Can You Make A Homeowners Insurance Claim For Mold?
In Florida, many people see mold as a fact of life, what with our humidity, heat and rainfall. But mold is hardly innocuous; depending on the kind of mold, and who you ask, mold can either inflame allergies, or cause cancers. So when you do see or find mold, you may want to make a homeowners insurance claim. But does homeowners insurance cover mold?
Sometimes Mold is Covered
The answer is that mold may be covered by your insurance policy–but it isn’t always.
Your policy will generally not simply cover mold that you find in or on your property. However, if the mold was caused by something that was insured, then remediating and removing the mold will also be covered.
For example, a big cause of mold is water. If water were to leak and cause the growth of mold, the insurance company will ask how the water leaked into your home. If it was from a burst pipe, or an air conditioner that leaked, or a leaky roof, and those things are or were covered in the policy, so too will the remediation and/or removal of the mold.
What Caused the Mold?
Of course, the practical problem is causation because mold doesn’t appear immediately—because it doesn’t just immediately appear when, for example, a pipe bursts, it may be difficult to definitively say what caused the mold to grow. In fact, many people don’t even discover mold until well after the event that caused the mold occurred.
Be Wary of Floods
We all know that flooding can cause mold—but floods are not always a part of your homeowners policy; they are separate policies. Many lenders will require you to have a flood policy, but regardless of lender requirement, you will need to have a flood policy of some kind, if the mold was caused by rain, a hurricane or some other natural disaster.
Do Your Part
One common defense that insurance companies take to mold damage (and any other kind of damages) is homeowner negligence. Insurance generally only covers things that you can’t control or anticipate, like a burst pipe. But if the flood and the resulting mold is caused by something you could have, but did not fix, repair, or maintain, the insurance company will not cover the damages.
Many people, for example, will have small leaks in windows, and won’t do much about it, thinking that it isn’t a huge problem. However, if that small, occasional leak ends up causing mold, the insurance company likely will deny coverage, saying that you could have repaired the problem before the mold grew, but you failed to do so.
You may want to use humidifiers in areas that get damp, and make sure that your appliances are regularly checked for leaks. Identify and repair any cracks, and check pipes to make sure they are in good condition.
Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today if you have a problem or a dispute with your homeowners insurance company.