provided, due to accidents, is relatively low, unless an additional premium is paid. If you do have some mold damage, you’ll want to do whatever you can to mitigate your damages. You should also be vigilant about making periodic checks for possible water leaks in these common problem spots:

  • HVAC system lines & drains
  • Hoses for appliances
  • Tub, shower & sink seals
  • Any visible pipes
  • Weatherproofing of windows & doors
  • Wet spots in the attic & missing roofing material
  • Landscaping around your home

If you don’t have mold coverage, it’s recommended that you get it, particularly because mold thrives in Florida’s warm, humid climate. an average mold claim ranges between $15,000 and $30,000. Mold riders are available as an optional coverage, however they often come with a big price tag. Discuss your options with your insurance agent. Once you have all the information, you can weigh the risks against the costs for your needs.

As always, it’s important to know what your homeowners policy says in regards to your coverage. Take the time to familiarize yourself and ask questions about specific wording in regards to mold coverage, then you will be prepared should you have the unfortunate need to file a claim.

Sources: Does my homeowners insurance policy cover mold damage? Web Blog post. Living Prepared. Prepared Insurance. Home Insurance and Mold: Is Mold Covered? Web blog post. Houselogic by Realtors.

Understanding Flood Insurance and Water Damage Coverage

Flood damage is expensive and poses health hazards. Homeowners insurance will not cover you for flood damage. From an insurance companies view flood and water damage are two different things. Your homeowners insurance will deny a water damage claim if the water made contact with the ground prior to entering your home. Knowing your rights and how to obtain flood coverage can avoid this situation.

flood property damage

Flood Damage Coverage and Water Damage Coverage – What’s the Difference?

If water damages your property it will either fall under flood damage or water damage. The question to ask yourself is; did the water that damaged my home make contact with the ground before or after it entered my home?

Flood damage: Water that damages your home after it has already made contact with the flooded homeground.

Examples of flood damage sources:

  • A river overflowing
  • Flooded streets
  • Mudslide
  • Sewer back up caused by a storm

 Water damage: Water that damages your home prior to it making contact with the ground.pipe burst

  • Examples of water damage sources:
  • A broken water pipe spews water into your home
  • Heavy rain causes your roof to leak
  • Rain enters your home through a broken window caused by a storm

Rule of thumb: Flood Insurance and water damage coverage offered under your homeowners insurance policy does not mean you are duplicating coverage. Instead, they complement each other. Click here to learn how to get Flood Insurance.

Understanding Your Coverage and Exclusions

You purchase your homeowner’s insurance and then disaster strikes… do you know what you’re covered for and what damages will be excluded from coverage? Water damage coverage can get read the fine printtricky. It would be an ideal world if we bought one coverage and it covered anything to do with water, however, life is not that simple. For instance, water that backs up through sewers or drains is not covered unless you buy sewer backup coverage separately. Damage from sewer backup would most likely be covered under your flood damage policy. Although, it will be denied if the sewer backup was not caused by a flood in the first place. Insurance companies can deny your water damage claim if you do not file in a timely manner. You must report a water loss within 14 days of the first drop to your insurance company or they could deny your claim. The 14 day rule can complicate a situation such as a water leak that you can’t visibly see.   Such situations can become highly frustrating and unpredictable for the insured.

Useful information about coverage and exclusions:

  • Flood insurance will only apply if either the flood affects two acres of land or it affects two homes, one being yours.
  • Your personal contents may not be covered under a standard flood or water damage policy – get the details!
  • Know the specifics – if a hot water heater springs a leak, the damage should be covered under your homeowners insurance. However, if the hot water heater springs a leak as a direct result of a flood, that would only be covered if you have flood insurance.
  • Mold may not be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Usually with water damage comes mold damage. Know if your policy excludes mold or not.

You can purchase the coverage for personal belongings but usually there is a limit to how much you can cover. Floods and leaky pipes bursting can damage and ruin valuable items. Keeping a list of your valuable items and their worth will make it easier when it comes time to recover money for your losses. Valuable items such as artwork, rare books, jewelry, etc. may fall under a different property coverage limit. There may be a maximum coverage of $2,500.00 for such valuables.

Restoring Your Home and Peace of Mind with PRS

While PRS cannot assist you with your homeowners insurance issues, we can restore your home to pre-loss condition as well provide content restoration services to repair irreplaceable items.  We are certified and licensed to assist you with a complete restoration of your home. We provide services such as: structural drying, mold assessing, mold remediation, complete restoration, and content restoration. We are available 24/7 365 days a year and ready to assist you with an emergency. We know how time sensitive water damage can be, the first 24-48 hours are the most crucial. If you face any water damage to your home we promise to find the source and restore the damages to pre-loss condition.