In low-lying areas like Louisiana, homes often develop some sort of mold—even despite your best efforts to prevent it.
Although most of cases are mold are mild and relatively easy to deal with on your own, if you or a loved one has an allergy, asthma, or another pre-existing condition, even low levels of mold can be harmful. Cases of black mold, the most dangerous type of mold, have been known to lead to serious consequences for those living in the affected area. And mold that isn’t properly addressed can lead to health issues, serious complications for those who are allergic, or even structural damage to your home.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we know insurance claims for mold damage are often complex. Insurance companies routinely deny that harmful mold exists in the house unless there is overwhelming evidence of severe contamination and an occupant with a severe health problem. A New Orleans mold damage claim lawyer can help you prepare your claim and force the insurance company to pay for your loss.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
Most often, insurance companies will only provide mold insurance coverage when it is considered a consequence of another event, such as water damage. Scenarios like a burst pipe, water heater rupture, or other sudden and accidental incidents are covered under the water damage section of your homeowners insurance policy. Even mold caused by water used to put out a fire can be covered under these conditions.
On the other hand, most policies do not cover maintenance-related mold issues. If a leaky pipe (rather than a burst pipe) triggered the mold infestation, the company usually denies coverage. Many pipes leak before they burst, so you will need an experienced mold damage lawyer to help you appeal the denial of your insurance claim.
Furthermore, if you have mold in your home because of flood damage, you will only have coverage if you also have flood insurance. Areas affected by water, whether from storms or surrounding water, will often encourage getting flood insurance, as flood damage is not covered under homeowners insurance.
Most attorneys partner with public adjusters when working on a mold case. Public adjusters trace the damage to a specific origin point.
Mold Removal and Mold Remediation
When a mold infestation occurs, your home insurance policy will require you to remediate (reduce) or remove mold damage. If mold occurs from a sudden incident involving water damage, you may be able to file a claim for the repair of any property involved in a covered peril, as well as the removal of the mold itself.
Mold damage can be costly and is often not entirely covered by insurance companies. It is important to check your homeowners insurance policy for your coverage limits and deductible before filing a mold damage claim.
Mold damage cases are complex and can often end up being costly, especially for homeowners not used to dealing with the insurance company. That’s why it’s important to get help from an experienced mold damage attorney sooner rather than later.
Reasons Insurance Companies May Deny Mold Coverage
Even though mold damage can lead to significant hardship for you and your loved ones, your insurance company will likely try to deny or undervalue your insurance claim. They may try to argue that:
- The mold damage was pre-existing or not the result of a covered peril.
- The damage is not as extensive as stated in your insurance claim (for example, that it is only surface level).
- The damage was your fault (for example, by failing to fix a leaky pipe, perform routine maintenance, or take other reasonable preventative measures).
It is important to understand that most mold growth cases in Louisiana are not a result of the homeowner’s negligence, and a denial based on negligence is often suspicious. The humid climate in our state can make mold growth nearly inevitable even when reasonable preventative measures are taken.
RELATED: What Health Effects Can Mold Cause?
Steps to Strengthen Your Mold Claim
When filing homeowners insurance claims for mold damage, it is important to be as thorough as possible. Your insurance company will look for any reason it can find to deny or undervalue your claim. With cases as complex as mold damage claims, it is particularly important that your claim is supported by strong, detailed evidence.
If you or a loved one has suffered mold damage to your home for reasons outside of your control, there are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of making a successful claim:
- Fully document damage. Be sure to gather photos and video of the root cause of your mold damage, as well as examples of how extensive the damage truly is.
- Provide maintenance records. If you pay for maintenance for mold remediation or mold removal, be sure to keep your receipts for the record.
- Get an independent estimate. Consider hiring an independent contractor to give you an honest estimate of how extensive your mold damage is, and what they would link the damage to.
- Perform preventative maintenance. If you live in a humid area, taking steps like buying a dehumidifier, regularly cleaning your gutters, promptly repairing and cleaning up after water leaks, or using exhaust fans to dry out areas of your home prone to mold can prevent an unfair claim denial.
- Hire an experienced mold damage claim attorney: Hiring an attorney early in the process can help significantly ease the burden the insurance claim and legal process places on your family. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with your insurance company, and fight back if your claim is wrongfully denied.
Insurance Claim HQ: We Fight Back Against Mold Damage Claim Denials in Louisiana
When mold damage has taken over your home, you can’t afford to wait for help. At Insurance Claim HQ, we streamline cases and fight back when you have your mold damage claim denied. We know the tricks your insurance company uses to prevent you from getting the help you deserve.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.