Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold?

Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold?
Excessive moisture can cause mold and peeling paint wall such as rainwater leaks or water leaks (Photo: @chanida_10p via Twenty20)
People often forget about renters insurance when leasing a home or apartment, but it’s important to know that insuring your valuables and belongings isn’t only reserved for homeowners. In the unfortunate instance that your belongings are damaged while renting, you’ll probably wish you had insurance that will reimburse you for the loss. Depending on your coverage, renters insurance may or may not cover damage from mold.
Here are the top three factors you should consider when looking for renters insurance and coverage for mold.

1. The Type of Policy Affects What Types of Damage it Will Pay for

Renters insurance is designed to cover your valuables and belongings when you’re renting a residence or storage unit. It usually doesn’t cover the structure itself, but rather the items you keep in it. For example, depending on the policy, if the apartment building you’re living in has a fire and your couch and chairs are ruined due to smoke damage, your renters insurance will most likely reimburse you for your furniture. The owner of the building will have insurance on the structure and that will cover the damage to the apartment complex.
However, not all insurance policies cover all types of damage. Your renters insurance needs to be an all-risk policy if you want coverage for most types of peril. Otherwise, your insurance may not cover damage caused by mold. You need to carefully examine the perils covered by your policy or you could be left without reimbursement.

2. The Amount of Reimbursement from Mold Damage May Be Limited

Often, renters insurance policies have monetary limits on the amount you can be reimbursed due to specific types of damage. It’s not uncommon for damage caused by mold to have a claim limit of up to $5,000. This is something you should consider when purchasing insurance. For example, if you know the furniture and electronics in your living room is well over $5,000, you may want to consider adding additional types of coverage so you will be able to replace the items.

3. How the Mold Damage Occurs May Affect the Coverage

Even if your renters insurance does cover damage from mold, the actual coverage will have a lot to do with how the damage happened. For example, Progressive recommends you file a claim no matter the circumstances so that your insurance company can determine if it is covered by your policy. Mold may be covered if it’s caused by a sudden accident like a broken water pipe. However, if the mold was caused by neglect, it is unlikely you will be reimbursed for damage to your belongings.
An example of neglect would be consistent plumbing problems that never get fixed, thus resulting in the development of mold. This might become a factor if you’re aware of a leak and don’t inform your landlord. Next thing you know, your belongings under the sink are damaged by mold that has grown due to constant moisture. If it’s evident you should have noticed the leak, then it is likely your claim will be denied.
If renters insurance that includes mold coverage is important to you, make sure to consider the above factors. If you keep in mind that not all insurance is the same, standard reimbursement may not fully cover your belongings, and how the mold damage occurs can affect your coverage, you will have a better understanding of how much protection you have for your belongings.