So, you’ve had a pipe burst or a basement flood or some other situation causing damage to your home. One of the first questions we get from worried homeowners who call us in crisis is whether their insurance will cover the cost to remediate their homes after water or mold damage. The short answer: it depends. There is obviously fine print in any insurance policy that you should make sure you understand. In our experience, there are some important “need-to-knows” about insurance coverage and mold/water damage:
Homeowners insurance covers mold if a “covered peril” caused it.
Insurance.com explains that home insurance policies usually do NOT cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity. However, if a covered peril caused the mold, your policy should pay for repairs and cleanup. What are considered covered perils?
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Frozen pipes
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water/steam from plumbing, HVAC systems, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
Theft, vandalism, and damage caused by vehicles are also considered covered perils, but these obviously have nothing to do with water or mold. If a pipe burst in your home and mold begins to form, or ice forms in your roof gutter and backs up under your shingles (causing an attic leak and mold growth), however, damage would likely be covered.
Insurance companies expect you to act responsibly.
If damage was caused by your own failure to maintain your home, you can expect a fight from the insurance company. For example, mold caused by an old roof or failure to use a bathroom fan that properly ventilates a bathroom would be reasons that an insurance company would deny your claim. Be sure you are regularly inspecting and maintaining your home and that you call your insurance company immediately after a flood or similar situation occurs.
Most standard policies don’t cover mold damage.
Most property insurance policies cover accidental water damage in your home (like an appliance leak, water line break, or weather damage that causes rain to enter the home). But if water damage leads to mold, the resulting mold would not be covered. And even if you have a separate flood insurance policy, it would only cover mold and mildew if you uphold your responsibility to properly inspect and maintain your property after a flood.
Every policy is unique.
It goes without saying but there’s no clear-cut answer to whether your insurance policy covers water and mold damage. You must contact your insurance company to get a clear picture of your policy and its details. You’ll want to find out whether you are covered for things like sewage backup or overland flooding (when a nearby body of water floods and this causes damage to your home and property).
If you have questions about your homeowners insurance policy and whether it covers water and mold damage (and if so, what the exclusions are), call AOA Cleaning & Restoration. We work with insurance companies often and can help you understand your policy and what type of policy would protect you best should your home ever experience significant damage from inclement weather or a leaking or burst pipe. We’re here to help—call us at 201-848-8600.