What are a homeowners rights if their insurer refuses to cover recent mold damage?

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What are a homeowners rights if their insurer refuses to cover recent mold damage?

I am the second owner of my house. It was built in 1994 and I moved there in 1998. The design of my dryer duct caused it to come off track releasing steam into my wall. My insurance said mold is long term and they do not cover it. No one from the insurance came out to inspect. I had to cover the repairs at $6000. An environmental hygienist told me that it could have taken less than a month for het mold to grow with the steam. Insurance still refused to cover repair.

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Insurance is a contract--both parties are legally bound by its terms. That means that an insurer must pay for whatever losses are covered, and, of course, only those covered losses. Sometimes, however, there is an issue as to the facts--the insurer disputes things happened the way the insured says they did, and therefore believes that the loss is not in fact covered. When that happens, the insured does not have to accept the insurer's determination at face value; unfortunately, if the insurer won't change it's mind, it may be necessary to bring a legal action to force the insurer to honor its obligations. (In a trial, for example, each side can try to prove its version of the facts, which gives the insured an opportunity to prove that the insurer should have provided coverage.) You should consult with an attorney with experience in representing insured's against their insurance companies. Good luck.


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