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Does home insurance cover mold damage?

Mold & Home InsuranceDue to the growing awareness of the dangers of mold, most standard home insurance policies no longer cover mold damage.

Furthermore, most standard policies specifically exclude mold as well as fungi, mildew, and wet rot.

Some policies, however, may include certain cases of mold coverage while other policies can be enhanced with an insurance rider specifically written for mold.

Knowing how mold occurs and how to get rid of it will help you determine your home insurance needs in regards to this potentially hazardous growth.

Read on to learn more about home insurance for mold and ways to get rid of mold and then be sure to enter your zip in to compare free insurance plans!

How Mold Occurs

Mold occurs in any moist environment and can grow quite rapidly if not taken care of immediately. Damp locations that are forgotten, such as attics and basements, are primary locations for mold. Any kind of flood damage that is not treated properly can also result in the growth of mold spores. Also, since mold is easily spread, any mold that gets circulated through your duct work can harvest in new locations.

You have probably seen mold grow on bread or forgotten leftovers in the refrigerator. You may also see mold on your basement walls or some other place in your home. However, mold is not always visible, as it can be under your carpeting, behind your walls, or inside your ceiling. Mold has a funny smell to it, like wet, dirty socks or wet rotten wood, and if you smell anything musty you should immediately investigate for mold even if there is no visible trace of it.

Getting Rid of Mold

Professional cleaning is not necessary for mold removal in most circumstances. However, it is best to take care of any mold cleanup with much precaution. Anyone with allergies or respiratory problems should stay clear of all mold areas. People who are tasked with cleaning the mold should wear dust masks and disposable gloves. Clothing should cover the body fully so that there is little risk of coming into contact with the mold.

Most items that come into contact with mold will, unfortunately, have to be discarded. Fabrics and porous materials are especially difficult to clean. Couches, curtains, carpets, and paper goods will have to be disposed of as will many plastics. Glass and crystal items are easier to clean and may be salvageable. If there is any doubt, you are better off getting rid of the suspect item and replacing what you need. If you have mold insurance the damaged items may be covered for replacement.

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Home Insurance for Mold Damage

As is true with so many things in life, prevention is essential. Mold is no different, as it will only grow if it is given the opportunity. If you have any moist areas be sure to tend to them routinely to be sure mold is not growing. If you have any unexpected water intake, whether from a flood, a leaky roof, or an overflowing bathtub, you need to act on a cleanup right away. Depending on the severity of the water damage you may need to remove baseboards and carpet and sometimes even drywall. Commercial dehumidifiers and professional air movers are beneficial to dry the water and prevent mold growth from starting.

Most home insurance policies cover water damage provided it is not a flood that is excluded from the policy. If your roof leaks during a storm or your plumbing bursts then there is a good chance that you have coverage. If this happens to you it is important to call your agent immediately and begin preventive damage cleanup. Professional contractors that specialize in water disaster can help reduce any long term damage that may occur if left untreated. Since this is covered by your home insurance policy, it is in your best interest to take care of everything right away to prevent mold damage, which isn’t covered by your home insurance policy.

Some insurance policies will cover mold if it is a direct result from another covered claim; however, since early prevention can reduce mold risk, most policies exclude mold altogether. Mold insurance policies can usually be bought with coverage limitations of up to $10,000 but extended coverage for up to $50,000 is also possible. If you live in a high humidity area where mold risk is more prevalent, you may want to consider purchasing mold insurance.

To find out if your policy covers mold damage, read your policy in its entirety, including the exclusions provision. If you have any uncertainties it is best to ask your agent directly where to find it in your policy so that you are prepared in the event you need it. Since most water damage is covered by most home insurance policies, seek professional water cleanup immediately to prevent any mold spores from growing.

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