Homeowner’s Insurance and Mold Coverage

Mold exists everywhere in Florida. Our state is a veritable paradise for mold, with its high levels of humidity, abundant food sources and temperate climate. Many homeowners become quite concerned when mold is found in their home. Fortunately, mold is usually harmless. However, it can be a problem for certain individuals who are sensitive to mold, especially when there are elevated levels of certain strains of mold.

When mold is found, it can be expensive to get rid of. The process of getting rid of the mold is called “remediation.” It is important to use a certified mold remediation contractor to eliminate the mold, as certain procedures and protocols must be followed in order to prevent the spread of the mold. Treating the mold with bleach, painting over the mold or cutting out walls, if not done properly, can actually make the mold problem worse.

Years ago, homeowner’s policies generally covered the cost of remediation. As the number of mold claims increased, however, homeowner’s insurers sought to eliminate coverage for mold damage. Approximate 20 years ago the Florida Department of Financial Services allowed insurers to issue policies that significantly limited coverage for mold damage. Most policies now limit the amount of coverage for mold damage to $10,000, and the coverage is only triggered if the mold results from another peril insured against under the policy. For example, if the mold results from something sudden and accidental, such as a pipe burst, the cost of remediation should be covered. However, if the mold is caused by a maintenance problem, such as continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water, then the resulting water and mold damage probably won’t be covered. In order to determine whether mold remediation is covered under a homeowner’s policy, it is often important to figure out what caused the water intrusion or humidity that allowed the mold to grow. Sometimes engineers and water detection experts must be hired to figure out why the mold grew to potentially dangerous levels.

If you have a significant mold problem in your home, it can be expensive to fix. The $10,000 mold limit under most homeowner’s insurance policies can be woefully insufficient to cover all of the costs associated with mold remediation. Although most insurers don’t publicize this, they must offer you increased dollar amounts of mold coverage, above and beyond the $10,000 minimal limit they must provide by law. Of course, this will increase your premium, but if you ever have a water intrusion issue in your home and resulting mold damage, you will be very happy that you purchased the extra coverage. I had such an event in my house about 3 years ago and the cost of remediation was significantly more than $10,000. Fortunately, I had purchased additional mold coverage and my insurer paid all of the remediation costs.

If you have a mold issue in your home and need assistance with your claim, please feel free to contact the Law offices of The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. at 561-867-6010.