Does home contents insurance cover mould? (2023)

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Homeowner's insurance sometimes covers mold remediation, but only under certain circumstances.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Does home contents insurance cover mould? (1)

Mold can be found in many homes. According tocenter for disease control and prevention(CDC) mold can enter homes through air conditioning systems, windows and doors. Once mold enters your home, it can grow on surfaces such as furniture, carpets, and even paint. If there is moisture in your home, you are more likely to see or smell mold.

If you notice mold growing in your home, it should be removed immediately. But depending on the scale of the mold, removing it can be expensive. If you're wondering, it workshomeowner insurancecover mold, the short answer is yes. However, home contents insurance only covers mold remediation costs in certain situations.

In this guide, we'll help you understand when your home insurance policy will and won't cover mold and how to make a mold removal claim.

When does home contents insurance cover mould?

After you find mold in your home, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is, "Does your home contents insurance cover mold?" Most home insurance policies cover mould. However, mold removal is only covered if it is caused by a covered peril.

Mold is usually caused by water damage, and most home insurance policies provide limited coverage for water damage. To cover for water damage and the resulting mold growth, the incident must be sudden and accidental.

(Video) Is Mold Remediation Covered by Homeowners Insurance | Tips on How To File the Claim

So, for example, if there is a fire in your home and it has been extinguished, mold can form in the humid environment. Or you may find mold where a burst pipe caused water damage. In these scenarios, your home insurance policy would most likely pay to remove the mold from your home.

Because every home insurance policy covers different perils, it's important to know what losses you're covered against. Some home insurance policies only cover your home and personal property against specified perils, which are the specific losses stated in your insurance contract.

Other homeowners insurance policies cover your home and personal property on an open-risk basis, meaning you're protected against any loss that isn't specifically excluded in your policy text.

When does home insurance not cover mold?

If you notice mold growing in your home, don't expect your home insurance to cover it. Home insurance provides limited coverage for mold and mold removal is not covered unless caused by a covered peril.

If you notice mold growing near water damage that has developed over time, such as a slowly leaking pipe or a window that has not been sealed properly, your policy will not cover mold removal. These incidents are not sudden or accidental. This would be considered neglect by the homeowner, which is never covered by home insurance.

Homeowner's insurance also doesn't cover mold caused by flooding. Flood damage is not covered as a risk under most home insurance policies. So, for example, if a hurricane caused a flood in your basement and mold started growing soon after, your home insurance policy wouldn't cover flood cleanup or mold removal.

If you notice mold growing in your home, it is important to take action right away. You can check with your insurance company to see if the source of the mold is covered. If not, contact a mold remediation company to assess the damage and have it professionally removed.

Does flood insurance cover mold?

You may need to purchase flood insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding or severe storms. Flood insurance, usually purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), covers your home and personal property against flood damage. However, NFIP flood insurancedoes not include mold removal.

If you purchase private flood insurance through an independent insurance company, the policy may cover mold removal. You should check with several insurers that offer private flood insurance to see if mold is a covered peril.

How to find mold protection

Finding mold insurance can be difficult. Mold removal can be expensive and is often caused by homeowner negligence or lack of maintenance. This is why most standard insurance companies provide limited coverage for mold removal.

However, many home insurance companies sell endorsements or optional policies that can cover mold. For example, some insurance companies sell backup water coverage, which pays for damages caused by clogged sewer lines, pump failures, and clogged drains.

If you have a watertight approval and need to file a water damage claim, any mold found near the location should be covered by your policy. Keep in mind that most recommendations have coverage limits, so they may not cover the full cost of repairs, depending on the extent of the damage and mold growth.

(Video) What Does Home Insurance Cover

How to file a mold insurance claim

If you find mold in your home after a covered water damage incident, you should contact your insurance company to begin the claim process as soon as possible. Mold removal may not be covered if you wait too long to report it.

Each home insurance company follows a different process for reporting losses. However, here are the basic steps you need to follow to file a mold insurance claim:

  1. Documenteer de malschade:Record water and mold damage. Note when you first noticed the mold growth and what caused the mold growth (burning out, water heater explosion, etc.).

  2. Contact your insurance company:Notify your insurance company of the loss and start the claim process. You must complete claim documentation explaining what happened and submit any photos of the damage you may have.

  3. Address the source of water damage:If water is still leaking in your home, fix what you reasonably can. For example, if a pipe bursts in your bathroom, you can turn off the water or install a dehumidifier to dry out the room. If furniture or personal belongings are soaked in water, remove them from the room, but keep them until the expert comes to your home.

  4. Wait for your claim to be settled:After the request has been submitted, the regulator will assess the incident. They can personally visit your home to get a better idea of ​​the damage and how much it will cost to repair the water and mold damage. Once the claim is approved, you will receive your settlement minus any deductibles.

The point

Finding mold in your home can be worrisome. But if the mold is caused by sudden or accidental water damage, your home contents insurance will likely cover the cost of mold removal. You should check with the parent insurance company to verify that the loss is covered before going through the claims process.

If you're concerned about potential mold damage, you can also ask your insurance company about endorsements that cover mold, such as water backup coverage. Recommendations increase your home insurance premium, but you pay less out of pocket if you have a claim.

To find the best home insurance for your needs, shop around and compare different insurers. Get personalized quotes for the type and amount of coverage you want (plus any notes) to see which insurer can offer you the lowest rate.

Editorial announcement:All articles have been prepared by the editors and contributors. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the editorial team and have not been reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser. The information, including prices and fees, presented in this article is correct as of the date of publication. Check the lender's website for the latest information.

This article was originally published onSFGate.comand reviewed by Lauren Williamson, who serves as the Financial and Home Services Editor for the Hearst E-Commerce team. Email her at

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Does home contents insurance cover mould? ›

Damage from this type of sudden failure is usually covered by home insurance. Mold due to a frozen or burst pipe: Such water damage, and any resulting mold, is generally covered by home insurance. Mold caused by putting out a fire: If water used to douse a house fire causes mold, it should be covered by insurance.

Does home insurance cover mold in home? ›

Homeowners insurance doesn't usually cover mold damage or removal unless it's the result of a covered peril. If the mold in your residence was caused by something sudden or accidental, such as a bursting pipe or some other covered incident on your policy, you may be protected.

Does contents insurance cover mold? ›

Key Takeaways. Mold coverage isn't guaranteed by your homeowners insurance policy. Typically, mold damage is only covered if it's related to a covered peril. Mold damage caused by flooding would need to be covered by a separate flood insurance policy.

Does insurance cover mold caused by water damage? ›

Does home insurance cover mold? Homeowners insurance generally covers mold only when it's caused by a "covered peril" — an event your homeowners insurance policy will pay for, such as accidental water damage.

Does homeowners insurance cover mold from roof leak? ›

While mold and fungus are typically excluded from standard homeowners insurance policies, they are covered if they are the result of a covered incident. If mold grows in a naturally damp room, you won't be covered unless you've added an optional mold insurance endorsement to your policy.

Can black mold be claimed on homeowners insurance? ›

A standard homeowners insurance policy should cover a mold claim if the growth has been caused by a covered peril that is sudden or accidental in nature, and the mold is hidden within walls or ceilings, beneath floors, or above the ceilings of a structure.

What to do if your house is covered in mold? ›

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

What is the best way to remove Mould? ›

Using white vinegar to kill mould

If cleaning with detergent doesn't work, it's possible to remove mould using diluted vinegar and a microfibre cloth. If mould cannot be removed using the vinegar method, cleaning with diluted bleach or a commercial product may be required.

What does mold mean in insurance? ›

Mold insurance is a coverage often found in homeowners insurance that provides protection against damaging fungi and mold. Typically, it pays to repair damage caused by fungi, mold, wet or dry rot, or bacteria.

How do you get rid of Mould? ›

Mix one part bleach to four parts water. Wipe and gently scrub the mould until it is gone. Finish by wiping away the bleach mixture and dry the area well with a soft cloth.

What are the symptoms of being exposed to mold? ›

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.

Is mold considered water damage? ›

Water damage has bubbles or peels in it that make it bumpy and loose, whereas mold growth is slimy, damp, and can smudge if touched.

What are the side effects of black mold? ›

Black mold is a fungus that may cause your immune system to react. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion and eye irritation. It rarely causes serious illness or death but may worsen asthma symptoms.

What black mold looks like? ›

Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it. Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance.

Does mold qualify for casualty loss? ›

The formation of mold may qualify as a separate casualty. A casualty is an event that is identifiable, damaging to property, sudden, unexpected, and unusual in nature.

Does mold have an odor? ›

These compounds are known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). Because mVOCs often have strong or unpleasant odors, they can be the source of the "moldy odor" or musty smell frequently associated with mold growth. A moldy odor suggests that mold is growing in the building and should be investigated.

Is mold a type of fungus? ›

Mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many different mold species that come in many different colors. Molds are sometimes referred to as mildew.

Can mold be fully removed from a house? ›

While molds are a natural part of our ecosystem, one cannot completely eliminate it. Mold spores are typically inherent in all indoor and outdoor spaces, so technically, it is impossible to completely eradicate all molds – but the key is to control it's growth.

Can you live in a house that had mold? ›

It is possible to live in a home with mold if the moldy materials have been encapsulated as it prevents mold spores from becoming airborne. However, it is quite difficult to live in a house with mold if it is left unattended as it poses a significant risk to everyone.

What kills 100% of mold? ›

Use a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) household laundry bleach per 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces.

Is vinegar or bleach better for killing mold? ›

Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach at Killing Mold? Vinegar truly is better than bleach at killing mold. The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach.

What kills mould naturally? ›

Vinegar is a really effective way at cleaning mould naturally. While bleach simply bleaches the mould white, vinegar works to kill the mould spore, and if used regularly can even prevent the mould and mildew from coming back.

How do you prove mold illness? ›

A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system's response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.

Is mold a serious health issue? ›

Exposure to a large number of mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Repeated exposure to mold can increase a person's sensitivity, causing more severe allergic reactions.

Is mold exposure bad? ›

Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. Mold spores are always found in the air we breathe, but extensive mold contamination may cause health problems. Breathing mold can cause allergic and respiratory symptoms.

What is difference between mold and mildew? ›

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.

Do air purifiers help with mold? ›

Do air purifiers help with mold? Air purifiers help capture mold spores from the air, preventing them from reproducing and spreading throughout your home. While air purifiers won't help treat active mold that's already present on surfaces, they are a great way to control the spread of airborne mold particles.

How do I stop mould coming back? ›

The key to mould prevention is keeping air moisture to a minimum. Dry any condensation that may be gathering on your walls, ceiling to windowsills. Dehumidifiers can also help to remove moisture from the air. Try to keep your bathroom and kitchen door shut tightly and ensure your windows are open whilst cooking.

Is it bad to sleep in a room with mould? ›

Yes, if you have damp and mould in your home you're more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system.

How do you know if your house has mold in the walls? ›

If you see grey, black, green, or bluish specks along grout lines, on walls, or other surfaces, it is most likely mold. Keep an eye out for pink, red, or brown streaks, as well. The texture of mold can be powdery, fuzzy, or slimy. Dark water stains on walls, floors, or ceilings usually indicate the presence of mold.

How do you know if your house is toxic? ›

What Are the Signs of Toxic House Syndrome?
  1. Mold growth.
  2. Condensation around windows and in high humidity areas such as bathrooms.
  3. Lingering condensation.
  4. Dampness that doesn't seem to go away.
  5. Dust build up in your ventilation system.

Is mold a plumbing issue? ›

If mold is growing on surfaces such as walls, it's likely that the real problem is in piping behind the wall. The surface mold is fed by water seeping through, and inside the wall you may need an inspection and repair by a qualified plumber.

How do you know if drywall is moldy? ›

5 Signs There's Mold Behind Your Walls
  1. Musty Smells. While not all molds produce an odor, a persistent “basement smell” in your home is a sign that unwanted fungi are living in your house.
  2. Peeling Wallpaper. Mold thrives on humidity, so long-term moisture will eventually cause fungal growth. ...
  3. Water Stains. ...
  4. 4: Spotty Walls.
Jul 17, 2022

Should I check for mold after water damage? ›

As soon as any dripping or standing water has been extracted and the surrounding area is dry, it is time to schedule mold testing if necessary. There are several circumstances in which cleaning water damage and mold inspection should be done as quickly as possible: Leaks that have gone undetected for a long time.

What does mold toxicity feel like? ›

Each person's body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression. Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure.

How long does black mould take to make you sick? ›

This can happen immediately or after exposure, depending on your body. If you don't have a mold allergy, a one-time exposure may cause no symptoms. But sometimes, it can cause symptoms even if you're not allergic. Again, it's different for each person.

How do you test your house for mold? ›

A quick test for mold can be done when you dip a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens (or keeps coming back after cleaning), assume it's mold.

Is there a difference between black mold and mold? ›

“Black Mold” or stachybotrys is a specific type of toxic fungus that can appear in damp areas of your house. It is characterized by its unique appearance, as it is darker than most types of mold. Contrary to popular belief, “Black Mold” isn't any more toxic than other molds.

What's the difference between black mold and mildew? ›

Differences Between Mold and Mildew

Mold tends to have a higher profile and can even become fuzzy, while mildew is usually flat. Mold exhibits darker colors such as deep green and black; mildew may begin as white, then turn brown or gray.

What looks like black mold but is not? ›

Black mold is known for its characteristic black hue after reaching maturity. However, the color black isn't unique to Stachybotrys — people often confuse it with similar-colored molds like Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, and Dreeschslera.

What symptoms does mold in your house cause? ›

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.

Can you live in a house with mold in basement? ›

Health Risks of Basement Mold

Those most at risk are elderly, children, those with mold allergies, and asthmatics. Some of these health issues are: Respiratory issues – shortness of breath, stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, or blocked nose. Eye and skin issues – eyes are itchy, red, and there may be rash-like symptoms.

How do you test for mold in your home? ›

A quick test for mold can be done when you dip a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens (or keeps coming back after cleaning), assume it's mold.

How bad is it to stay in a house with mold? ›

Allergy and irritation are the most common symptoms of mold exposure. Less common effects of mold exposure include infections and illness. Serious infections from molds are relatively rare and occur mainly in people with severely suppressed immune systems. Illness has been reported from workplace exposures to mold.

How long does it take mold to make you sick? ›

These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss.

Do dehumidifiers remove mold? ›

Mould will easily grow and spread if the right conditions are present. So, dehumidifiers don't kill mould, but they can help to prevent it from growing inside your home by reducing humidity. However, the best way to deal with it is to get rid of its source.

Can a house with black mold be fixed? ›

If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.

Can black mold in one room affect the whole house? ›

Mold spores become airborne and can be spread throughout the house via the HVAC system. But they can also travel from the basement to the rest of the home on: Clothing. Skin.

Can a doctor tell if you have mold in your house? ›

There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold. But your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests: Blood test.

Is there a tool to detect mold in walls? ›

An in-home mold testing kit can test for mold in the air or on the surface of furniture, floors, or walls. Surface tests consist of swabs and tape strips, while air tests are done with an air pump or a petri dish. Swabs are a straightforward method of testing surfaces in the home for the presence of mold.

What are the neurological symptoms of mold? ›

Neurological symptoms of mold toxicity can show up as migraine headaches, tremors, pain throughout the body, imbalance, difficulty walking, and cognition issues. People affected by mold also often report episodes of heightened anxiety and depression (3).


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