Insurance coverage for mold damage and remediation is tricky and varies widely between policies and providers. While it’s always best to thoroughly read your policy and ask your agent for specifics, there are a few basic rules for mold coverage.
When Does Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?
As a general rule, mold removal is only covered when the source of the mold was something that is already covered by your policy, like a water damage. If the mold was a direct result of the moisture from the water damage, you may be able to file a claim for remediation as well as property repairs under your water damage coverage. The following are some examples of when mold remediation might be covered by insurance:
- A pipe bursts in your basement causing mold growth on the walls.
- Firefighters use water to extinguish the flames from a house fire, and mold growth occurs due to the resulting moisture.
- Your washing machine malfunctions, flooding your upstairs laundry room and resulting in mold growth along the baseboards.
While it’s not guaranteed that these would be covered losses, they are more likely to be covered depending on your specific policy.
When Does Insurance Exclude Mold Remediation?
The general rule of thumb for mold exclusion is when the mold growth was caused by neglect or lack of maintenance. If you noticed a small leak and failed to address it for several weeks, months, or years, this would be considered neglect. The resulting water and mold damage surely would not be covered under your policy. Additionally, anything that is excluded by your policy, like regional flood damage, would be denied. The following are some examples of mold damage that would likely not be covered by your insurance, even if your policy does include mold remediation:
- Your shower has been leaking for months and you failed to get it repaired, causing mold to grow behind the insert and along the baseboards in the bathroom.
- You experienced water damage in your home and decided to clean up the water on your own, but you didn't get it all.
- You failed to take steps to control the humidity in your home based on the climate you live in, and mold grew as a result.
- A storm caused flooding and mold growth.
How Much Will My Insurance Cover?
In addition to having strict policies about what will or will not be covered when it comes to mold damage, most insurance companies also have maximum limits they will cover for mold remediation. Even small mold remediation jobs can cost thousands of dollars, so insurance companies do what they can to mitigate their risk, including putting a limit on what they will pay for mold damage. Standard maximum limits for mold coverage usually range from $1000 to $10,000. Often times, though, additional riders can be added to your policy to ensure coverage above that amount should you need it.
Mold remediation coverage can be challenging. Each insurance company has its own limits and policies. Some companies don’t offer mold coverage at all! This is an important thing to discuss with your insurance agent so you can make sure you have the coverage you need should the worst happen.