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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Black Mold?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Black Mold

Yes, Homeowners insurance covers black mold damage but only when a peril covered by the policy causes it. However, in a case where the black mold is caused by a risk not included in the homeowners insurance policy, black mold damage would not be covered. 

There are exceptions to black mold coverage, which we will be discussing in this article.

Homeowners Insurance, a Norm for Homeowners

In this 21st century, it has become a norm for all homeowners to insure their homes.

This is because of the several unfortunate accidents and natural disasters that can occur and damage properties.

Hence, homeowners do not joke with the need to protect their investment, especially since the cost of acquiring a house has skyrocketed.

Besides, everyone does everything in their power to avoid financial loss, and one of the ways to unlock your financial protection is by safeguarding your properties, in which you have invested all your time and money.

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Not only does homeowners insurance cover damage to one’s property, but it also takes care of liability for injuries and property damages caused by the property or caused by the owner and any of their family members.

Sadly, homeowners insurance does not cover all damages that are likely to happen to a property.

There are lots of unexpected and unthinkable damages that could occur to landed property. 

What Are The Homeowners Insurance Coverage Options?

As said earlier, homeowners insurance has a limit to its coverage.

Hence, it offers coverage based on two policies: the ‘named peril’ homeowners insurance and the ‘all-risk peril’ homeowners insurance. 

The ‘named peril’ is a homeowner insurance policy that covers damages listed specifically in the contract.

This policy offers coverage for only damages that could result in a total loss. The ‘named peril’ policy could be broad or basic.

The ‘basic named peril’ covers a limited amount of perils, while the ‘broad named peril’ covers a wider range of occurrences.

All damages covered under this policy are fire, falling objects, lightning, hailstorm, explosion, smoke, burglary, vandalism, aircraft collision, vehicle collision and riot, accidental water damage, ice, or snow weight damage.

This policy does not cover every other damage excluded from this list 

Then there is the special ‘all-risk’ policy that offers coverage for all kinds of perils except those damages that are specifically excluded from the policy.

In the ‘all-risk’ policy, the ordinance of law, earthquake, flood, power failure, nuclear hazards, war, neglect, and intentional acts are typically not covered.

Black Mold 

One of the common house problems faced by homeowners is the issue of black mold.

Black mold is a fungus found in water-damaged or damp buildings. This kind of mold is considered toxic because of its ability to produce chemicals that cause serious illness.

It is an air contaminant that can be found both inside and outside of homes. Black mold does not just appear. It appears as a result of dampness in waterlogged areas.

This mold is capable of spreading rapidly, and when not contained, it can pose a danger not only to your property but also to the health of the occupants.

In the early years, homeowners insurance extended its policy to cover mold damage, but in the early 2000s, after a spike in mold damage claims by homeowners, the insurance policy had to alter the wordings of a home insurance policy concerning mold damage.

In those years, insurance companies were dishing out hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims, and as the claims increased, insurance companies were spending way more than they had to cover mold-related damages.

This did not go down well with the home insurance companies, hence the decision to limit home insurance coverage. 

Another thing that informed the decision to limit insurance coverage was the fact that most mold damages were caused by neglect on the part of the homeowners.

Most homeowners don’t think much of burst pipes or roof leakages in their homes, not until mold begins to form, spread, and become an eyesore and a significant cause for concern.

Today, most states allow home insurance companies to exclude mold damages from their coverage except in some cases listed below.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Black Mold Damages?

When black mold caused by the weight of ice or snow. In a situation where water backs up under your shingles during a heavy winter due to the ice dam formed on the roof, water will leak into your attic, soaking it and causing black molds to appear.

This type of damage is more likely to be covered by your home insurance company because it is caused by ice damage, a peril covered by most insurance companies’ policy. 

Also, if there was a break-in and in the process, a pipe gets destroyed, causing the drywall to be soaked with water and resulting in black mold, the homeowners insurance company would cover the black mold damages.

Since the cause of the black mold (a break-in) is one of the damages covered by the company.

Also, if your washing machine develops a leak in the hose that you blocked immediately, the water is very likely to cause black mold to form. Your home insurance company would cover this.

However, that would not be the case if the hose is an old one that should have been changed or fixed for some time, but was not. 

When Will Homeowners Insurance Not Cover Black Mold Damages?

As stated earlier, there are exceptions or limits to black mold coverage by home insurance companies. What can make your home insurance company refuse to cover your black mold damage claims? Let’s take a look at some.

Homeowners insurance does not cover black mold damage caused by aging of the property, pipe, hose, and other building elements.

Pipes, hoses, roofs, etc. all suffer wear and tear, and when this depreciation happens, they are bound to develop faults here and there.

It is expected that homeowners carry out regular house checks and change old pipes, hoses, and roofs that could normally cause leakage.

When this is not done, and the leak(s) causes black mold to form, your insurance is less likely to cover the black mold damage that occurs. 

Also, typical homeowner insurance does not cover black mold damages caused by a leak that the homeowner neglected and did not repair right up until the black mold started to form.

This is another case of neglect on the homeowner’s part, and the insurance company will not be liable. 

It is one thing to repair a broken hose, pipes, or a leaking roof, and it is another thing to ensure that the repairs are done well.

In a situation where a repair was made to a leaking roof, pipe, or hose, but the repairs were not done well and did not stop the leaks, thereby causing black mold to appear, the black mold damage is as a result of inadequate maintenance. Your home insurance company cannot cover it. 

Homeowners insurance policy does not also cover black mold damage caused by water from construction taking place on your property. Before construction starts, it is expected of you to take adequate measures concerning drainage and moisture prevention.

These measures are not put in place, and water from the construction causes black mold to form, this would not be covered by homeowners insurance. 

Also, homeowners insurance policies do not typically cover black mold damages caused by a flood.

In case you live in an environment prone to flood, you should buy a flood insurance policy asides from the homeowner insurance policy.

How Do I Know if My Homeowners Insurance Covers Black Mold?

To know if your homeowners insurance covers black mold, check the terms in the policy to be sure.

Some home insurance companies may include black mold damages but with limited coverage.

This means the amount the home insurance company would be paying for mold-related claims would be limited.

In a situation whereby your home insurance policy does not cover mold-related damages, you can buy an insurance policy that includes mold coverage.

This is termed “an endorsement,” and it comes at an additional fee to your standard home insurance fee.

How Do I Make a Successful Mold Insurance Claim?

If you notice black mold in your home and you want to make a mold insurance claim, take the following steps.

  • Make an immediate claim

If you notice black mold in your house, do not waste time in calling your insurance provider to make your claim. Also, ensure you take detailed notes of everything spoken about with your insurance provider and every other person you are directed to by the company. Ensure you review your home insurance policy with your insurance provider so you can have a full understanding of the coverage 

  • Be firm with your claim

While making a claim, some home insurance companies might want to deny your claim. Ensure you stand your ground and ask for an investigation into the cause of the black mold. 

  • Back your claim with proofs:

Take pictures and videos of the damages. 

Final Thought

Before buying a home insurance policy, it is crucial to understand the policy’s terms, including the coverage offered. Hence, having a detailed discussion with your insurance provider is necessary.