Water and Mold - Questions from the Insured


New Member
A burst pipe ran for about a week in the basement. There is mold throughout the house. Water is drained and the humidity is now low. Mold inspector confirmed mold growth occurred on all levels of the home. Claim was approved. I'm developing my claims list for the adjuster and have some questions:

1) I expect that all porous furniture (mattresses and couches) have mold and cannot be remediated. The adjuster said, after everything is cleaned by the mold remediator, then we'll decide if these items are damaged. Will I be expected to mold-test the inside of a mattress or cushion? What is the standard practice for these determinations?

2) Part of the remediation requires painting the walls after they are cleaned. Is the interior painting considered a "DWELLING" or a "MOLD" damage?

3) If I wish to bring in an engineer to inspect the structure, is that expense something that should be covered even if his says "It's all OK"?

Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts on these questions!
When you state that the claim was approved, to what degree? Many HO policies exclude mold or have a limit for the mold remediation. Contents will be handled differently from structure coverage. Have you met with a Claims Adjuster from your carrier? If not, nothing stated by the mold person will carry much weight
When you state that the claim was approved, to what degree?
The insurance company told our agency that our claim is covered to full policy levels and was not denied. I thought this decision was a binary one, but you are asking about the level of approval. I am missing something and may just not understand.

Our HO policy includes mold coverage, as a rider.

Yes, I have met our claims adjuster.
It was vacant for about 10 days. I’m not following the relevancy.

I asked some very specific questions about how to assess mold damage to upholstered furniture with adjusters, which “bucket” to use for interior painting (dwelling or mold) and if damage exploration expenses (i.e. an structural engineer) are typically covered.

Any professional opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.
What does the settlement letter say about total Claim? There should be a dollar amount and every home claim I have ever seen has a breakdown of what is covered and for how much. If you exceed the dollar amount of one item in the claim, the balance reflects what is left; if the carpet is covered at $20/sq ft and you spend $30/sq ft the difference comes from the total claim. Any amount you spend over the total claim is on you unless you get a supplement approval prior to spending the money
Generally mold remediation pays for visible mold meaning that the insurance carrier will not remove additional drywall to search for additional mold.
The relevancy of my question is that insurance is for sudden and accidental disasters. Water leaking from a burst pipe would be heard if the home was occupied and is a reason why many HO claims are denied (the home was a vacation home or in between tenants)
The best place to get your question about structural engineers is with your carrier or agent, that is what you are paying them for. I have seen multiple cases where the carrier digs in their heels when you start to bring in outside "experts"
Our HO policy is unlike any that you have ever seen, I'm afraid. There is no breakdown as you describe at all, just the over-all policy limits for mold, dwelling, and personal property.

Our mold coverage is not limited to visible mold, as you say is typical. That would be horrible coverage -- just dust off this pillow and done?

The agency and adjuster obviously have an interest to limit inspections and that makes them biased, so I'm not sure about your suggestion that they are the best place to get an answer on that question. That is why I asked it in this forum, to see if there is a accepted standard practice.

I understand where you were coming from about the cause of the flood. They accept that this is a one-time catastrophic event and have declared that our claims surrounding that event will be covered. That is not in question here.

Thanks again.
What does the claim document from YOUR carrier say? Ask your Claims advocate for a copy. You should have something other than a check which breaks down the claim. And NO, your carrier will not hunt for or pay some outside agency to hunt for, additional mold damage. Call your agent!