Does Your Insurance Cover You For Mold?
A recent news report highlights the financial problems that mold will cause for many home and business owners dealing with the problems caused by Hurricane Sandy. According to the report, most people are not covered for mold damage and could face costs upwards of $30,000 to fix the damage.
In a recent report on Sandy’s destruction, Citi strategist Jeffrey Berenbaum states that “mold damage could likely be the largest risk to properties that remain flooded for weeks.”
The Illinois Department of Insurance states that coverage of your mold damage will depend on two key factors:
1. What caused the mold.
2. What policy coverage you have.
According to Bernard L Fontaine, Jr., M.T., M.Sc., CIH, CSP, Managing Partner of The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc. based in South River, NJ:
“Most homeowners and businesses don’t seek to have riders placed on their policy. Many basic policies don’t have any coverage for mold as a result of property damage. This is because it adds cost to the premium and many insurance brokers don’t bring up this issue unless requested by the policy holder. On the other hand, many insurers now limit the coverage to $5,000 to $10,000 with a variable deductible. Many homeowners don’t believe they will ever have a mold issue and choose not to add the coverage and insurers don’t cover mold growth as a result from surface water damage to the property. Homeowners and businesses need to be vigilant about what is and is not covered in their policy.“
With this in mind, it is important to understand that many insurance companies are trying to limit their exposure to mold claims and will in fact exclude mold claims completely. In the case where you do have a policy that does cover mold, there will most likely be a limit placed on how much is covered. It is very important to read your policy and ensure that you specifically ask your insurance agent and completely understand if you have mold coverage and for how much.
The video below highlights an instance where a home owner is battling their insurance company over mold issues. In this case, the homeowner thought they were covered, but to their surprise, they were not. The case is currently in the courts.
— Got #Mold?™ (@gotmoldglobal) November 8, 2012