Someone can file an insurance claim for virtually anything that results in an injury or health issue. Although not commonly considered something an individual should pursue compensation for, long-term exposure to mold can result in detrimental health effects.
Since mold insurance claims are so uncommon, though, not many people understand how to navigate them.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
What Exactly Is Mold?
While most people think of mold as a green or grayish substance on ceilings or walls, its composition is a bit more unique.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp environments and seeks to spread as much as it can. Mold reproduced through airborne spores that seek other damp areas of your home to grow within.
Interestingly, people are exposed to mold every day. In small amounts, these spores don’t pose a threat to the average person. People with pre-existing lung issues, though, are typically a bit more vulnerable.
As these amounts become more abundant, though, there’s a risk of developing symptoms of mold exposure.
What Areas of a Home Grow Mold?
As previously mentioned, mold naturally searches for moist areas in order to reproduce. Within homes, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens are some of the most common areas where mold will visibly grow.
But, mold can also grow on roofs or walls where a leak is present.
Mold also thrives off of cellulose, which is found within the walls of plant cells. So, paper and wood products are where mold can often be found.
If left unchecked, mold is known to take over entire walls, ceilings, and even rooms. Storm damage that’s left untended to is often a catalyst for this type of situation.
What Are The Complications of Having Mold?
In order for people to file successful mold insurance claims, you’ll have to prove that you were negatively affected by the mold’s presence in your home. But, not everyone is aware of the problems that can come from having mold.
There’s a handful of health issues that can arise from being exposed to mold in high quantities or for an extended period of time. These typically include:
- Sinus congestion
- Persistent coughing (especially over a period of weeks or months)
- Irritation of the eyes or throat
- Frequent sneezing
- In extreme cases, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing may occur
Young children who are exposed to harmful quantities of mold over an extended period of time are also at risk of developing asthmatic symptoms. Similarly, people with asthma are often far more sensitive to the effects of mold.
For those who own homes, the presence of mold is often highly offputting to potential buyers. This is especially true if an inspection reveals that a particularly harmful type of mold is present, such as black mold.
Although there are many different types of mold that are commonly seen within homes, black mold is one that can result in serious health complications. It can be recognized by its black color, strong odor, and slimy texture.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim for the Presence of Mold?
Upon noticing the presence of mold, you’ll need to contact your insurance agent as soon as you can. Although calling is the most convenient option, you should follow up your phone call with an email so that you’re able to document the date and time that you first made your insurance claim.
In general, it’s important to document as much as the claims process as you can. Write down the name of the agent you speak to, the time you spoke to them, and the details discussed during every interaction and keep these records somewhere safe.
Your agent will help guide you through your policy and resolve the situation in a timely and appropriate manner.
What Do I Do After?
In addition to causing health issues, mold can destroy furniture and other personal belongings after it’s been present for long enough. So, you’ll need to photograph everything that’s been affected in order to prove to the damages to your insurance provider.
If you find that the mold is actively spreading, remove any personal belongings away from the affected area. It’s important, though, that you don’t immediately repair the damaged items.
Your insurance company will need to investigate your claim, meaning that the affected items will need to be inspected by a professional. If you repair/remove the mold beforehand, you may not get reimbursed for your claim.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to cooperate fully with your insurance provider in order for your claim’s outcome to result in your favor. Still, it’s a good practice to record and document every conversation that you have without insurer so that no complications arise down the road.
Although not every insurance provider seeks to manipulate or infringe upon the rights of their clients, it’s not impossible for a simple, undocumented miscommunication to result in your claim being denied or you receiving less compensation than you originally applied for.
Handling Mold Insurance Claims Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about mold insurance claims in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward getting the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible.
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