Your Mold is Not My Problem — How Insurers Try to Avoid Paying You For Mold Damage

A home is often an individual or family’s most valuable asset. It is also an extremely delicate one, subject to damage or destruction by natural disasters or man-made accidents. It is therefore essential to get good homeowner’s insurance coverage.

Homeowner’s insurance pays back the insured homeowner for damage or destruction to the property (by fire or storm, for example), as well as any damage that the property itself has caused to third parties (such as a slip and fall).

Insurance companies walk a fine line, which makes them both the friend of the homeowner as well as his or her adversary.  It is true that the insurance company is in the business of making payouts to homeowners when houses are damaged.  But it is also true that the insurance company is a business, and wants to maximize its profits.   So it will sometimes try to exclude (not pay you for) certain types of damage that it thinks will cost it too much.

Mold illustrates the point. As the Florida Department of Financial Services points out, many insurance companies exclude coverage of mold damage from their policies.  They explicitly either exclude mold from coverage under the policy or exclude various events, such as flooding, which are most likely to lead to mold damage.

Mold is difficult to remove, and requires two separate professionals, a mold assessor who evaluates the level of damage and prepares a detailed report, and a mold remediator who removes the mold damage.   As a result, insurance companies will often try to get out of paying these expensive claims by excluding mold at the outset.   Before you take out a homeowner’s insurance policy, check the exclusions and shop around for the most comprehensive coverage that you can afford to protect yourself, your family and your property.

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