Bonnie, who has San Antonio, TX renters insurance, has been living in her apartment in San Antonio for many years, and recently noticed a problem had developed, so she came to us for advice. She writes,
Does renters insurance cover mold? I’ve had a leak for a few days from the air conditioner and I noticed it’s causing some mold on the window sill. I’d like to get this taken care of, but I have renters insurance on a fixed income so I’m not sure if the insurance covers it, the property management, or if I’m just out of luck!
Great question Bonnie, and one we hear pretty often.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold?
Does renters insurance cover mold? That’s a rather broad question, so let’s take it a piece at a time. Learn more about renters insurance and mold with the renters insurance experts.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold?
First, let’s rephrase the question, because asking “Does renters insurance cover mold?” could be interpreted in a multitude of ways. The real question is, does renters insurance cover mold damage or mold remediation? This is one of those times where reading your policy can get a bit complicated. You see, there’s an exclusion for mold, rot, fungi, etc. and then generally an automatic endorsement on every policy that “carves back” some of the coverage that was “carved out.” The limits are low, usually around $5,000 for mold damage, but if you catch the damage quickly enough and stop it from progressing, that amount is oftentimes enough.
Your renters insurance will cover the damage from mold caused by a covered peril only up to the point where it reasonably could have been stopped. This means that you have a duty to mitigate on renters insurance. What does that mean in non-insurance terms? Just like any other damage, the insurance company will only pay for damage up to where you knew, or should have known the damage was happening, and therefore could have stopped it from getting worse. On the other hand, if there was a fire and the water that was used to put out the fire grew into mold, the remediation would be covered due to the cause of loss being a fire.
In this case Bonnie, it sounds like you did everything you could. You noticed the problem in a timely manner, notified maintenance, and they took care of the cause of the leak. Now you want to take care of the mold. On the surface, it seems as if you’ve met your duty to mitigate. Now it’s a question of whose problem the mold is.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold Caused By The Apartment Itself?
If the apartment has an inherent defect, such as a recurring leak that they have not bothered to fix, that’s likely the management’s problem to deal with. This would include mold on their property, like your window sill.
If you are aware of the problem than you have a duty to prevent it from affecting your property to whatever extent possible. For example, don’t store your clothes under a leak that you know exists. If you neither knew, nor should have known about it before discovering the mold, and made a valiant effort to fix the problem as soon as possible, than the endorsement mentioned earlier will provide some coverage for your personal property.
Renters insurance can and does cover damage from mold casused by a covered peril, as long as you made a good faith effort to keep it from getting worse. Remember that mold is one of those things that grows exponentially. Kill it quickly and kill it right to stop it from spreading and notify the complex office. For a free review of your renters insurance policy to find out if it has the mold endorsement and would cover a situation like this, call Effective Coverage at (800)892-4308 or click above for a free quote on a new renters insurance policy in Texas or nationwide!