What Are Your Mold Limits in your Insurance Policy?
By Steven David Venook
Most standard Florida Home Owner Insurance Policy’s now cover mold (within defined limits) if mold resulted from a covered loss.
Why did the insurance industry do this?
Because, by now covering mold damage they have limited their financial exposure for mold claims by putting mold damage limits in your policy; and they can now pass the cost on to you, the consumer.
Do you know what your mold endorsement premium costs you?
Have you noticed that your new insurance policies may be charging you for mold coverage? Probably not!
Is it worth paying for mold coverage?
The average small mold job may cost approximately $5,000 to $10,000. Do you have that kind of extra money to have mold damage properly removed from your home, condominium, or building? If you and your family have the medical predisposition to get sick from mold related symptoms such as asthma, repertory issues, cancer, immune problems, nasal problems, allergic issues, geriatric adults, young babies; it is probably a good idea to take this type of issue seriously. Further, did you now know that when you sell your home or condominium in Florida you are required to make a full mold history disclosure to the purchaser?
What is covered by the mold endorsement in my policy?
Everything related to mold, which includes mold testing, mold remediation – removing and cleaning the building and contents from mold, and paying your living expenses while you may not be able to live in your home. Do you think you can do this for $5,000 – $10,000? Probably not, but now it is your problem, not the insurance companies. They will be glad to hand you $5,000.00, when your actual damages may be $25,000. They win, you loose.
Why do I need a Public Claims Adjuster if the
Insurance Company will pay for my mold clean up?
First of all, many company adjusters don’t inform you that you have a mold issue in your home or building. Many staff adjusters are trained to ignore the mold condition or to tell you it is no big deal. Remember who they work for … NOT YOU!
Since you have never had mold claim experience, what is your knowledge of the proper mold remediation procedures and the costs associated with those procedures? I know! Do you?
Here’s another important issue:
The insurance company wants to send out their mold expert and charge YOU for their work. Do you think they are working for you, or the insurance company, that gives them most of their financial livelihood? Then they want to send out their mold certified contractor, do you think the adjuster works for you, or the insurance company that gives them most of their financial livelihood; and then they want to send out their contractor, drycleaner, or anybody else they have in their pocket to present their side of YOUR claim.
Yet in the small print they will tell you that they do not warranty, or guarantee or, are responsible for the quality of the work and, that you can hire anybody you choose. Ask their vendors to give you twenty job references? Remember, these same vendors, who might not be able to or want to give you twenty references, get hundreds of leads monthly from your insurance company. I know I care about the quality of the work done in my home, and I don’t want a high volume vendor that has to cut corners to work at the insurance industry prices doing work in my home.
Let me tell you bluntly what the Insurance Companies do not want you to know!
To be a contractor or vendor for the insurance company, you do it their way at their preset prices. There are some very good contractors and vendors that still have some integrity and will treat you fairly, but they won’t stay a vendor for that company after YOUR claim.
I have been asked as an independent adjuster in the past to write estimates for large insurance companies, and they told me what price I can put in my estimate, what I can pay for, and what to ignore. I have also been instructed by management, as a staff adjuster, to have my vendors amend their estimate. When the insurance company’s price-fix your estimate-it is illegal; but they do it everyday.
Some insurance companies even bonus their employee’s on what they save their company. The independent adjusting companies also have to follow the rules set by the insurance companies they represent, if they still want to get their claim business. I know these things … because I was both an independent adjuster and a staff adjuster.
This is why I now WORK FOR YOU the policy holder-consumer.
Remember … the bigger the claim the more you need the advocacy of a licensed Public Adjuster.