Navigating Commercial Insurance, Mold Exclusions, and Professional Cleanup
It doesn't take much moisture to create a welcoming environment for mold spores. If your Pueblo, CO, property is affected by heavy rainfall, melting snow, hurricanes, leaking pipes, or any other type of water disaster, you could end up dealing with mold damage. When mold remains hidden and you don't recognize the problem, the damage can become extensive. If you have a good commercial insurance policy, the mold issue may be covered. It's wise to be aware of mold exclusions, however.
Understand Commercial Insurance for Mold Damage
Mold exists in almost every type of environment, and spores move easily from one host to another. With just a tiny bit of warmth, moisture, oxygen, and food, a spore can establish a colony on wood, carpet, paper, and drywall. As mold feeds, it weakens its food source, eventually destroying property. Mold insurance covers some of the cleanup and remediation expenses.
Limited Fungus Coverage
According to policies from the International Organization for Standardization, Limited Fungus Coverage kicks in when fungus, wet or dry rot, or bacteria is caused by a specific cause and is addressed quickly and appropriately by property owners. Any fungus growth related to flooding may not be covered without flood coverage through an endorsement. If you take action at the first sign of mold, Limited Fungus Coverage usually covers:
- Direct loss or damage
- Removal of fungus
- Tear out and replacement of property
- Removal of damaged property
Your insurance company may limit the amount that is paid out for these services, so it's best to prevent mold growth or catch it early.
Professional mold cleanup services are covered in most situations, but some insurance policies contain mold exclusions. This generally means that there is no coverage for the presence of mold, any spread, or related concerns. The most common reason for exclusion is a failure to properly maintain the property. However, the exclusion cannot apply to:
- Mold or fungus that results from lightning or fire
- Mold growth resulting from specified causes, such as riots, vandalism, sinkhole collapses, windstorms, and damage from firefighting equipment
- Specific losses caused by the presence of fungus or mold
Make sure you understand your coverage before trouble happens.
Maintenance and Prevention
The best mold insurance happens before you need to file a commercial insurance claim. You can take preventative steps to avoid fungus:
- Routinely inspect your building, especially targeting common problem spots, such as vents and drainage systems.
- Use dehumidifiers and fans to reduce the level of humidity in your building.
- Hire professionals to inspect and maintain the ventilation system, including vents, ducts, and working components.
- Take immediate action at the first visible sign of mold or the first whiff of a suspicious odor.
Remember your insurance provider is probably as concerned about preventing the spread of mold as you are. Reach out to your agent or an insurance representative to learn more about the risk of growth and the most effective means of prevention.
Mold can be a real headache for property owners. However, with the proper preventative actions and a good understanding of your commercial insurance, you can reduce the amount of property damage and minimize your own level of frustration.