Q: I submitted a claim for mold in my attic to my homeownerâ€™s insurance carrier. They sent an engineer around to survey the mold, of which there was plenty.
The insurance company later informed me that they wouldn’t honor my claim due to humidity in the house. Is there anything I can do to have them honor my claim? I read your column every week and apply your advice to my everyday experiences.
A: Iâ€™m not sure there is anything you can do about getting the insurance company to cover the claim, but what you should do first is read your policy carefully. Most insurers are not covering mold claims except due to specific circumstances, like a burst pipe, and often not at all. Mold is often specifically excluded from coverage.
Try to look at it from the insurance company’s point of view: If your attic isn’t properly vented, and the roof leaks or there’s a high humidity level in the house, then mold could grow. But that isn’t why you carry homeowner’s insurance.
The problem that many insurance companies are having is that mold is extremely difficult to remove, and in extreme cases, the home might have to be “gutted” or even torn down. That’s an expensive claim and one that might have been able to be prevented by keeping humidity low in the house and keeping out moisture.
But that’s not to say you haven’t had damage caused by a “covered” problem. So, check out your policy. You can always contest the insurance company’s finding. A real estate attorney should be able to advise you further.