For most homeowners, your home is not just a place for you to live — it is an investment in your future. That is why, in addition to performing regular maintenance and keeping your home in top shape, your homeowner’s insurance policy is an important part of protecting your investment.
You never know when disaster will strike, including severe weather damage, house fires, or water damage resulting from burst pipes. With the right insurance policy, you can rest assured that your home will be protected in the event of damage.
It is also essential that you know exactly what is covered by your policy. While fire or storm damage is fairly straightforward, other repairs like mold removal are not clearly defined.
In this article, we will look at which circumstances affect whether residential mold restoration is likely to be covered under your insurance policy.
Is Mold Removal Covered by Your Insurance Policy?
Will insurance cover mold removal? The short answer is that it depends on the circumstances. For the most part, indoor mold is considered to be a secondary problem, usually resulting from some other issue that has caused excess moisture to accumulate. Moisture creates an ideal environment for mold growth, which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), can start in 24 to 48 hours.
Typically, residential mold restoration is only covered by insurance if it comes as the result of a “covered peril,” which means a source of damage that is specifically listed in your homeowner’s policy. These perils are usually limited to severe weather, fire, and criminal activity, like vandalism or theft. Mold removal attributed to long-standing maintenance issues, like slow leaks or excess humidity, is generally not covered.
Factors That Affect Whether Mold Removal Is Covered
There are several factors that go into determining whether your homeowner’s policy covers mold removal. Here are some of the things to look for in your policy.
Covered perils: Your insurance company will probably have a standard list of covered perils based on their standard coverage. While you may be able to save some money with a lower-cost policy, those policies are also much more likely to be restrictive about what they cover.
Maintenance and neglect: Insurance companies consider many of the causes of mold growth to be the result of negligence or typical wear and tear. Leaking pipes, roof damage, and poorly controlled humidity are viewed as long-term problems and are often excluded from coverage.
However, if the damage results from a catastrophic event, like a burst pipe or moisture from fire suppression, mold removal is much more likely to be covered.
Add-on coverage: You can usually purchase coverage add-ons to cover potential damage not otherwise stated in the covered perils section. For residential mold restoration, this is more common in areas with higher humidity where mold is more likely to occur. However, these add-ons are usually available everywhere if you want to ensure that you are covered.
Location: Regulations vary from state to state, and depending on where you live, you might have mold removal included in your insurance policy. Some states require insurance companies to cover a certain amount for mold removal, no matter what the reason for the mold growth.
Limits: Even if your policy includes mold removal, the total amount you will receive from the insurance company will usually be limited. According to Policygenius, most companies limit the total amount you can receive for residential mold restoration to $1,000 to $10,000, which means that you may still be on the hook for some of the mold removal costs.
Preventing Mold Damage in Your Home
One of the best ways to avoid having to deal with the question of whether your residential mold restoration project will be covered by insurance is to prevent mold growth in the first place. Here are some key steps you can take to prevent mold from becoming a problem:
Control humidity: Mold requires moisture to grow. Keeping your home’s humidity below 70% will help keep moisture from accumulating. Make sure that your home is properly ventilated, especially in moist areas, like kitchens and bathrooms.
Roof maintenance: Ensure your roof is not leaking by having it regularly inspected and repaired.
Repair leaks quickly: If you notice a leak, do not put off repairs. The longer the area is moist, the more likely you will have a problem with mold growth. A contractor experienced with water damage restoration can help you stop the leak, dry the area, and fix the problem that caused the leak, helping avoid mold growth in your home.
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