No, your home insurance policy is unlikely to cover mold damage to your home. There are some exceptions, but most mold damage is not covered. Mold damage is covered by your home insurance policy after suffering a covered loss that is sudden and accidental in nature.
Though the requirements for home insurance providers will vary from state to state, most states do not require providers to cover mold, including Texas. There may be some homeowners insurance providers which have options for homeowners, however, even these policies can hold limits on the amount of coverage you receive.
Understanding Sudden and Accidental Mold Damage
Mold is something that can be prevented and eliminated through routine home maintenance. Your home insurance policy will protect you from many common perils, however, as a homeowner, you still hold certain responsibilities to maintain your home. These duties include preventing the growth of mold.
A standard home insurance policy will protect against 16 common perils. Some of these perils may cause mold damage. Here are a few common examples:
- The accidental escape of water and/or steam.
- Freezing that causes damage to heating or plumbing, or damage caused from the freezing and thawing of water that backs up under your roofing.
- Windstorms or hail damage that leads to water damage inside of your home.
- Falling objects or damage involving a vehicle or aircraft which leads to mold damage.
In order for water damage to be covered by your homeowners insurance policy, it cannot be the result of general wear and tear nor can it be from neglect. Water damage can lead to mold damage and in this way the two are generally connected when assessing whether or not it is covered by your home insurance policy. The key to remember is that homeowners are covered from these perils when they happen suddenly and accidentally such as from passing thunderstorms that bring hail or a burst pipe. A slow leak or older plumbing that leads to molder damage would not be covered.
Another overlooked issue when it comes to mold involves renovations. If your home suffers water damage and mold damage that is the result of shotty construction or a bad repair job, it is not covered. Homeowners insurance policies are not blanket coverage, a point we cannot make often enough, and mold is a prime example. Though there are many different options you have to protect your home from mold-related issues, relying on your home insurance policy to protect you can be a mistake.
How to Prevent Mold Damage to Your Home
Preventing mold damage is an easy task for homeowners. The way mold spreads is by entering your home through an opening and finding a moist area for its spores to grow. Simple maintenance of your home and quick fixes to any damage you might face can help you mitigate this risk. Here are a few actions you can take to keep mold out of your home:
- Routine cleaning and maintenance.
- Be sure to check areas most susceptible such as your HVAC units and under sinks. Hiring a professional HVAC technician for periodic inspections can help you monitor mold growth where you may otherwise not see it.
- Dehumidifiers in areas high at risk for mold growth, such as bathrooms and rooms housing your HVAC system, can help lower moisture levels and hinder mold growth.
- Install smart devices and UV lights to help detect leaks, unusually high moisture levels, and kill mold for your home’s plumbing and HVAC unit.
- If you suffer damage to your home, be sure to fix the affected area as soon as possible to prevent further issues from occurring, including mold growth.
- Use licensed and insured, reputable companies when undergoing renovations and repairs to your home.
Tips for Filing a Home Insurance Claim for Mold Damage
Filing your homeowners insurance claim doesn’t have to be a hassle and working with the right group of agents can streamline the process to ensure that you receive the best reimbursement as fast as possible. Because mold damage isn’t always covered, knowing how to approach your claim is important for it to be successful:
- Document Everything
One of the first thing homeowners should do for any claim is to document the affected areas. A common example would be hail damage which causes rain to enter your home causing water damage. You’ll need to report the loss to your insurance agent and document as much damage as possible whenever it is safe to do so. Photos and videos with timestamps of any damage are encouraged. Keeping this media organized to submit to your insurance company can help you showcase your loss and help validate your claim.
- Consider Hiring a Professional to Assess Your Mold Damage
Again, mold damage is not something typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy. By gaining the expert opinion of a professional that the mold damage was caused by a sudden and accidental event, you can help improve your chances of a successful claim.
- Prevent Mold Damage From Spreading Further
Homeowners have an obligation to prevent any damage sustained during a loss from spreading further. If you fail to do so, not only could you lose your right to a claim, but your insurance agency may even drop you as a policyholder. Once any immediate danger such as a tornado or hurricane has passed and the damage has been documented, you’ll need to cover any holes and secure your home. As is the case with moisture and mold, you’ll want to dry and clean the affected areas as soon as possible. This can be done with towels, fans, bleach, or hiring a professional mold remediation company.
Mold has been linked to a variety of unpleasant health effects including the irritation of eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, especially for those with asthma, and aggravation involving allergies. More extreme side effects can lead to fevers, liver disease, issues involving lungs and heart problems, and even cancers if exposed long enough. Removing and preventing mold in the first place is the best course of action for all homeowners.
Home Insurance Policies That Cover Mold Damage
In order for your home insurance policy to cover mold damage, it must develop as a result of a covered peril. Such perils include things like accidental overflow or rain damage that are sudden and accidental. Home insurance coverage that does allow for restoring mold damage often stipulates a set limit in the amount of reimbursement you can receive.
If you are looking for a home insurance policy that outright covers losses involving mold damage, consider an HO-5 policy. Unlike a standard home policy, an HO-5 policy will protect your home against any peril unless it is specifically named as an exclusion. These policies are usually applied to homes with higher values or homeowners with many valuable possessions.
An HO-5 policy offers more protection, but you’ll also pay higher premiums. A great way to ensure that you are finding the lowest possible cost for your coverage is by comparing your rates among a variety of insurance brands to find the best price. Freedom Insurance Group understands that this can be a time-consuming endeavor, however, through our partnerships with more than 25 top-rated insurance providers, we can minimize this time to find you the best coverage on the market. You can receive a free, instant home insurance quote or contact us to discover the best possible coverage for your needs.
FAQs About Home Insurance and Mold Damage
Home insurance is a complex but important subject. There are plenty of scenarios you as a homeowner may face and we here at Freedom Insurance Group are here to answer you. Feel free to contact us with any of your homeowners insurance questions, but some questions are a bit more common than others. Learn more about some of these FAQs by reading below:
What Happens if my Home Insurance Claim for Mold is Denied?
Homeowners that find themselves filing home insurance claims for mold may find their claims denied. This is because only certain types of mold damage and only specific homeowners insurance policies cover mold damage. Here are a few tips for you to review if you find yourself facing a rejected claim involving mold:
- Speak with your insurance agent and review your policy. Each policy is different and if your home insurance policy states that you have protection that isn’t being exercised, your review may help you move forward accordingly.
- If you are denied your claim, homeowners have the right to file an appeal. You’ll want to add any pieces of evidence that you believe will help you positively state your case this time around. Once submitted, your claim will be reviewed by your homeowners insurance company.
You’ll want to prove that your mold damage is the result of sudden and accidental damage. Any additional evidence showing that you as a homeowner acted in due diligence to mitigate further damage will also help you here.
Where Can I Find Home Insurance That Covers Mold Damage?
A standard home insurance policy, known as an HO-3 policy, does not generally protect against mold damage, but an HO-5 policy will. HO-3 policies protect your home from 16 perils and losses outside of these perils are not covered. An HO-5 policy, typically used to protect homes with higher values or homeowners with valuable possessions, protect against any loss unless it is explicitly written as an exception. Therefore, so long as you don’t list mold damage as an exception, you’ll receive protection against such a loss.
Will a Flood Insurance Policy Cover Mold Damage?
No, flood insurance policies do not cover mold damage. While these policies are great protection against flood events, you’ll have to rely on preventative measures to take care of the mold. You may also be covered if mold damage is included within your home insurance policy or if the damage is from a sudden and accidental covered peril.