- Is Mold Covered in...
Is Mold Covered in Homeowner’s Insurance?
The last thing you want to find in your home is mold, and the last place you want to find it is in your air ducts. Mold on its own can be harmful to your health and the structure of your home. But it can become even worse when it reaches your ducts. If you ignore it, mold can spread throughout your home. It can begin affecting your health without you realizing there’s even a problem.
You need to hire an air duct cleaning company to remove mold from your air ducts as soon as possible.
But you might be wondering, can your homeowner’s insurance cover mold damage in my air ducts?
The answer is somewhat complicated and requires some explanation. Before we go any further, though, we suggest that you review the specifics of your own insurance policy. If you know what’s covered before any of these problems arise, you’ll be quick on your feet to respond.
This blog post will go over when most homeowner insurance policies will and will not cover mold damage. Specifically, we’ll talk about how that affects their coverage of mold in your air ducts. We’ll also cover methods of keeping mold from gathering in your home and what to do when filing a claim.
A State of Peril
In many cases, homeowners insurance will cover mold damage related to any “peril” included in your insurance policy. A peril is any damage to your home caused by an outside force that your insurance explicitly covers.
For example, if you water heater malfunctions or suddenly bursts. The spilled water may cause mold to grow due to that accident. In this case, your insurance will cover some of the damages if your policy covers water heater malfunctions. This would overlap with air duct mold removal if the water from the unit bursting invades your ducts. The removal of air duct mold, in that case, may be covered in your policy.
The reason the mold damage is covered is because it’s a part of the damages caused by the accident and not the accident itself. Rather than filing two claims, the mold clean up becomes a part of the overall damages covered in the claim. The only issue is that your policy may not cover the entire costs to repair mold damage. You may have to talk with your insurance provider to increase your coverage.
In the unfortunate event that your air ducts grow mold due to water gathering in your home from floods, then it’s unlikely that your homeowner’s insurance will cover the damages. Most homeowner insurance policies only cover damages caused by appliances. Many will stray away from covering damages specifically for floods.
Luckily, many insurance companies do offer separate flood insurance, which is its own policy and comes with its own rules. Because of this separate plan, mold damage isn’t always covered and you should discuss coverage with your insurance provider.
In the case of other natural disasters, like hurricanes or snow storms, mold caused by damages from these events might be covered. Let’s say your roof is ripped off by a hurricane, and water gathers in your ducts causing mold to grow. Just like the peril coverage, the mold may be included in your claim.
The only scenario that is guaranteed to not be covered by any insurance plan is the case of negligence. If mold grows due to your lack of action, then the insurance company will not cover these damages.
For example: Let’s say you notice your AC unit has a minor leak, and you ignore it because it’s not a major problem yet. Well, if that water causes mold to grow in your duct system, then the insurance company will not cover the damages. Because you failed to fix the problem when you first noticed it, the mold is a result of negligence. It isn’t covered.
What To Do
Rather than waiting for the mold to grow, there are a few steps you can take to keep dangerous fungus from growing in your air ducts.
Consistently check for leaking pipes and appliances, especially in or around your HVAC system, and fix them as soon as possible.
Keep an eye on your roof, doors, and windows for cracks or breaks in the seal that could leak.
Regularly clean your air ducts by vacuuming them and cleaning vent openings with a cloth.
Install humidifiers in your basement or attic, especially around your water heater and AC unit if possible.
If all else fails and your home falls victim to water damage, or worse mold damage, then follow these steps when filing your claim.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and file a claim.
Follow every step your insurance provider tells you when you file for a claim.
Document everything with photos and videos. There’s no such thing as too much coverage.
Gather up-to-date maintenance records if you have them.