HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE……something important to know!
Contributed by Scott Tracy
Over the years I have found something that concerns me greatly.
As many of you may already know, it is not unusual here in Central Florida areas like Winter Garden, Winter Springs, Altamonte and Orlando that a water damage/flood that occurs in a home usually involves some mold growth as a consequence. If mold is found, it falls under a special separate category of coverage named Fungi (you can find this if you read your homeowners policy).
The good news is that most insurance carriers in the state of Florida automatically include at least $10,000 in coverage for mold as part of their policy. I will warn you however, even $10,000 may not be adequate for a loss involving a lot of mold that also affects the contents in the home. Please consider calling your insurance agent to up this coverage just in case. Personally, I increased my coverage to $20,000 for my home.
Having said that, not all insurance companies in the state of Florida automatically give you $10,000 in mold coverage. This is one glaring weakness you need to know about. To be fair to insurance agents, when you apply for coverage with them, they ask you if you want this fungi/mold coverage and it is up to the consumer to accept and decline this. Many consumers do decline this coverage not knowing how important it really is.
Over many years, I visited many claims where the homeowner has had water and mold damage and their insurance carrier was a company that did not automatically include this coverage. When mold is found, I urge the homeowner to call their agent to see if they have the fungi coverage. I would say that 90% of these homeowners find out that they do not have the coverage. This means the homeowner is paying a lot of money out of their own pocket to get the mold remediation done. This is bad enough, but the real anger and frustration occurs when the policyholder finds out that nearly all the other insurance carriers in Florida automatically extend to their policyholder’s the $10,000 in fungi coverage. This really upsets them. Even though it is not the insurance agents fault, they take the brunt of the homeowner’s anger and frustration.
Needless to say, the point of this discussion is to highly encourage all homeowners to call their agent as soon as possible to check on their fungi coverage and to add this coverage to their policy if they do not have it.