Molds and mildew tend to show up in even the cleanest home showers, tubs, and bathrooms – but this is a problem that is easily eliminated by cheap, reliable cleaning products and a bit of work. But what about mold that transcends the bathtub, and arises inside walls, on sheetrock, or underneath flooring?
If you happen to own a home in a particularly humid area of the country, or your home has suffered from various sorts of water damage, then the threat of mold within the home is likely one of your biggest nightmares. Not only does mold destroy parts of your home, but certain forms of mold emit harmful toxins, threatening the health of a home’s inhabitants. Restoration of a property from any sort of mold tends to be unexpectedly expensive, since mold often spreads much further than apparent to the naked eye. Worse yet, a poor remediation job will mean that the mold inevitably creeps back into your life.
Despite the terrible risks that mold presents to homeowners, quite a few neglect to consider the relationship between mold damage and homeowner’s insurance. In fact, a bit of research yields many examples of mold remediation horror stories – where a homeowner contracted to have mold removed from their home, but neglected to ensure that the remediation services were covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy. This is a grave error – every homeowner should have a good idea of exactly what sort of coverage their policy provides, and to what extent.
For many homeowner’s insurance policies, damage by mold is only covered in certain instances. For instance, many policies might cover mold (and water damage) that results from a leak or defect in the structure or plumbing of the home, because the policy is addressing the defect, rather than the mold. Yet in instances where the mold itself is the issue, with no apparent defect as a cause, most homeowner’s insurance policies will fall short of covering damages. Mold damage and homeowners insurance issues are often further confounded by a growing number of policies that explicitly exclude mold damage coverage. When you add the fact that many states have instituted limits on the amount of money a homeowner can claim as a result of mold damage, the issue becomes even more of a headache.
In the event that your homeowner’s insurance policy had inadequate coverage for mold damages, there are generally two options to effectively prevent unexpected financial hardship. The first option is to request (and later pay for) a mold coverage rider from your current insurance agency, provided that your insurance agency (and their underwriters) find your home’s risk to be acceptable. The costs of these riders are variable, and take things like climate, age of the home, and what materials were used to construct the home into account. Sometimes, an insurance agency will simply find the risk too great to offer a rider. In these cases, homeowners can seek out a specialty plan that stands alone from their typical homeowner’s insurance coverage. Compared to riders, these plans can cost somewhat more, but usually cost far less than mold remediation services.