Mold And Your Insurance

By: Jim Corkern

Under most home insurance policies, mold is one of the few things (along with rust, rot, and fungi) that are generally uncovered unless it is the result of something that is covered by the homes insurance policy, such as flood damage and the water caused by a burst pipe. However, mold that has been caused by leaks, condensation, or flooding (in the case where the homeowner does not have flood insurance) is not covered.

Even though mold has been around for thousands of years and will continue to be for thousands more, the amount of mold claims that have been submitted to insurance companies have increased significantly. Insurers are beginning to insert some language into their policies that is very specific as to what is covered and what is not. Some companies may soon decide to offer to cover damages caused by mold and will raise the price of the policy and others may choose to continue to completely exclude mold from the homeowners insurance policy. In order to guard against the failings of your homeowners insurance, removing mold and preventing it from returning is essential if you wish to retain the value of your home and your health.

Anyone who owns or rents property should be aware that mold should be cleaned up as soon as it is discovered and that mold cannot grow without a decent access to moisture. Repairing water damage, the cause of excess humidity, and other leaks should be done immediately in order to minimize the amount of mold that will grow in that area of the property. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people take measures to safeguard not only their properties, but also their health by making swift work of the mold growing where they live and/or work and taking appropriate measures to make sure it does not return.

Your home should not be completely air tight and a home that is cannot breathe. Homes that air cannot flow freely through are breeding grounds for mold because the air is allowed to become stagnant. You should have vents installed in the bathrooms, laundry room, and kitchen in your home.

Wood and other cellulose-based debris should not be placed in any crawl spaces or against the side of the home because mold eats these and any other organic-based material.

Carpet should not be installed anywhere in the home where moisture should be a problem such as the bathroom where toilets or bath tubs can overflow or in the laundry room where the washer could leak out into the floor.

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