The California climate is predominantly dry. However, bursts of humidity can cause moisture to accumulate and mold to grow. Mold can also develop from issues like leaky pipes. Homeowner’s insurance coverage for mold remediation in The Golden State depends on the water source.
The wording in a homeowner’s insurance policy is often vague, and coverage details for mold remediation may not always be clearly outlined. In general, however, coverage for mold damage is excluded, unless the mold is due to unforeseen water damage—a covered claim.
What types of water damages are covered?
Sudden, accidental water damage events, such as a burst water pipe, leaky appliance, water heater failure, or the overflow from an air conditioning unit, are covered by standard homeowners’ insurance policies in California. Coverage is limited to water damage that originates from within the home.
Burst pipes are the number one cause of water damage in California homes. Water damage due to such sudden instances is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Surprisingly, water damage is among the most common home insurance claims filed by the state’s residents.
What types of water damages are excluded?
Water damage caused by water from outside the home, such as natural flooding or a water backup from an outside sewer, is not covered. The purchase of separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program covers water damage due to flooding.
What types of mold damage does insurance cover?
Water damage, whether originating from within the home or outside of it, is likely to cause a mold infestation within the property. A water heater may malfunction and spew water, for instance. The resulting water damage can lead to the growth of black mold along the walls.
Or, a California wildfire may affect portions of a residential property. Fire officials respond with water hoses, and the moisture that extinguishes the flames saturates materials within the home. The widespread dampness has the potential to cause a mold infestation.
A third example of a sudden, accidental case of water damage is when the dishwasher malfunctions. The leaky appliance releases water onto the surrounding floor. As a result of the moisture, mold develops along the baseboards of the kitchen cabinets.
These three aforementioned examples of water damage are covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy in the state of California. The mold damage that occurs as a result of the covered perils is eligible for mold remediation coverage through homeowner’s insurance.
Residents of The Golden State may file a claim for mold cleanup as well as for restoration of materials that have been damaged by mold growth—as long as the source of the moisture is covered under the homeowner’s standard insurance policy.
Homeowners, however, must demonstrate to the insurance company that the water damage was sudden and accidental and reported promptly to the insurer. By acting quickly, the homeowner has a better chance of receiving coverage for the damages caused by mold.
When is mold removal excluded from a policy?
Not all cases of mold are covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. Mold remediation coverage is extremely limited, some even to $10,000. Higher coverage limits may be had for a premium increase. The majority of homeowners’ insurance policies list several exclusions for mold-related damages.
Homeowner’s insurance will not cover damages caused by mold if the source of the moisture is from a long-term, unrepaired leak. A toilet may leak for several months, and the homeowner is aware of the situation, for instance. Any resulting mold growth will not be covered.
A humid climate, like California’s, can cause moisture accumulation and a case of mold. California residents who do not run the dehumidifier and are thereby faced with extensive black mold growth in the basement will not receive coverage for the damages caused by the spores.
Although thunderstorms are uncommon in Southern California, one random storm could cause indoor flooding. The water damage that occurs could trigger a mold infestation. Unfortunately, the mold damage resulting from storm flooding is excluded in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
When faced with extensive mold growth, homeowners are advised to notify the insurer immediately. An adjuster will be dispatched to assess the cost of the damage and determine if the mold growth is related to a covered water damage claim.
Documentation of the mold growth is necessary for insurance purposes. Take photographs of the mold damage to serve as evidence. Homeowners should do their best to try to prove that the mold infestation is directly related to a water damage claim in order to avoid paying two deductibles.
When in doubt about mold remediation coverage, ask the insurer. Mold removal coverage is limited. But, as soon as homeowners notice mold, either by sight or smell, it is critical to remove the spores from the property with the help of the mold cleanup pros at ServiceMaster by TA Russell.
Water damage and mold damage are interconnected. Expect mold colonies to emerge within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage incident. Once mold latches onto organic materials, the spores rapidly multiply and contaminate other areas of the property. Our skilled techs work quickly to limit its spread.
ServiceMaster by TA Russell mold cleanup specialists assess the extent of mold growth. We isolate the affected areas to prevent airborne mold spores from contaminating the rest of the home. If your homeowner’s insurance covers mold remediation, we work with the insurer to accelerate claims.
Our experienced technicians develop and implement a professional mold removal plan. The efficient mold cleanup services provided by the experts at ServiceMaster by TA Russell strictly abide by the guidelines outlined in the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
A mold infestation is a serious issue that could affect not only the structural integrity of your building but its occupants’ health. Call ServiceMaster by TA Russell when you notice mold. We promptly respond to emergencies in Azusa, California, and Southern California, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.