Does Home Insurance Cover Mold?

Basic homeowners insurance plans cover some causes of mold, but you may need a separate endorsement to cover other causes.

Nick Dauk
Written byNick Dauk
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk
  • 6+ years writing about insurance, travel, and personal finances

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In addition to insurance, Nick specializes in writing about business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. He’s been featured in myriad web publications, including Fox Business.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
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  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

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Updated May 6, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

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If you discover mold in your home, don’t wait to ask for help. When black mold forms, it’s a serious issue that can cause severe health problems. But a basic homeowners insurance plan may not cover the cost of mold removal, cleanup, or the replacement of personal possessions.

Your homeowners insurance will only cover mold-related damage if you have a separate endorsement on your policy. This article looks at which cases of mold traditional home insurance policies usually cover or exclude.

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When does home insurance cover mold?

Your insurance won’t cover every instance of mold caused by water-related damage. Most insurance coverage policies outline specific instances requiring sudden and accidental water damage.[1] This would usually include mold claims stemming from a burst pipe, a broken washing machine or water heater hose, or an overflowing toilet.

The cause of the mold determines the eligibility of your claim. Typically, your insurer will only cover mold developing on a damaged item if it’s the result of a sudden or accidental event.

Your insurer will generally not cover instances of mold due to high humidity, moisture, dry rot, a leaky kitchen sink, or other slow water leaks.

When home insurance doesn’t cover mold

Your homeowners insurance policy generally only covers mold caused by a sudden or accidental event. This is true even if you were unaware of the damage. For instance, your policy won’t cover a gradual leak under your sink or seepage in your basement that causes mold. Your insurer will categorize these instances as neglect, not a peril.

You can ensure you’re not letting an uncovered issue like mold damage your home by periodically testing for spores.

Learn More: What is Service LIne Coverage and Should You Buy It?

Learn More: What is Service LIne Coverage and Should You Buy It?

How to file a home insurance claim for mold damage

Finding mold in your home is concerning, and you shouldn’t wait to file a claim. Follow these steps to determine if the mold is the product of a covered peril:

  • Stop the flow of water and move all wet items away from the water source.

  • Contact your insurance company to begin the claims process.

  • Make a list of all damaged property, including wet property that doesn’t show signs of mold damage.

  • Make temporary repairs to the area where the water source may be creating mold growth.

  • File your home insurance claim for mold damage and make sure the mold removal specialist who visits your home is state-certified.

  • Send the completed mold inspection form to your homeowners insurance company, including proof that a certified company performed the mold remediation.

Why is mold rarely covered by home insurance?

Just as “sudden” and “unexpected” are the key words for covered situations, the words “predictable” and “preventable” are the critical terms underlining why mold often falls through the cracks with basic homeowners insurance coverage.

Mold growth can happen very quickly or occur steadily over time. For instance, a slow leak in a basement faucet or toilet could be unknowingly causing mold because you aren’t proactively addressing the leak.

Your insurer would deem this mold preventable because the faucet leak could have been fixed.

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Buying additional mold coverage

You can purchase additional mold coverage to augment your insurance policy. Most insurers offer a mold endorsement for property damages and/or a mold endorsement for liability concerns.[2]

A property mold endorsement goes beyond the covered-peril mold damage that your homeowners policy covers. This endorsement allows you to increase your mold damage coverage limit to pay for the testing, removal, and cleaning of mold.

The endorsement for liability concerns protects you if mold damage in your home affects other people. Coverage limits here pay for claims that others may bring against you if they got sick from the mold present on your property. This could include mold growing behind your bathroom wall after a burst pipe occurs, for example.

Keep in mind that some flood insurance policies — such as those sold by the National Flood Insurance Program — won’t cover mold damage except in extreme circumstances. Circumstances include when floodwaters are still present or when an authorized official has banned entrance into the area.[3]

How to prevent mold

The best way to limit mold in your home is to be proactive in preventing its growth. Mold requires moisture, nutrients, and a place to grow. These nutrients can come from dust and wood, while the presence of moisture or high humidity creates a habitable location for growth.

Mold can develop because of condensation, water leaks, or even due to poor ventilation.

To prevent mold in your home:

  • Clean up and dry any spills or splashes within 24 hours.

  • Keep basements, bathrooms, and other water-filled areas free of carpet.

  • Vent kitchen and bathroom moisture outside.

  • Dry all wet carpets and building materials outside.

  • Keep your indoor humidity level below 60%.

To prevent or slow mold growth from a sudden or expected event, you can:

  • Put a tarp on a leaky roof

  • Board up a broken window

  • Shut off the water line if there’s a water break

  • Take wet items outside

Homeowners insurance and mold FAQs

If you still have questions surrounding how mold in your home affects your home insurance, the following answers can help.

  • What situations that cause mold does home insurance typically cover?

    Home insurance typically covers mold caused by a covered peril. But it’s important that you immediately report any mold or water damage you discover, after the peril, to determine its coverage limitations.

  • Are there any specific home insurance plans that offer more comprehensive coverage for mold damage?

    Yes. Homeowners can usually purchase a separate endorsement that offers more comprehensive coverage for mold damage, testing, removal, and cleanup. Each insurance company has different ways of providing additional coverage, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare rates and coverage limits from several insurers.

  • Which factors influence whether my home insurance covers mold damage?

    The biggest factors that influence whether home insurance covers mold damage are if the mold damage claim is the result of damages that were sudden and unexpected. Your insurer usually won’t cover mold growth it considers predictable and preventable.

  • Will my home insurance cover mold if it was caused by a flood or natural disaster?

    It depends. Depending on the perils covered under your homeowners insurance policy, it may cover mold caused by a flood or natural disaster. Remember that flood insurance will not typically cover mold damage.

    You should always review your policy to determine which specific coverages or perils are included and excluded.

  • How can I include mold coverage in my home insurance policy?

    First, talk to your insurer and ask to what extent mold coverage is already included in your policy. Next, ask your insurance agent if the company offers endorsements for mold coverage or separate policies that cover diverse mold damages that you can purchase.

Sources

  1. Texas Department of Insurance. "When are water damage and mold covered by insurance?."
  2. My Florida CFO. "Homeowners Insurance Policy Endorsements."
  3. National Flood Insurance Program. "Document damage and start clean up."
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk

Nick Dauk is a freelance writer specializing in business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. His work has been featured in Fox Business, BBC, The Edge, Business Insider, and Bisnow. Nick is a first-generation college graduate, having majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. His eclectic coursework, combined with previous managerial roles in the retail and broadcast television industries, have helped him develop an interdisciplinary approach to writing.

For nearly a decade, Nick has created content for mom-and-pop businesses and global corporations. As a travel writer, his global adventures have also been featured on Inside Hook, Houston Chronicle, Culture Trip, and Matador. When he's not traveling, Nick can be found in Orlando spending time with his wife and toddler.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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