Mold is a very challenging problem for many South Florida residents, especially given the humid, muggy weather that creates perfect conditions for mold to flourish. Mold tends to spread quickly, and left unaddressed, can cause major structural damage and health complications.
Mold-related insurance claims are particularly difficult for homeowners to win. Your policy may cover mold damage, depending on the cause of the mold. Many homeowner’s insurance policies have a long list of exclusions for mold damage, and even when the policy should cover mold damage, insurers often look for loopholes to deny your claim. For help, call a mold damage insurance claims lawyer in Fort Lauderdale at Coffey Trial Law today: 954-541-3194.
What are the potential effects of mold exposure?
The most common types of molds found in the home include aspergillus, cladosporium, and stachybotrys atra (black mold). Left untreated, mold can:
- Rot away at the structure and foundation of your home
- Destroy finishes, furnishings, and belongings
- Render your home unsellable
Do homeowners insurance policies cover mold damage?
Coverage depends on the causes of the mold. Because conditions that are outside of your control can lead to mold growth, you may have a valid insurance claim you can pursue. Most homeowner’s policies will cover water damage and mold caused by an accidental or sudden event, like a pipe bursting, a faulty sump pump, or severe weather. However, most standard policies do not cover damage caused by:
- Maintenance issues, such as repeated water seepage
- Long-term neglect
- Landscaping and drainage issues
If your mold resulted from any of the above circumstances, the insurance company will likely not approve your claim. Even when your policy covers the general cause of the damage, it is not uncommon for a policy to specifically exclude or limit coverage for any mold that results.
How do I know if my policy covers mold damage?
Carefully review your policy for specific coverages and exclusions. If you do not have a copy of it, ask your insurance company for one. Review the Declarations page of your policy, which details the effective dates of your policy, the coverages you have, and the limits for each type of coverage. Read over any “endorsements” on your policy as well, which could modify, add, or eliminate certain coverages.
Insurance policies can be wordy and lengthy, and contain intentionally confusing terms. We can help you go over your policy and determine whether it covers mold damage. If it does, we can help you recover the compensation you need.
Tips for Filing a Mold Damage Insurance Claim
United Policyholders, a nonprofit organization that advocates for consumer rights, provides several helpful tips for filing a mold damage claim. Below are a few key points:
- Call your insurer to report the mold as soon as you notice it. If you wait too long, the insurance company will label the cause of the damage as negligent maintenance, which will invalidate your claim.
- Document all phone calls and correspondence with anyone from the insurance company. Note the name of the person you spoke with, the time of the call, and the gist of the conversation, and save all emails and letters regarding the case.
- Document, photograph, and video record all the damage and your losses. The more thorough you are, the better.
- Take the steps necessary to prevent further damage. Document and take pictures of everything you do. (But keep whatever damaged structures or portions you removed until the insurance company tells you that it is okay to dispose of them.)
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company without first speaking to your lawyer and making sure you understand your rights.
- Do not agree to the first offer that the insurance company gives you. Insurers often offer a lowball settlement hoping the claimant will just agree to it. Get a second appraisal on the cost of the repairs.
- Know the deadlines for filing a lawsuit if you believe the insurer acted in bad faith. Both the state and the insurance policy will stipulate limitation periods. Failure to take legal action before the clock runs out will nullify your rights to compensation.
How can Coffey Trial Law help with my mold damage claim?
Coffey Trial Law helps homeowners in Fort Lauderdale with all types of insurance claims, including those for mold, hurricane damage, and other challenging cases. We are passionate about making sure homeowners get the full amount they are entitled to from their insurers.
When you work with us, we comb through your policy and determine your coverages. We also investigate the causes of the mold and carefully document the totality of your damage so that you can recover adequate reimbursement.
If the insurer tries to wrongly deny or reduce the value of your claim, we can take the case to court. In some cases, we can not only recover repair costs, the cost of damaged belongings, and living expenses, but also punitive damages if the insurance company has acted in bad faith.
Call our office in Fort Lauderdale today at 954-541-3194 and schedule a free consultation to see how we may be able to help you get the funds you need for your mold damage repairs.