Mold can quickly overtake a home and cause it to be unlivable for people who have allergies or breathing difficulties. It can start to grow within 24 hours after a catastrophe that allows water to enter your home, and the resulting cleanup can be costly. Home insurance may cover mold removal and remediation services, but the lines defining when it will sometimes get blurry. Knowing when your home insurance might cover mold helps you get ready to file a claim after an emergency. When it comes to understanding what types of mold issues are covered by home insurance, San Diego home insurance should follow these guidelines.
Understand What Falls within the Definition of a Covered Peril
As a general rule, home insurance won’t cover mold that grows due to the homeowner’s negligence. However, it will typically cover damage that results from a covered peril. For instance, a covered peril might be a fire that involves a sprinkler system or firefighters flooding your house with water. If the mold results from this type of situation, it would be considered damage caused by a covered peril.
Expect Limits on Mold Removal & Remediation Coverage
Even when mold is covered, an insurance company may set limits on how much the payout will be for removal and remediation services. Typically, the limits are enough to cover what you might expect from mold that occurs due to a one-time covered peril. The limits are also established to prevent misuse of a policy by someone who attempts to use a catastrophic event to get mold removed that existed prior to the occurrence of a covered peril.
Consider Adding Flood Insurance
Many standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage that results from major rainstorms. The good news is you can purchase additional flood insurance that will usually include coverage for mold in your policy. When you purchase flood insurance, make sure to inquire specifically about how much coverage is included for mold so you know what to expect if water damage occurs.
Avoid Mold that Results from Negligence
You can do many things to avoid having mold develop after a covered peril. For instance, shut off the HVAC system to prevent mold spores from spreading through your home. You should also arrange for water cleanup services as soon as possible to begin the process of drying out your home. Responding to minor water leaks by arranging for repairs when they occur can further prevent mold from growing in your house.
Know How to Properly File a Claim
If you see mold growing as a result of a covered peril, immediately notify your insurance company. At this point, you’ll find it beneficial to have proof of your efforts to contain the problem. For example, you might show that you recently had a hot water heater replaced but the replacement leaked anyway. Or you might produce a receipt for water removal service to show you did your due diligence to prevent mold. Demonstrating your responsibility as a homeowner makes it more likely that your insurance will be willing to cover mold removal services as outlined in your policy.
If you own a home or are considering buying one, take the time to understand exactly what your homeowners insurance policy does—and doesn’t—cover. It could save you a lot of time and heartache. The friendly professionals at Altra Insurance Services will be happy to help you examine your current policy and determine if you have the coverage you need. We can also help you with renters insurance, commercial insurance, and motorcycle and car insurance chula vista. Call one of our friendly agents today at (800) 719-9972.