Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold in Attic?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold in Attic

Standard homeowners insurance policies cover attic mold if it is caused by a sudden or accidental covered peril, and the mold is hidden above ceiling structures or within ceilings, walls, or floors.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs if, for instance, your drywall is drenched after an upstairs pipe bursts and causes mold in your attic.

Scroll ahead to discover other instances when attic mold is covered.

When does homeowners insurance cover attic mold?

Here are other scenarios where attic mold may be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

  • A drain or pipe attached to a water heater or sink leaks or ruptures
  • A malfunctioning appliance (like a washing machine or air conditioner) malfunctions
  • A toilet overflows
  • The most common cause attic mold is water damage due to leaking pipes or runoff from rainfall.
  • Fire fighters extinguishing a fire cause water damage resulting in attic mold
  • Water damage, like rain coming inside during a storm that causes damage to the roof, is typically covered as an act of nature.

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Coverage limits

Coverage might include removing the attic mold and any other hazardous materials, as well as restoring any damage that’s been done.

However, coverage limits may apply. Mold removal coverage is typically limited and will only cover up to a certain dollar amount per occurrence.

You may be able to increase the amount of mold protection coverage through your carrier with a policy rider for an additional cost.

Deductible

Remember that a deductible will almost certainly apply before your coverage kicks in.

Supplemental Homeowners Insurance Policy Options

Here are two supplemental insurance options that can help add coverage for attic mold:

  • Hidden water damage endorsement: Leaks behind a wall or in between the floorboards can lead to extended damage. Mold removal is usually covered with this endorsement.
  • Water backup ensorsement: You could be reimbursed for mold damages caused by a drain backup, sewer line clog, or sump pump failure. The coverage may be limited to a specific dollar amount.

If you’re considering purchasing supplemental mold insurance coverage, try checking with your insurer to see if they offer it.

Key takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance typically pays for attic mold damage when it is caused by a covered peril or issue like a burst pipe.
  • Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover attic mold caused by flooding.
  • You can add supplemental mold coverage to your existing policy.

When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover attic mold removal?

Attic damage caused by mold is usually not covered by standard homeowners insurance for a variety of reasons.

  • Standard homeowners insurance will not cover damage to your attic caused by water seeping through the ground or coming in at ground level. You may want to consider adding this type of insurance to your homeowners policy if you think there is a high probability that you could be affected by flooding in your attic.
  • A slow leak in your piping system is considered improperly maintained and is unlikely to be covered by insurance, as opposed to a sudden burst in the pipes which may be covered.
  • You’ve had a attic leak for years, resulting in attic mold growth.
  • You live in a humid climate and failed to use a dehumidifier in your attic, and mold grew as a result.
  • A storm causes flooding, and subsequently mold infestation, in your attic. Damage caused by flooding is not part of mold coverage on a standard home insurance policy.

Attic mold caused by negligence

Attic mold is usually not covered by your homeowners insurance policy if it grows as a result of a lack of upkeep. If you could have avoided mold growth by repairing leaky pipes or using a dehumidifier, your insurer will not reimburse you for mold removal and treatment.

Homeowners insurance policies are known for loopholes that may favor insurance companies. And most insurance policies do not cover attic mold damage in certain instances.

Proper preventative measures can help minimize the odds of having to deal with an attic mold issue.

Speak with insurance agent to confirm what exceptions are stated in your homeowners insurance policy.

Do all homeowners insurance policies cover attic mold?

Some homeowners insurance companies don’t offer mold coverage at all. For example, State Farm has dropped mold coverage altogether, regardless of whether it is caused by a covered peril.

Other insurance companies like Allstate, impose coverage limits on mold. Check with your homeowners insurance agent to see what coverage you have available.

Not all standard homeowners insurance policies cover attic mold. And most of the time, the attic mold damage will need to have been caused by a covered peril.

Related: The 7 Worst Homeowners Insurance Companies

How to prevent your attic mold claim from being denied

There are various preventative measures you can take to avoid attic mold and/or increase your chances of getting your claim granted if attic mold damage occurs.

  • Dehumidifiers should be installed in damp locations.
  • Check plumbing pipes and fittings for leaks on a regular basis.
  • Ventilate bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of your attic where mold has a chance to thrive.
  • Keep gutters clean to avoid ice jams in the winter, which can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect your roof on a regular basis, as well as around windows and doors, and caulk any crevices that could allow water to pour into your attic.
  • In the winter, properly insulate internal and exterior pipes to avoid breaks or leaks.
  • Check appliances for leaks on a regular basis.

How to detect mold in your attic

Discovered mold in your attic?

If you suspect mold in your attic, it’s important to speak with a professional to determine if your home is safe.

Mold smell

Molds produce a musty smell when they grow. Attic mold can find its way underneath your carpet, appliances, or walls.

Signs of attic mold

If you are noticing any of the following signs of mold in your attic, it may be time to call a professional:

  • Look for a musty smell in the air. This often indicates that there is an increase in moisture levels, which can be indicative of mold growth.
  • Look for dark patches on the ceiling or walls. Mold growth can cause these areas to become darker than the rest of the room.
  • Look for other visible signs of attic mold, such as black spots or water droplets. Mold can grow rapidly in wet environments, and may produce water spots on the floor.
  • Monitor unusual mold growth on surfaces or objects. If you see growth on something that is not typically associated with mold, like drywall or wood, it is likely that there is a problem.

Identifying the source of your attic’s mold is the first step to assessing the damage.

Mold testing

If you suspect that mold is present in your attic, you can test for the presence of the fungus using an environmental testing kit.

If the spores are detected, then your home may be at risk for serious health consequences related to mold exposure.

Contacting a professional mold remediation company may be necessary to remediate the situation and protect you and your family from potential health risks.

What should you do if you find attic mold?

If you find mold in your attic, it’s important to take action. Mold can lead to health problems, and homeowners insurance may not cover these costs. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Contact your homeowners insurance company. Tell them that you’ve found mold in your attic, and ask what coverage they offer.
  • Contact a professional mold remediation company. A professional company will be able to clean up the mold and prevent it from spreading.
  • Close off the area where the mold is located. This will help keep the area clean and protect other people from coming into contact with the mold.

After the mold in your attic is removed, ensure that all walls and ceilings in your attic are properly sealed. This will help to prevent moisture from entering your attic and facilitating the growth of mold.

Is attic mold unhealthy?

Attics can provide a warm, dry environment that is ideal for the growth of mold and other moisture-loving organisms. Mold can cause serious health problems if it is inhaled, ingested, or contact with skin.

Mold can be a serious indoor air quality issue, especially in humid climates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to low levels of mold can increase your risk of respiratory problems, including asthma. In severe cases, exposure to mold can cause serious health problems, including pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and even death.

If you live in a state where environmental health hazards are covered by your policy, you may also be able to get coverage for medical expenses related to the mold exposure.

In the past few years, there’s been an increase in awareness of the dangers of mold and its effects on human health. Not only is mold harmful to people’s lungs, but it can also cause major damage to property if left unchecked. If you have mold in your attic, don’t wait to take action.

What can a homeowner do to protect against attic mold?

If you do find mold growing in your attic, don’t panic.

First and foremost, always contact a professional to confirm that the mold is harmful and should be removed. If the mold is identified as non-toxic, there are a few things you can do to mitigate its effects:

  • Make sure your attic is properly sealed against moisture. This means caulking all cracks and openings, installing weatherproofing materials inside and outside your home.
  • Maintain a clean environment free of mold.
  • Cover any surfaces that may have come into contact with the mold (upholstered furniture, floors etc.) with plastic sheeting and protective.
  • Wash all clothes and bedding in hot water with bleach or soap before putting them back into the closet or chest where they were stored.

Attic Mold FAQs

What is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in many different environments, including the inside of homes. The fungus can produce allergens and irritants, which can cause health problems for people who are exposed to it.

Homeowners insurance may not cover mold in a attic if the fungus is growing there as a result of damage caused by water or another substance. If the mold is present because of faulty construction or poor maintenance, homeowners insurance may cover it.

How does attic mold form?

Attic mold can form in many different places, but it predominantly grows in warm, damp environments. The fungus enters the space through leaks or cracks in the foundation or walls, and can quickly spread through the air.

What is mold and what does it look like?

Mold is a fungus that grows in moist environments. It can form on walls, ceilings, and floors of homes and businesses. Mold can release toxic fumes that can cause respiratory problems, headaches, and nausea. In severe cases, it can cause serious health problems including asthma, pneumonia, and even death.

What are the symptoms of mold exposure?

If you are concerned about mold exposure in your home, be aware of the symptoms. Mold can cause serious health problems if you are exposed to it long-term, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Mold can cause severe respiratory problems, such as coughing and wheezing. It can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. If you think you may have been exposed to mold, be sure to talk to your doctor about the best way to treat your symptoms.

How much does it cost to remove mold from a attic?

The average cost for attic mole removal $500 to $1,833. Or about $14 to $29 per square foot. The cost of removing mold varies by ease of access and how much remediation is required.

What should I do if my claim is denied?

If an attic mold claim is denied by a homeowner, it may require a third party inspection and the homeowner’s insurance provider. If the homeowner’s insurance provider denies the mold claim, the homeowner may need to take legal action. It’s also possible to appeal a decision if the insurer has not complied with the appeal procedure.

If you have questions about your claim, or if you are having trouble getting your insurance company to pay for a attic mold remediation, a State Insurance Commissioner can also help with making a denial request for reimbursement or making a complaint.

The Bottom Line

If you’re like many homeowners, you worry about potential problems in your attic – a dark and damp space under your home that’s often forgotten but can be a source of serious damage.

If you believe that your home may have attic mold, it’s important to contact your insurance company. Homeowners insurance may have provisions for attic mold damage caused by specific types of events. If you think that your attic may have been damaged by mold, ask your insurer whether any coverage is available.

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