Getting rid of a large-scale infestation of mold and mildew can be a rather expensive endeavor. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of professional mold removal is between $1,135 and $3,182 -- a cost that could be hard to swallow for a household on a tight budget. You're probably wondering if you can get your homeowners insurance policy to foot the cost of removal instead. The following explains why mold removal on the insurance company's dime could be more difficult than you imagined.
Coverage Could Depend on How the Mold Occurred
Although the average homeowners insurance policy typically excludes damage caused by mold and mildew, that doesn't mean your claim will automatically be denied. On the contrary, you may be able to cover mold-related damages as long as it occurred under specific circumstances. For example, your homeowners insurance may cover mold damage that occurred as a result of sudden and accidental water damage, such as a burst pipe.
Your homeowners insurance policy is far less likely to cover mold damage that's the result of ongoing neglect or maintenance issues. For instance, mold growth caused by long-term humidity issues or continuous water seepage from a defective or poorly maintained pipe may not be covered by your policy. Meanwhile, nearly all homeowners insurance policies exclude mold damage caused by floods because that is covered by separate flood insurance.
Keep in mind that a growing number of insurance providers are completely excluding coverage for mold-related damage, irrespective of how it occurred. It's important to carefully review your homeowners insurance policy to know where you stand on coverage for mold remediation.
Coverage Amounts Could Be Limited
Even if your homeowners insurance provider decides to cover the cost of the mold remediation, the coverage may not be as much as you'd expect. It's not unusual for insurance providers to limit the amount of money that's available for mold-related claims and other expenses.
In some cases, your homeowners insurance may cover one aspect of the mold removal process (such as the actual clean-up) while excluding other aspects (such as testing). Again, this depends on the wording of your homeowners insurance policy.
Prevention Is Always the Best Policy
The best way of dealing with mold growth is to stop it in its tracks before it starts. To save yourself the hassle, here are a few preventative tips you can use to curtail mold growth in your home:
- Keep your home's relative humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. You can use a hygrometer to check humidity levels throughout your home.
- Keep an eye on your utility bills. A sudden increase in your water usage could indicate a leak somewhere.
- Always repair water leaks as soon as they can be found.
- Check your toilets, faucets, appliance hoses and pipes for signs of leaks.
- If you plan on repainting your walls, add mold inhibitors to the paint for added protection.
For more information about mold removal and prevention, talk to a company like Environmental Hazmat Services Inc.