Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Problems?

A close-up of black mold growing on a ceiling.
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How your homeowner's insurance policy is worded often determines whether the insurer will cover damage due to mold problems. Mold remediation can be costly, sometimes running into thousands of dollars. But getting a mold claim paid isn't always easy. It makes a difference if mold is a result of water damage caused by a pipe that suddenly breaks or homeowner neglect, notes an article from AARP.

Policy Exclusions or Limitations

Although most standard homeowner's insurance policies exclude coverage for mold damage, in some cases, you can get a claim paid. Generally, an insurance company will pay for repairs related to mold if the claim is actually for damage caused by a broken water pipe. In that case, the insurer treats it as a water damage claim. Even policies that pay for mold repairs typically limit the amount of coverage. Look over your homeowner's policy carefully so that you understand the extent of the coverage you have when it comes to water damage, points out Houselogic.

Insurance Riders

An insurance rider offers additional coverage not included in a basic homeowner's policy. If your home is at high risk for mold, your insurer may offer mold coverage in the form of a rider, or add-on, to your existing policy. The coverage will cost you more but save you out-of-pocket expenses if your home suffers mold damage. Premium costs for mold riders vary depending on your home's value and the type of climate where you live. For example, you will pay more if you live in an older home located in a damp or humid climate where mold problems are more common. Insuring a newer home in a dry climate usually costs less.

Flood Damage

Most insurance policies won't cover remediation of mold problems that come from floodwater damage. If your home is located in an area where the flood risk is high, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Flood insurance is available to all homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program. Most insurance companies that sell homeowner's insurance sell flood insurance. Policy rates vary depending on the level of flood risk, elevation and amount of coverage you buy.

Homeowner Neglect

In general, homeowner's insurance won't pay to stop mold problems that come from poor maintenance or neglect over time. For example, if you do nothing about high humidity in your attic and mold develops, your homeowner's policy probably isn't going to pay for any resulting damages. Since mold needs moisture to grow, the best way to prevent mold damage is to get rid of excess moisture from leaky pipes, humidity and condensation or basement water seepage as quickly as possible.