Mold: A Covered Insurance Claim, Or Costly Repair?
THE SHORT ANSWER
How to Get Insurance to Pay
If you file your claim with your property insurance through a certified public adjuster, fast enough, then you can typically get your insurance company to pay for part or all of your mold remediation.
In Florida, for more than 10 contiguous square feet of mold it is recommended to have an inspection and testing conducted by an indpendent contractor; one not involved in performing any of the remediation work.
For an independent assessment, we recommend JRG Mold Inspections & Testing. JRG is also a Public Claims Adjuster with a 90% success rate in getting the insurance company to pay.
A MORE IN-DEPTH ANSWER
Let's say a simple attempt to clean behind the fridge, that sits next to the stove, turns into a disaster.
The musty smell hits you, and it becomes quite obvious you have mold. Everything is wet, and you wonder how you didn't notice this was happening. This is a more common scenario than you'd think.
Sometimes when pipes go, appliances fail, and AC systems stop working like they used to; you'll find water sneakily hiding out where it shouldn't be.
Along with this comes the dreaded mold.
Choosing A Good Insurance Policy Is Important
Mold remediation can sometimes be fairly costly, even if the project at hand doesn't seem incredibly large. Mold infestations, although only physically appearing in one or two places, likely will affect your air quality and other areas of your home.
HGTV.com reports "Mold remediation specialists will inspect ductwork, attic spaces, walls, and even crawlspaces. The cost can average anywhere from $500 to $6,000"
Mold remediation is detailed work, ensuring the removal of spores, and pathogens require it to be. Picking the right policy will give you the coverage to tackle this project with a reputable company affordably.
I Have A Great Policy, But How Does It Work?
Mold will usually appear anywhere water damages occur. So similar to the nature of mold, a good policy will cover claims where mold was the result of direct water damages. Mold is recognized as what's called secondary damage; it's expected to occur.
Here are a few examples of when mold is covered by homeowners insurance.
Your water heater ruptures, releasing water that causes black mold to grow on the surrounding walls.
You experience a home fire, and mold develops after firefighters use water to extinguish the flames.
Your dishwasher malfunctions and floods your kitchen, resulting in mold growing along the base of your cabinetry.
So When Isn't Mold Damage Covered?
Sometimes despite even having the best coverage, mold damages may not be covered. This will likely be the case If the mold in your home isn't directly caused by water damages or an already covered peril. Other instances of denied claims may include mold created by humidity, or improper usage of functioning HVAC equipment, negligence, and stormwater.
It's important to act fast, even if mold is created by direct water damage. If a water or mold problem isn't addressed and reported to your insurance company in a timely manner, this may result in a denial. Most insurance companies will allow up to two weeks to make a valid claim.
Who Decides If My Claim Is Covered?
When making an insurance claim, after the initial phone call, an appointment with a field adjuster will be created. When the adjuster visits your home, it's their job to collect all pertinent information to your claim.
They'll inspect the affected area, estimate costs of repair, and take photos. This information is then transferred to another agent of the insurance company called a desk adjuster.
With the information collected at hand, the desk adjuster will review these documents, and be able to determine coverages. Sometimes the insurance company may request additional information from third-party contractors such as leak detection specialists, and industrial hygienists.
When 3rd party contractors are necessary to determine claims coverage, it is important to specify with your insurance company who will be required to compensate them. If it is deemed your responsibility, typically these costs will reduce your deductible.
Choosing A Reputable Remediation Company To Help Guide My Claim.
When navigating a mold claim, it's important to have a reputable, and knowledgeable company on your side. Not only will they get the job done properly, but also clear up some of the gray areas, and uncertainties of making a mold claim.
Experience matters. When validating a mold claim, documentation is key. An experienced Mold remediation company will know exactly what documentation is necessary and required by your insurance to get your claim across the finish line.
The insurance company wants to know that the damages in your home have been rectified, after all it is their obligation to return your home to pre-loss conditions. Working alongside a remediation company that readily works with insurance, and communicates well, can truly make the rocky experience much smoother.
In the event that your claim concludes with complete denial, not all hope is lost. A good remediation company has your health at heart, and having mold in the home may be a direct risk to that health. You'll find some remediation companies offer payment plans that allow for your home to be properly repaired, without causing a financial burden.
Knowing Where You Stand.
Emergencies are bound to happen, and when they do, it's good to have all hands on deck.
Preparedness is crucial; knowing where you stand with your insurance policy, and having
contact with a trusted mold remediation provider will benefit you greatly. Having a good team will make all the difference in getting your home back to healthy.
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