As with so many things connected with homeowner’s insurance, if your home has a fungi infestation, your insurance policy may or may not cover the cost of remediation. It will depend largely on the circumstances surrounding the situation.
Terms of Coverage
Insurers typically don’t cover mold damage by default. However, if the mold growth is due to what the insurer calls a covered peril, then the insurer should pay for the damage.
Mold is a naturally occurring fungus in the environment. There are 12 types that have the potential to infest homes. It enters structures through vectors that include windows, on clothing, and via AC units. Mold requires damp and humid conditions to flourish and can begin growing in as little as 24 hours given the right conditions.
Simply scrubbing the surface of an infected area with a home remedy doesn’t kill mold. Its roots go deep into materials such as wood and wallboard. The spores from mold can easily be carried into other areas, spreading the contamination.
Flood Insurance and Mold
Mold often appears following a flooding incident. Since flooding isn’t covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, neither is the resulting mold. A separate flood insurance policy is required through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that’s under the purview of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The exception for mold coverage under a NFIP policy is if the damage could have been avoided or prevented due to action or inaction on the part of the homeowner.
Denials are Common
Mitigating mold damage can be an expensive process, requiring specially trained personnel and techniques that are typically performed by a remediation company. Building materials may need to be replaced. It’s one of the reasons that insurers typically try to avoid paying for mold damage and may deny a claim. If mold is a covered peril and the claim is denied, you may need to hire a public adjuster to reopen the claim and negotiate on your behalf.
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