Black Mold Insurance Claims and Mold Remediation
Black Mold Insurance Claims:
Most insurance policies today have drastically limited the amounts they will pay for black mold or any mold claims. Some policies will pay little or nothing at all for any type of mold clean-up, even for indoor mold contamination caused by water damage event that is otherwise covered.
Wear and Tear Wetness
Obviously insurance companies legitimately do not want to pay for water and mold damages caused by ordinary wear and tear, and lack of maintenance or carelessness, i.e., windows left open in a rainstorm, a chronic old roof leak orold window leak or damp basement, etc.
Get your policy and read the details.
Here is an example of the policy limitations recently published by State Farm Insurance Company:
Fungus (Including Mold)
Effective with this renewal, the Fungus (Including Mold) Exclusion Endorsement (FE 5399) will become a part of your policy.
Your current policy excludes coverage for mold caused by or resulting from continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water or steam which occurs over a period of time.
On the date of renewal, your policy will also exclude coverage for fungus (including mold) damage which results from any covered loss.
Enclosed with your renewal is the new Policy Endorsement. Please read it carefully and place it with your other important papers.
If you have any questions, please contact your State Farm Agent®.
STATE FARM FIRE AND
3/02 553-1716 PA
M O L D I N S U R A N C E C L A I M S C A U T I O N:
Once you have a catastrophic water event like a flood, burst pipe, sewage backup or a fallen tree through your roof or fire suppression water damage – call your insurance agent so they can immediately call in the "dry-out" professionals – HOWEVER, it is essential now more than ever for you or your agent to take notes and still pictures and video of everything that got wet. If everything that gets wet is cleaned and sanitized and dried out immediately (24-48 hours), then black mold or any mold growth is less likely to become an issue.
- Take measurements and make a detailed list, room by room, of everything which is wet.
- Put colored markers on the wall to demonstrate how high the water was or the length and width of the wet wall, or floor or ceiling, etc.
- Walk the insurance adjuster through your recorded observations of wet areas. If he/she does not agree ask why and record the answer – because if they don’t specify the right time and equipment to clean, disinfect and dry it – you’ve got mold! – the week after they’re gone. Insist on the use of a moisture meter to resolve areas in dispute. A hollow core, framed wall or ceiling that has been wet on the interior or saturated through, must be opened because it cannot be dried quickly enough. Some or all of the wet wall or ceiling must be removed in order to get hot drying air quickly into these cavities in order to completely dry the wallboard and wood. Wet insulation must be removed in order to quickly and completely dry out the cavity.
- You must insist that everything that got wet is immediately (24-48 hours) dried out by professional companies hired by the insurance company. Insist on moisture meter readings on everything that may have gotten wet.
- Also, insist on moisture meter readings on floors and open wall interiors before the new materials are laid down over building materials that were previously wet.
After The Mold Remediation Crew is Gone
If the mold remediation crews are gone and your life is getting back to normal and a patch of mold begins to grow:
- Record the date
- Measure it and locate it
- Photograph it (still photo)
- Use the MoldCheck™ Surface Mold Test Kit. This kit gives you proof that it is live, growing mold that can be held for validation of your concern to your agent.
- Read your policy.
- Call your Insurance Agent to request further immediate "dry-out" clean up before the problem gets worse and request a "moisture content" analysis of the wall to see if it is a remaining isolated wet spot that needs to be remediated, i.e., dried or removed and replaced.
- If the Agent/Company does not respond in 48 hours, consider cleaning up these surface mold spots yourself rather than doing nothing while the dispute lingers and the problem grows and spews millions of spores into your living space – to your detriment.
Remember – there is almost no way to prove your illness-like symptoms are specifically and solely due to mold spores — even if you have pictures and samples. So allowing yourself to become a victim of a greater harm (illness) may not win any points or awards later on.
Moisture Content Evidence
Your key piece of evidence to get action from your agent and company is the remaining moisture in the building material that they were supposed to dry up to standard building material manufacturing specifications — It must be at least as dry as other similar materials in the same building that were not wet.