Mold and Home Insurance
The biggest culprit keeping mold in the exclusions of your insurance policy is that mold stems from water damage. And when it comes to water damage, insurance is most likely to cover sudden, accidental incidents versus long-term, maintenance-related damage, which is where mold usually comes from.
Increased awareness of mold and its health-related impact has not only made homeowners more conscientious of the problem, but an increase in claims has caused insurers to take a closer look at how they handle mold damage. Even policies that used to cover mold damage are now changing to exclude that coverage.
If you are concerned about whether or not your home insurance will cover mold damage, be sure to thoroughly read your policy and all endorsements. Look for exclusions specific to mold damage and any other limitations addressing mold. For example, your policy may have an allowance for mold damage, but it is capped at a certain dollar amount. Another option you may discover is a buy-back endorsement, which allows you to pay increased premiums to add mold coverage.
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Preventing Mold Damage
In addition to reviewing your homeowners insurance, it is also prudent to do what you can to avoid getting a mold problem in the first place. To prevent mold damage, be sure to clean up any leaks or standing water as soon as possible. You should also clean and maintain rain gutters regularly, control the humidity in your home, and use proper venting while showering or using appliances that produce moisture.
Another smart way to keep mold at bay is avoiding carpet in bathrooms, kitchens, and any other rooms that are prone to moisture. Proper maintenance can be your best friend when it comes to stopping mold before it starts. Regularly check doors, windows, ceilings, attics, and your home’s foundation for signs of leaks, which includes water stains and musty, earthy odors. As soon as you discover a leak or plumbing problem, get it repaired.
Get the Right Coverage
Sometimes even the most diligent homeowner can end up with a mold problem that needs to be addressed. When you are shopping for home insurance, it is important that you get all of the coverage you need. If you are worried you don’t have enough coverage, give a licensed agent a call so they can help you compare a variety of home insurance policies to ensure you have exactly what you need.