Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
Posted in Insurance on June 29, 2020
Mold damage is an extremely common problem in Tampa, Florida. High heat and humidity levels, as well as a propensity for flood damage, can lead to dangerous mold growth in your home. Living with mold is a significant health risk, as breathing it in could cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Unfortunately, your homeowners insurance policy might not cover the costs of fixing a mold problem in your house. Typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover mold damage, with a few exceptions.
Most Insurance Companies Do Not Cover Isolated Mold Damage
As a general rule, a homeowners insurance company will not cover mold damage as a standalone issue. Instead, it will only cover the costs of eradicating mold from your home if a covered event caused the mold. For example, if a hurricane broke your windows and caused rain damage, and the rain damage caused mold, your homeowners insurance company would most likely cover the costs to remedy the mold situation. If, however, mold suddenly developed without relation to a covered peril, your homeowners insurance company may not cover the costs.
In general, homeowners insurance will not pay for mold from flooding, humidity, or a water leak. If the mold came from a routine maintenance problem, such as you ignoring a leaky pipe, your homeowners insurance company will deny your claim. It will hold that you should have been more responsible in keeping up with home maintenance to prevent mold growth. Flooding (and related mold growth) is also something your insurance company might not cover unless you purchased additional flood insurance. Finally, homeowners insurance companies will not cover mold or other property damages related to high humidity in your region.
How to Handle a Mold Damage Claim
A few exceptions to the general rule exist. You may still be able to file a homeowners insurance claim for mold if you can prove it has a connection to a covered peril on your policy. If an unexpected issue occurs with your water heater, for example, and it leaks and causes mold before you call, your insurance policy may cover the costs of mold removal and property repair. Most homeowners insurance policies in Florida cover several common perils.
- Storm and hurricane damage
- Lightning damage
- Falling object damage
- Fire damage
- Accidental overflow/discharge of water from an appliance
Most unforeseeable and accidental incidents that cause water damage and/or mold are coverable perils under a typical homeowners insurance policy. Check your policy’s terms and provisions for specific benefits and limitations. If your policy does cover the cause of your mold, submit a claim as soon as possible. Take plenty of photographs of the mold and do what you can to prevent further damage. Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation and submit further evidence, if necessary. Then, hire a Tampa insurance lawyer for assistance negotiating your claim. It may be difficult to secure fair benefits without legal representation.
Do You Have a Case of Insurance Bad Faith?
Mold is a tricky subject in terms of homeowners insurance claims. Since it is not a covered peril under most policies, an insurance company may make it difficult to obtain compensation for repairs. The insurance company may request excessive evidence connecting the mold to a covered event, for example, or try to blame you for the mold growth for failing to adequately prevent further damage after a storm.
A lawyer could help you prove the validity of your mold damage claim when dealing with a homeowners insurance provider. A lawyer may be able to combat bad faith insurance tactics, for example, such as your insurer denying a valid claim. A lawyer may also be able to help you document the mold damage and its connection to a covered peril on your policy. A homeowners insurance company will take your claim more seriously when you hire an attorney.