One of the most common questions we get from homeowners here in Florida is ”I have mold should i file a insurance claim”? Not only is mold the most common issue homeowners experience, but it is also the most misunderstood. What most people don’t know is that mold removal is typically only covered when the source of the mold is a peril already covered in your homeowners policy, such as water damage.
Standard homeowners insurance policies protect you from water damage caused by sudden and accidental incidents, such as a burst pipe or an overflow resulting from a malfunctioning AC unit. If the resulting moisture from such an issue causes mold to develop, you’d be able to file a claim for mold removal, as well as for the repair of any property permanently damaged by the mold, under your water damage coverage. As a homeowner the first thing you do when you see mold is run to home depot and buy mold killer. If the mold gets worse then you may call in a mold remediation team to help get rid of it.
This is where the real problem starts, the way mold remediation company’s work is that they bill your insurance carrier directly for any work done via a direction of pay or an assignment of benefits. This may sound good but what they often neglect to mention is that by doing this they are opening a claim against the house and it could be for something as small as a $250 bill for a mold test.
Being that mold coverage is so misunderstood the majority of these ”mold specialists” will go and file a mold claim not knowing if you will even be covered or not. this typically results in you having holes in your walls, ceiling, or even half of your kitchen missing due to the mold remediation. When the insurance carrier comes out to inspect the property 9 out of 10 times they will deny your claim stating its not from a covered peril and therefore don’t owe you anything.
If you have mold in your home it is because of two reasons.
- Surface Mold. Typically in a bathroom or place where there is a lot of moisture.
- You have a water leak that needs to be fixed
If you have surface mold your insurance carrier won’t cover it as coverage is only given when it is a sudden and accidental loss and not something that just happened over time i.e seepage. Whereas if you have a water leak coverage should be extended per your policy.
Now if a mold remediation team goes in there and starts filing claims for mold without actually knowing what they are doing not only do you run the risk of filing a claim for no reason, but in the event where you do have a valid claim they can do some serious harm to your chances of recovering the money you need to fix your home.
This is where a public adjuster can help. Public adjusters have the fiduciary responsibility to always have the homeowners best interests in mind and we understand policy. The best mold removal company’s understand mold and how to remove it, not policy.
Public Insurance Adjusters are also experts in everything related to filing an insurance claim, so next time you have mold in your home call a public adjuster near you to get the advice and guidance you need to give you the best opportunity in recovering the full amount you deserve for your claim.