Typically, the homeowner (or building owner if renting) is responsible for paying to fix mold problems, however, some homeowner insurance policies may carry a portion of the financial burden in the event that mold causes damages to the home.
Because mold has been a specific topic of interest in the media in the last 5-10 years or more with new lawsuits rising up everywhere you turn, insurance companies have revised their policies regarding how they deal with mold liability and coverage to prevent potential large losses. Thankfully, some of the so-called “black mold” hype has calmed down, making some homeowner insurance policies more accommodating of mold damage coverage, but there are still many policies who refuse to cover anything surrounding a mold, mildew or fungus issue. Reviewing your particular insurance policy should give you more specific information on what is or is not covered.
Insurances will take into consideration two very important things when evaluating the compensability of a mold claim:
- What was the specific cause of the mold growth.
- If the problem behind the mold growth goes unreported or unfixed for 24 to 48 hours or more, the insurance company may consider the mold growth due to owner neglect and void any coverage they may have otherwise paid.
Your landlord may have you sign a lease addendum regarding mold growth, which may include things like agreeing to using a fan while showering and reporting water problems or leaks immediately. It’s very important that you follow the agreement to protect you from liability if a mold problem presents itself. Also, check your personal rental insurance policy to see what it covers as far as replacement of mold-damaged personal belongings.