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Mold Insurance Claims
Mold damage remediation can be very expensive. Be sure to have a professional document that you have mold as a result of the property damage you incurred. In many cases, your insurance company will not check for mold. Mold can cause serious illness and property damage. Mold contamination can also destroy your property and your contents.
Mold thrives in moisture-rich environments such as high indoor humidity, flooding, or a leaky roof or dishwasher. It hides in places you can’t see sometimes. If your insurance company is denying your mold insurance claim, contact Merlin Law Group.
Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof, under the insulating blanket of snow, until it reaches below freezing temperature air, typically at the edges of the roof. When the meltwater reaches the freezing air, ice accumulates, forming a dam, and snow that melts later cannot drain properly through the dam. They can also form when gutters and downspouts are clogged, allowing the water to accumulate and eventually turn into an ice dam.
Ice dams and melted snow can cause significant premature roofing failure, wet insulation, soffit/fascia deterioration, paint failure on interior surfaces, mold growth, structural decay, rot, and water damage.
While the physical damage to the structure of a home or business may be covered due to ice damming, it’s the hidden mold that forms from unattended moisture that most policies don’t usually cover. Mold can grow fairly quickly and can cause serious damage to your health.
Mold Exclusions – Absolute or Not?
People across the country are becoming increasingly educated regarding the health risks associated with mold exposure. The insurance industry implemented many wording changes in the late 1990s and early 2000s after an increase of mold damage submissions in conjunction with covered water damage claims. Insurance companies began rewording their policies to almost eliminate mold coverage. Mold exclusions often contain language like:
“This policy does not apply to any loss or damage caused by or resulting from the actual or threatened existence, growth, release, transmission, migration, dispersal or exposure to mold, spores or fungus.”
It’s common that water losses produce mold if not properly remediated. In most policies, mold that happens over time is not usually covered. However, in some instances, it may be argued that mold may be covered under an insurance policy when it is a result of a covered loss and is the result or proximate cause of the covered loss. Mold exclusions are relatively straightforward, but if the “other damage” is a covered peril, then the policyholder may have coverage.
For example, mold may be covered if a burst water pipe causes mold to grow and is considered an ensuing loss.
In determining whether mold damage is excluded under an ensuing loss provision, courts often look to see if mold is the cause of damage or the result. This is a fact-specific question that generally must be analyzed according to the law in the jurisdiction where the claim arose.
Some policies are expressly written with an “absolute” mold exclusion. An “absolute” exclusion means that no matter how the mold may come to be, the insurance company will not pay for the damages.