Does my home insurance cover mold damage?

Q:

Does my home insurance cover mold damage?

A:

Mold is something every insurance company fears. That's because mold can be toxic, hard to detect, and expensive to repair. All of this adds up to some potentially expensive claims. And because of this, mold damage (including fungi and spores) is excluded from most home insurance policies.

It's not just the cost that drives this decision. There is a general principle in the insurance industry that only events that are sudden and accidental are insurable. And mold damage, even if you just came across it for the first time, isn't sudden. And it's usually accidental, either. It takes long periods of high humidity for mold to grow, and those conditions are likely the result of poor home maintenance and repeated water seepage.

But like almost everything that has to do with insurance, the issue isn't so clear-cut. While damage caused by mold, fungi, or spores is generally excluded, there is usually a caveat. Your home insurance policy might well pay for mold damage, depending on what caused the mold damage to being with.

What kind of mold damage will be covered? Well, here we're back to that sudden and accidental principle. If the event that led to the mold is sudden and accidental – say, a burst pipe – then you might have coverage for the resulting water damage, including any mold that arises from it (see 5 Water Damage Home Insurance Scenarios to find out what kind of damage you're covered for).

That being said, mold damage from a flood is still likely excluded, and coverage for the mold damage portion of the claim may still be subject to a maximum payable limit.

So, to summarize: most mold damage is excluded but not always. You have to look at the source of the mold. If the mold is the result of a peril or accident that is insured elsewhere in your policy (such as water damage), you can file a claim that will cover at least part of the mold damage.

Have a question? Ask us here.

View all questions from Jacques Wong.

Share this:
About the Author: (Director of Education at PNC Learning)

Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won Insurance Council of BC awards in 2015 and 2020 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses. He educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning and as a Thought Leader at ReFrame Insurance.

In his day job as an insurance broker, he helps businesses with creative risk management solutions and strategic advice when it comes to insurance.

 [Read full bio]