In the past, mold damage insurance claims were covered under most home insurance when it resulted from a covered peril, such as a sudden plumbing leak, fire control, storm or other cause covered under your policy.
Concerns have increased due to public knowledge and scientific knowledge about mold and the health-related severe hazards carried with it. The clean-up, removal, and remediation are costly and hazardous to the person completing them. In response to the public concerns, insurance carriers are removing such coverage from their policy forms regardless if the result is a covered peril. In many instances, the insurance companies offer a limited coverage for mold/fungus for additional premiums and fees.
Sustaining mold damage to your property is very common in Florida, especially South Florida. The weather in South Florida plays a role in the creation of mold on your property. Due to the warm, humid, and damp conditions in South Florida, the mold may be excessive on your property and can lead to damages and losses to your property, and can affect your health. Mold thrives on moisture.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold exists everywhere, but weather conditions like in South Florida, help them grow at an exponential rate. If you encounter mold on your property, contact a public adjuster today. We will make things right and help you in receiving the maximum compensation for your damages and losses with your struggle against the insurance company.
What Can Mold Do to Your Property and to Your Health
Whenever you find mold, maybe in an attic or such place, it may have a wet like appearance or may be dry. It is always best not to disrupt any mold you find in your home, but instead, contact a professional to go through this damage with you to ensure it gets handled.
Presence of mold is clear when you can see the actual mold, but you can not always see mold infestation. Mold can grow within walls, air units, and in many other locations around your home. You may notice a foul stench and decide to turn to a deodorizer to mask the awful smell. The problem with a foul odor and deodorization to mask the smell is the fix that doesn’t help. The odor becomes less obvious thanks to an air freshener or such other things, but the problem will not go away. Deodorizer can be used to make your home smell better, but the complete removal of the mold is required masking the mold is no answer.
Presence of mold is familiar in almost every part of the world. Many different types of mold can reside in almost any location. Mold in small amounts pose fewer health risks and can be found in even the cleanest of homes. It is when mold begins to grow or cover large areas of your home, or are disrupted by wind or irritating the mold, that the mold can spread and begin to grow in other areas. Mold is nearly impossible to remove, although, mold can be subsided and reduced and or removed in some cases.
Mold tends to derive from moisture which can be associated with leaks from your property. Having mold on your property may not only damage it, but it can also damage your health. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of mold than others. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, having mold can heighten your symptoms, and can cause you to suffer asthma attacks.
Mold can be found almost anywhere, dry locations, as well as moist locations. It is in the wetter, humid areas where mold can grow efficiently but mold located in dry areas only need to receive moisture before they can evolve and send their spores. Cleaning mold when found should be done with many precautions not to spread the mold around your home. Cleaning mold in a home should only be done by yourself if the area is small and should never be done with bleach. Bleach only changes the mold colors, leaving you to think the mold is gone. The mold spores are still alive, and the still present
Mold can also attribute to throat irritations, skin irritations, eye irritations, excessive coughing, and wheezing, and even nasal stuffiness. Some people do not experience any symptoms at all and this is in part because some people get affected by it, and others do not.
Coverage On Mold Damage
Home insurance will likely not cover mold or mildew damage unless it was caused by a “covered peril.” They also don’t pay for maintenance because they believe that the homeowner could have prevented the damage. Unfortunately, some insurance companies are even getting tired of mold that they go as far as not even telling you that they don’t cover it. It is important to always check your policy.
If you do not have mold coverage on your insurance but need it, some policies can get you “buy-back” endorsements for mold claims. How buy-back endorsements work is that you pay a lot more money in exchange for a certain amount of mold coverage. You’re essentially, giving more money to your insurance company just to keep mold coverage.
Property Damage Coverage
Insurance policy coverage varies for homeowner, commercial and renter property. Be aware and read your policy coverage because it all depends on the severity of the mold damage and what may have caused the contamination. Some policies include specified perils, and others have all risk policies. The difference is specified policies cover mold only if the evidence that is given is covered under your insurance perils, whereas if you have an all-risk policy, the insurance company can cover the mold damage unless the insurer can find that it isn’t part of your policy.
Damages that were caused by mold, dry or wet rot, corrosion, pollution, wear and tear, deterioration, construction defect, etc. all have some exclusions in the insurance policy. But even then, there are some exclusions within exclusions in the insurance coverage. That is why it is always important to know what your coverage entails especially when it has been renewed.
If the mold damage was caused by water damage or a secondary source, the insurance company should be able to cover the costs of remediation. Although, they may still be skeptical as to what caused the mold in the first place.
In most cases, if the insurer assumes that the mold damage has been going on for an extended period, they will exclude that in your policy. As a homeowner, you are expected to maintain your home from getting damaged and thus, insurers hold you accountable for it. In the case, that mold damage is repeatedly caused by the unexpected burst in your plumbing system, and you take the necessary step to protect and repair the damage, you may be covered. And as always, never tell your insurer of what you thought or guess the reason why you have mold damage. Wait until after the insurer has investigated the damage to acknowledge it.
As soon as the investigation has been down, look through the list of the things that were covered and be sure to include additional expenses you have had if you moved somewhere temporarily, you can be reimbursed for this as well.
Third-Party Liability Coverage
Your insurance company should be able to defend and reimburse you in the case where you’re being sued. However, the insurance can only protect you if the damages that are allegedly made against you are within your insurance policy. If you can prove that it is in fact within your insurance policy, you should immediately send a copy of the claims made against you by your insurance company. In the case where your insurance company does not defend you, it is your responsibility to reach out to a policyholder attorney to give you a solution to your problem.
Information You Need When Filing A Mold Insurance Claim
Bring the following information when you file a claim:
- Policy holder information such as your name, address, contact information, email and the number of your policy.
- Detailed description: when and where the damage took place, and the description of the damages
- Notification of authority: make a documentation of all the names of the fire department and police officers that took down your information.
- Emergency services & damage mitigation: be sure to provide the information when you contact any emergency service companies in the process.
Contact a Churchill Public Adjuster, if you’re not sure if you need one!
Process of the Public Adjusters on Mold Damage Estimator
- Contact and consult with a Public Adjuster
- Meet and talk about the damages
- Get an inspector and/or public adjuster to look at the severity of the damages
- The public adjuster would investigate the damages and give you an approximate amount of the damages done.
Mold can commonly grow in places like your bathtub, sink, shower, even in your toilet and the floor. Mold thrive and live from warm and wet environments thus; this area is mold prone. The shower and bathtub are damp most of the time, so this gives mold room to grow. Sometimes they can be found around shampoo bottles, washcloths, shower curtain/heads, and faucets. The sink and toilet may have mold in them if these areas are not clean and dried often. Most importantly, pay attention to water leaks that may or may not be coming from the walls or floors because mold can grow in these environments quickly.
They always say that the kitchen should be the cleanest place in the house because it is where you make meals. Unfortunately, mold can exist in the kitchen too! Areas like the kitchen sink, pantry, microwave, refrigerator, wooden cutting boards, around the stove, and even your window are prominent for mold growth.
It is important to never leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink often. If it is left for too long, funguses start to form and collect different bacteria in wet sponges, and garbage disposals that sit in the sink leading mold growth. Also, check for leaky pipes under the sink just to be on the safe side!
Window and window sills, air conditioning and heating vents are also places where mold can be found. We may not always know it but it is always important to look for mold in these places as well. It is horrifying to say that mold can exist in the bedroom if the ventilation or humidity isn’t properly controlled.
Mold can sometimes be seen on your mattress due to how humid your house gets but your mattress is cool and dry. Window and window sills collect condensation over time which would not help the prevention of mold growth. Moreover, it is also prominent for mold to grow in air ducts and heating vents.
As you’ve seen, mold grows everywhere and anywhere under the sun. The living room in this instance, is no exception. Mold grows in couch and curtains, indoor plants, fireplace, and chimney to say the least. If you scent a musty scent in your couch or curtains, chances are mold or mold spores are present. In other cases, indoor plants should not be overwatered because this gives mold the chance to grow.
Not everyone spends time in the garage, but it is important to note that the garage can also have mold in it, especially after flooding or even if you bring your car inside after a thunderstorm. Remember, mold grows in warm and humid environments and the garage is the perfect place for that. Prominent areas like your storage spaces, the garage doors and windows will have mold because that’s where water may have been standing for an extended period of time.
Prevention of Home Mold
The Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following ways to control mold growth:
- Maintain the level of humidity in your home
- Immediately fix any broken pipes, roofs, and windows
- If there’s flooding, clean it out thoroughly
- Ventilate areas where you cook, shower, and do laundry.
Prevention of mold from outside
- Rain gutters should be in good condition and having no debris
- Make sure the roof is in good condition, leaves-free and other debris
- Apply or use mold-resistant paint. These can be found at home improvement and hardware stores such as Home Depot.
Prevention of mold in the attic and crawlspace
- Fix roof leaks.
- Make sure you have the correct type of insulation
- Vent items outside
- Maintain a clean gutter and keep it in good condition most especially during rainy seasons.
Prevention of kitchen Mold
- When cooking, ventilate as much as possible. Open a fan and/or window.
- Clean the dishes daily
- Wash, clean and dry all the amenities such as, counters, cabinets, window sills, microwave and most importantly the stove top regularly
- Clean the refrigerator regularly
- Throw out the trash daily
- Ventilate the bathroom during and after your shower or bath and leave it on for another 30 minutes after you shower
- Maintain clean surfaces on the counters and floors.
- Look for faucets and pipes that may be leaking.
Statistical Information on Home Mold:
- The Institute of Medicine have found evidence that individuals with asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and healthy people who now have upper respiratory tract symptoms, wheeze and couch have had mold exposures indoors.
- Mold claims have increased about 1,100 in the past 10 years.
- Statistics say that over 30% of new homes already have mold in them.
- There is a 200% spike in the past 5 years for mold defects litigation. www.abanet.org
How long does it take for mold to grow on drywall?
- It takes mold about 24-48 hours to grow.
How much does it cost to remove mold from your home?
- Nationally, am average cost to remove mold is a little above over $7,500. Larger projects that are done by professionals cost about $10,000 or more.
What happens if you cannot remove the mold yourself
In situations where you cannot remove the mold yourself, it is not a good idea if:
- The mold covers more than three feet by three feet
- Mold forms after the flood waters are contaminated with hazardous waste or sewage water.
- Mold can be found in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of your home. Since most homeowners do not have the equipment to properly remove mold from HVAC systems.
- You’re not sure how to properly get the job done or the tools that are needed for the job.
- You have molds on your wood that cannot be taken out and replaced
- You have a medical condition such as asthma, environmental allergies, or an immune system disorder
- You already have signs of mold-related illness, such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, shortness of breath, wheezing, migraines, sore throat, or chronic sinus infections.
What can impact mold and how to identify mold?
- How to identify mold: Identifying a household mold can be easy to spot. It appears as a discoloration on the ceiling, wall or floor ranging from different colors such as: black, blue, orange, red, violet, white or yellow. Since, most discoloration aren’t molds, apply drops of bleach on the spot to see if it could be mold. If it changes colors or disappears completely, it could be mold.
How can mold spread through your home?
Mold can be found everywhere, all year round. It starts as spores and gradually become grow throughout the home. This is called the Stack Effect. According to Basement Systems, the Stack Effect is what happens when warm air rises inside the home and leave through the upper levels and attic. While this is happening, air from the lower levels draw upwards from the basement and crawl space creating a vacuum. This vacuum collects mold spores, humidity, dust mites, and odor which will be spread throughout the main area of your home.
Where to look for mold?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold exists everywhere. It existed even before you moved into your home. This means, it can be found in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living area, garage, and other places such as your ceilings, walls, carpeting, fabric, and upholstery, washing machines and even dryers.
Does flood insurance cover mold?
According to FEMA, mold and mildew damages that were caused by flooding is covered but are evaluated case by case. However, mold and mildew damages that have already existed before the flood, are not covered. Policyholders are expected to take appropriate actions to diminish mold and mildew buildup after a flood.
At this point, we already know that mold grows everywhere. In some instances, they are harmless but as they grow it becomes harmful. So, the goal now is to figure out the 5 W’S of how a public adjuster can help you.
DYI Sites To Remove Mold
We all know how costly it is to get mold removed from our homes. However, if the mold has spread and become hazardous to you and your families health and you feel like your insurance company won’t cover the cost of it then reach out to one of our expert public adjuster to help you. As your public adjusters, we will fight until the end to have you receive your full monetary expenses.
If the damages are small and you want to do it yourself, here are steps on mold remediation:
Why Choose Our Public Adjusters For Mold?
We know the scope and how to engage insurance companies. They will want to avoid liability for your claims, and either offer you nothing for your damages, or a very little amount. We have expertise in the subject of mold damages. We have a proven record with cases involving mold damage. As your public adjusters, we will fight until the end to have you receive your full mold related expenses.
Dealing with insurance companies is part of our mission. As tedious as it may be, our goal is to fight for your rights and insure that you are fairly compensated for your mold related damages. We will advise you on whether seeking outside experts is necessary for your current situation. Seek your justice now with one of our expert public adjusters. We are your voice and knowledge!