Does homeowners insurance cover mold?

It can be difficult for homeowners to determine exactly what their insurance policy covers. Unfortunately when it comes to mold, there is no straightforward answer.

Homeowner should take basic maintenance steps

Policies are usually pretty clear on this issue. If the insurance company can reasonably conclude that mold buildup could’ve been prevented by proper homeowner maintenance, they will not cover damage or removal.

It all comes down to cover perils

In general, homeowners insurance policies will cover mold damage and removal only if the cause of the mold is a “covered peril”. “Covered perils” are essentially sources of damage typical to homes. Common covered perils are:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Vehicular damage
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice or snow
  • Accidental and sudden, unpreventable flooding that is NOT related to an actual flood

Notice that very few of these items are likely to lead to mold growth within the home. So in the majority of cases, mold is not covered by homeowners insurance.

Taking out an additional policy

If you are worried about having insurance coverage for mold and mildew, investing in a separate flood insurance policy could help. However, even with the additional policy, the insurance company will decide on coverage depending on the situation. They will likely analyze if the mold and mildew could have been prevented by homeowner maintenance.

Consequently, it is vital to take regular, proper care of the home prior to making a successful mold or mildew insurance claim. Homeowners should stay on top of ventilation in bathrooms, fix faulty plumbing immediately and take steps to prevent rain water from seeping into basements and crawl spaces.

Policies vary, so you should get to know yours and what it says about mold coverage. If you are interested in additional coverage, speak with an experienced insurance broker.