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Does renters insurance cover mold?
Mold seems to be something I don't see a lot about when it comes to renters insurance policies. Is mold covered by my renters insurance? Are there different situations where it is and isn't covered? I'm a bit confused on the ins and outs of how it all works.
To answer this question, it's important to remember how renters insurance works. Renters insurance works with named perils. This means that if the mold was caused by a named peril in your policy, you'll probably be covered.
Let's say that mold formed because of a leaking pipe. Let's assume that the same mold ruined a piece of personal property covered by your policy. In that scenario, you'd be covered.
But if the mold was caused by external flooding, you wouldn't have coverage under the renters insurance policy.
Keep in mind that this logic applies for any named peril that leads to mold. If the wind broke a window in your home and exposed your belongings to rain that eventually led to mold, you'd be covered even though it's external water damage.
If you'd like to discuss how this works in greater detail,an independent insurance agent can walk you through the different scenarios.
When doesn't renters insurance cover mold?
Renters insurance policies often have several listed exclusions where you won't be able to file a claim for mold damage. The most significant exclusion is flood damage. Flood insurance is separate from renters insurance. This means if your mold damage can be traced to external flooding, you aren't going to be covered.
Another exclusion is where the mold grows due to your negligence. By negligence, I mean you should have addressed a problem that you didn't.
An example of this is if you leave wet towels lying around for weeks and they lead to the growth of mold in the apartment. Your carelessness caused the damage, so you're responsible for it.
If you want more clarification about when renters insurance won't cover mold damage, an independent insurance agent can point you in the right direction.
Are there recovery limits on mold claims?
Renters insurance sets hard lines of recovery for mold damage. Most policies will cap the recovery at a few thousand dollars. This is why it's so important to address mold damage when you first notice it.
Some people wait on mold-related issues until the problem is advanced. This only makes it more difficult to treat and far more difficult to recoup your costs. If you notice mold, call someone to evaluate the problem immediately. Your renters insurance will reimburse your costs when you make a claim.
Talk to an independent insurance agent about recovery limits on mold claims. It's the simplest way to evaluate policy options and understand what kind of coverage you have before you have a claim on your hands.
Are landlords ever responsible for mold?
Landlords can be liable for mold damage depending on the type of damage. Renters insurance covers your personal property. This means that if the mold damage is structural, like to the roof or a wall, it isn't your responsibility to fix.
The big issue is when your landlord doesn't address a mold-related problem that then destroys your personal property. Most leases state that your landlord isn't responsible for any damage or destruction to your personal property.
And because this kind of damage isn't a covered peril in your renters insurance policy, you won't be able to recover. Often, this means your only solution is a lawsuit against your landlord.
While this situation doesn't happen often, it could happen. This makes it all the more important that you speak with an independent insurance agent about mold coverage under your policy.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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