Tampa Flood Homeowners Should Beware of Mold – Is it Covered?
Those who experienced any type of water intrusion from the recent Tampa Bay rain and flooding may experience mold infiltration. When claims are delayed and repairs put on hold it can become a real problem as mold can grow unseen for months and create a serious health hazard. In the past, mold damage claims were covered under most property insurance when it resulted from a covered peril, such as a sudden plumbing leak, fire control, storm or other cause covered by your property insurance policy. However, some insurance carriers have been removing or scaling back the coverage from their policy forms regardless if it results from a covered peril. In some instances, the insurance companies offer a limited coverage for mold and fungus for an additional premium.
If you have mold damage as a result of a flood claim then that falls under FEMA NFIP flood insurance and is a whole different story. According to NFIP FAQ about mold coverage: “Damage from mold and/or mildew resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold and/or mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered. After a flooding event, the policyholder is responsible for taking reasonable and appropriate mitigation actions to reduce and/or eliminate mold and/or mildew. Reasonable actions taken to mitigate mold and/or mildew are covered (for example, the use of responsible drying-out techniques or application of mildicide at a reasonable cost).” So, make sure you know what type of policy you are seeking coverage under.
Mold contamination should be taken very seriously as it can cause severe illness to some people and considerable damage to property. Before the changes to exclude mold coverage from policies, some carrier representatives would attempt to minimize the impact of mold often suggesting a little bleach as a solution. Unless you are dealing with visible mold in a very small area, this is far from an adequate solution. A recent article: Mold Spells Trouble by the Tampa Tribune offers some solid tips for dealing with mold. One final note, beware insurance company representatives who quote the policy exclusions for mold even when some coverage may exist for your mold damage. Simple water damage claims can become complicated. A public adjuster can help you manage your overall insurance claim, ensure your mold damage is assessed properly and advise the necessary course of action. Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Mold Claims.
As always, the professional public insurance adjusters at Tutwiler and Associates are here to help with any property insurance related questions you may have. Please call 800.321.4488 or contact a public adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.