Summary List Placement
Homeowners insurance will cover mold, but only if it’s the result of a covered event such as a burst pipe.
Mold damage from negligence or lack of maintenance is not covered.
You need separate coverage through insurance riders for mold from flood or sewer line damage.
Policygenius can help you compare homeowners insurance policies to find the right coverage for you, at the right price »
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyHomeowners insurance protects your home from damage, theft, and liability. But there are limitations to that coverage — and it depends on the type of “peril” your policy insures against.
There are eight types of homeowners insurance, but they all fall into one of two categories: named peril or open (all) peril. A named peril policy covers you for listed events, like a fire, storm, or theft, whereas an open peril policy covers just about anything that might happen, unless your policy specifically notes that it’s not covered. Open peril homeowners insurance provides more coverage than named peril.
Does homeowners insurance cover mold?
Homeowners insurance covers water damage as a result of a named peril (or covered event). For example, if water damage is from a burst pipe, it could fall under “sudden, accidental, cracking or tearing” or “freezing” or “windstorm” perils, according to Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance.
As for mold, if it’s a result of water damage from a covered peril — such as a burst pipe, wind, or hail storm — it may be covered under standard homeowners insurance.
Named peril homeowners insurance typically covers these events:
Fire or lightning
Windstorm or hail
Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
Sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging
Sudden and accidental damage due to short circuiting
Source: Data from The Zebra and Lemonade
Mold needs time to grow and warm weather, which is why you normally see mold after a hurricane.
If you have water damage, Wilson recommends taking damaged drywall or insulation out of the house to dry it out and hopefully avoid mold.
If mold is not related to a peril (like those listed above), then most homeowners insurance companies will deny coverage for mold damage.
Mold damage from flood or sewer lines requires separate coverage
Flood damage is not covered under standard homeowners insurance and requires separate flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance also doesn’t cover water damage from backup or sewer lines, but it’s available as an add-on rider.
If your home gets mold as a result of a flood or sewer damage, you may not be covered unless you have a separate flood insurance policy or purchased a service line rider that covers sewer lines.
How to file an insurance claim for mold due to water damage
Wilson gave these four steps for filing a claim for water damage with your homeowners insurance company:
Contact insurance carrier. Your carrier may provide a list of contractors.
Ask your carrier for advice to help prevent further damage.
Take pictures or video of the damage and where it is located.
Prevent further damage to property. Focus on a temporary fix so insurance can look and properly access a permanent fix from a professional. Make sure water can run in all faucets. Leaks are usually a sign of a problem, especially in less used rooms like guest bedrooms.
Ronda Lee is an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. She is also a licensed attorney who practiced litigation and insurance defense.
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