Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

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Contributor, Benzinga
December 6, 2021

Homeowners insurance is designed to help you cover the cost of repairing your home when disaster strikes. While mold may not be at the top of your list of major disasters, it can be of concern. Though not every type of mold is damaging, many types of mold can cause structural damage to your home and pose health hazards for you and your family. And the risk of dangerous mold is greater if you live in an older home. But does homeowners insurance cover mold?

As it turns out, not all homeowners policies cover mold damage. Whether your policy covers mold or not depends upon what caused the mold and coverage is not guaranteed.     

Learn more about homeowners insurance and coverage for mold damage with Benzinga’ guide.

Key Points


  • Most homeowners insurance policies will provide limited coverage for mold removal and remediation.
  • Your homeowners insurance policy may cover mold growth if it’s the result of a covered peril like a fire or water backup.
  • Your homeowners insurance will not cover mold damage that occurs as a result of negligence, flooding (unless you have flood insurance) or pre-existing mold that was already in your home when you purchased your insurance.
  • Homeowners insurance policies may place a limit on the total amount of coverage you can claim for mold damage .
  • Mold can damage your health, so it’s important to take preventive measures to keep it out of your home.

    Covered Perils and How Mold Insurance Works with Coverage

    Mold damage is generally covered if the mold was caused by a covered peril. A covered peril is a situation that causes damage to your home that is covered under your insurance policy. Some of the most common covered perils include fires, electrical strikes and storms.

    The most common cause of mold is water entering your home where it should not, so it’s important to prove the point of entry was caused by a covered peril. Some examples of common water damage perils covered by homeowners insurance include:

    • A water leak due to appliance malfunction
    • Mold that develops after firefighters have put out a fire with water

    Initial Damage vs Resulting Damage

    Understanding the difference between initial and resulting damage is key to determining if your mold problems are covered. Initial damage is the inciting incident that causes damage, while resulting damage is damage caused as a consequence of the initial damage.   

    For example, when a tree falls on your house, it is considered initial damage. If the tree fell on a pipe, and the pipe burst led to the flooding of your home, the flooding is considered resulting damage because the pipes only broke open because the tree fell on your home. 

    Then due to the flooding, your foundation now has mold. The mold is also considered resulting damage. Some insurance policies do cover resulting damage, while others do not. Some policies may cover resulting damage to an extent, but not the damages in its entirety. 

    Water damage is an extremely common resulting damage, and it is also one of the most common causes of mold. Mold may also only be covered if it is a resulting damage from a covered peril within your policy. Be sure that you completely understand when you’ll be covered before you sign for an insurance policy. 

    Mold Removal and Remediation Coverage Limits

    Home insurance providers put coverage limits in place to reduce their risk. Mold damage removal and remediation can cost up to $30,000. Most home insurance policies have a cap of up to $10,000 for mold damages, but this limit could be more or less depending on your specific policy.   

    When Mold is Typically Covered by Home Insurance

    Again, mold will typically be covered by home insurance if it’s caused by a covered peril. It is also important for you to understand when mold damage will not be covered. 

    Below are a few common perils when mold may result after water damage. Review each scenario, and be ready for a conversation with your insurance provider before you commit to a homeowners policy.

    Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold as a Result of Flooding or Other Natural Disasters?

    Whether mold is covered as a result of flooding or other natural disasters is dependent on the disaster and what happens to cause the mold. Most insurance policies don’t cover flooding, so mold that forms as a result of an outside flood will likely not be covered. 

    In this case, you need flood insurance to cover mold that results from flooding. However, if water damage due to a hurricane wrecking your roof and letting rain in causes mold, then you may be able to file an insurance claim. 

    Is Mold Covered as a Result of Negligence in Home Upkeep?

    Nothing will be covered by homeowners insurance if you do not maintain the property. This includes mold as a result of negligence of home upkeep. If the home insurance provider believes you could have done something to prevent the damage, it can deny your claim. 

    What if My House Had Mold Damage Before My Coverage Began?

    Does homeowners insurance cover mold if If your house had mold damage before your coverage began or before you took out a policy? In this case, the mold is considered a pre-existing condition.

    Most insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, so the mold damage will not be covered. However, some insurance providers will offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, so it’s important to ask about how those conditions are treated before you take on a new policy.

    Why is Mold Prevention and Remediation Important?

    If mold is not properly removed, it can be extremely damaging to both the structural integrity of your home and the health of your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims exposure to moldy environments can cause a variety of negative health effects, including trouble breathing and itching eyes. These effects can be heightened in men and women living with immune system limitations. 

    In addition to the health concerns, mold can also eat away at materials found in your home, such as carpet, drywall, wallpaper and ceiling tiles. This damage can lead to collapses of ceilings, walls or floorboards caving in. Mold also produces a distinct musty odor, which can become exceptionally strong and unpleasant if the mold is allowed to fester. 

    How to Prevent Mold and Having a Claim Denied

    Taking steps to protect your home from mold growth can save you time, stress and money later on. Use these tips to prevent mold from growing in your home:

    • Fix any leaks in your home’s plumbing and water system
    • Ensure your home is well-ventilated with exhaust fans and ventilation systems that empty outside of your home
    • Regularly inspect your roofing and water systems to ensure there is no leaking water
    • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels in your home below 50%

    If you find mold in your home and need to file a claim, use these tips to lower your chance of having your claim denied:

    • Thoroughly document the damage using photos and videos
    • Pull your most recent maintenance records to prove to the insurance provider that the mold growth is not due to neglected home maintenance
    • Follow up with your insurance provider after filing your claim to be sure that you’ve provided all necessary information

    Keep Your Home Safe

    Does homeowners insurance cover mold? As you can see, the answer isn't a simple one. The specifics of every insurance provider’s mold coverage varies. If you already have insurance, take a look at your policy terms to learn exactly when you’re covered for mold damage. If you don’t have a policy, you may want to shop for a policy that offers extended coverage against mold. 

    Mold is both dangerous and damaging. Do your research, and be aware of your coverage before mold causes havoc in your home. 

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Q. What can I do if my mold claim is denied?


    If your mold claim is denied you can get a licensed professional to provide a second opinion on the cause of the mold. If your insurance policy has an appeals process, you could appeal the denial. You can additionally contact your state’s insurance commissioner to see what else you can do to get the claim approved.


    Q. Do home inspectors check for mold damage during the selling and buying process?


    Home inspectors don’t typically search for mold specifically during the selling and buying process. However, most inspectors will check and mention any obvious points of water damage or other possible signs of mold.


    Q. Do I have any legal recourse if a seller doesn’t disclose mold damage during the buying process?


    Q. Do I have any legal recourse if a seller doesn’t disclose mold damage during the buying process?