Homeowners insurance may cover mold but not always. To find out if your homeowners policy will cover a mold problem you are having, you will need to review the details of your policy carefully. If your policy contains a mold exclusion, depending on how it is worded, it may not be covered no matter what the cause, but if your policy doesn't have such an exclusion, coverage will be decided based on whether the mold is caused by a covered peril.
Is Mold Caused by a Covered Peril?
Whether mold is covered depends on the language in the specific insurance policy and the cause of the mold. When you take out a homeowners policy, you are purchasing protection against specific covered perils, which are risk incidents that could cause damage to your home. If your home has mold directly caused by a peril that is covered in your homeowners policy and your policy doesn't have a mold exclusion, then it may be covered.
What Is a Covered Peril
Exactly what is considered a covered peril can vary from one policy to another. A few of the most common covered perils that could possibly lead to mold include:
- Vehicle damage (damaged caused to the home by a car, airplane, etc.)
- Water damage (other than from a flood, because flood coverage requires a separate insurance policy)
- Windstorms (though wind damage is often excluded without separate wind coverage in certain parts of the country)
Of course, your policy may not cover all of the perils listed here. It may also cover perils that are not listed. Some of these example perils could, in fact, lead to mold. However, mold often occurs as a result of completely different causes.
It's not unusual for mold to occur in a way that would prevent it from being covered by homeowners insurance, according to Homesite.com. This is true even when the policy doesn't include a specific mold exclusion. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover problems that arise with a home due to neglect or negligence. In some cases, mold is the result of outright neglect. Additionally, there are situations where mold might have originally been caused by a covered peril, such as water damage from a plumbing leak, but proceeded to get worse because the homeowner didn't take steps to prevent further damage. As Cooperator New York points out, such a situation would indicate negligence. As a result, it would not be covered.
According to Insurance.com, another factor to consider, relevant to the language in your policy, is whether it includes an endorsement - which is basically add-on coverage - specific to mold. If you purchased a policy with such an endorsement, you may be protected for a certain dollar amount or certain types of work related to mold removal or damage. If you don't have such an endorsement, you may want to consider adding one if you are particularly concerned about mold. Keep in mind, though, that insurance companies may elect to decline a mold endorsement for properties that seem to have an elevated risk for this type of problem. Additionally, negligence or neglect would still not be covered with an endorsement.
Without knowing the specifics of your policy and the exact circumstances that led to the mold problem, there is no way to give an across-the-board answer to mold coverage. In the absence of a mold endorsement, there are likely more situations where mold is not covered than ones where it is. However, each situation is unique. Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about the details of your policy regarding mold. Ask for specific examples of when it's covered and when it isn't. If you have a mold problem you feel should be covered based on the language in your policy and the facts of your situation, you may need to seek legal advice if you aren't getting the assistance you need from your insurance company.