As a homeowner, few realizations can cause more worry than discovering that there is mold in your home. Indoor mold exposure is known to have a variety of potential health risks, and interior mold growth is an issue that should generally be addressed right away.
But, does addressing the issue mean dealing with your insurance company? While filing a successful homeowner’s or flood insurance claim can be difficult, the challenges involved in enforcing your right to coverage will typically be far outweighed by the financial costs of remediation. The first step is to understand if your mold situation is covered; and, if so, then you can focus on dealing with your insurer.
When is Mold Covered by Insurance?
Some cases of mold are covered by insurance, and some are not. While standard homeowner’s insurance policies generally cover mold resulting from sudden perils (such as a broken pipe or storm damage), there are a number of exclusions, and in many cases homeowners will need to purchase additional coverage or flood insurance in order to be fully protected against the costs of mold. For example, standard homeowner’s policies in Florida typically will not cover:
- Mold resulting from long-term exposure to moisture or humidity
- Mold resulting from inadequate home maintenance
- Mold resulting from floodwaters
As you might expect, insurance companies will often attempt to assert these issues as grounds to deny policyholders’ claims for coverage. For example, an insurer may claim that a leaky pipe should have been discovered before it leads to widespread mold growth. Or, it may assert that mold is the result of a flood – rather than water intrusion resulting from wind damage – and therefore is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. In any case, it is important for homeowners not to rely solely on their insurance companies’ coverage determinations, as improper denials and other bad-faith insurance practices are common in homeowner’s insurance claims.
Importantly, even if your mold growth is covered by insurance, you may have a duty to mitigate the issue in order to protect your rights under your policy. While there are certain steps that homeowners can take on their own, for safety purposes, it is generally best to hire an expert in residential mold remediation. If you hire a professional, it will also be more difficult for your insurance company to claim that your efforts at remediation were inadequate.
Learn More about Insurance Coverage for Residential Mold
If you are dealing with a mold issue in your home, it is important to gather as much information as possible. To learn more about your rights and obligations as an insured homeowner, we encourage you to read:
- Avoid Surprises: Learn the Terms of Your Property Insurance Policy
- Proactive Mold Remediation Can Be Essential to Property Storm Damage Claims
- The Challenges of Collecting for Mold Damage After a Major Storm
- The Insured’s Obligations Under an Insurance Policy
- Things Your Homeowners’ Policy Does Not Cover
Contact the Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Attorneys at Saavedra | Goodwin
Our property damage attorneys provide experienced legal representation for South Florida homeowners who are struggling to secure coverage from their insurance companies. If you are dealing with mold in your home and would like more information about your rights, we encourage you to call (954) 767-6333 or get in touch online. We will make arrangements for you to meet with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.