Unfortunately, mold can be a consequence of flood damage following a hurricane. In fact, following Hurricane Katrina, the CDC found visible mold in 46 percent of surveyed homes, and heavy mold in 17 percent. Generally, if the water damage itself is covered under your insurance policy, the insurance company will probably pay your insurance claim for mold after a hurricane. Whether or not your insurance company will pay the full mold remediation cost is the question. Many insurance providers limit mold remediation claims to between $1,000 and $10,000. While this might sound like a lot, when mold is widespread it can run between $15,000 and $30,000 to fully cover the damage.
Further, even when a policy covers mold remediation, the insurer may use every tactic to deny the claim—such as claiming the mold could have been prevented if you had implemented a dehumidifying solution. It can be crucial to have an experienced New Orleans, LA attorney in your corner for an insurance claim for mold after a hurricane. Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys has the necessary knowledge, experience, and tenacity to ensure you are paid a fair amount for mold damage.
Will Flood Insurance Cover My Mold Remediation?
Although you might assume flood insurance would certainly cover mold remediation, you might be wrong. In many cases, flood insurance does not cover damage caused by mold that is not attributable to the flood or that could have been avoided by the property owner. This wording could cause your insurer to deny your mold remediation claim on the basis that you could have avoided the damage (by taking measures to dry out the wet areas).
What Are the Differences Between Flood Insurance and Homeowner’s Insurance?
Although homeowner’s and flood insurance vary widely, homeowner’s insurance typically will not pay flood damage due to a natural disaster like a hurricane. Homeowner’s insurance may pay for water damage due to broken pipes, but not from a rising body of water covering (normally) dry land. If you live in an area prone to flooding or hurricanes, you will want to add flood insurance to your homeowner’s insurance to protect you in the event of a natural disaster.
What Are the Most Common Insurance Adjuster Denials Regarding Hurricanes?
While there can be many reasons your insurance adjuster denies your hurricane claim, the three most common reasons include:
- Your insurance adjuster claims the damage was present on your home or business prior to the hurricane. The adjuster may claim you failed to properly maintain the property and this failure resulted in more severe damage than would otherwise have occurred.
- The claim made by the insurance adjuster may be that you failed to properly secure your property after the prediction of a hurricane. Even though residents are often forced to evacuate quickly, this could still be a “reason” for a hurricane claim denial.
- The insurance adjuster may claim the damage sustained is excluded under your insurance policy. If you do not have flood insurance, such a denial is almost guaranteed, but even with flood insurance some parts of the damage could be excluded. If you only have homeowner’s insurance, the adjuster may deny your claim under the guise that the damage to your property was caused by flooding, rather than wind.
How Can I Prove My Insurance Claim for Mold After a Hurricane?
First and foremost, you must always take mold in your home seriously, filing an insurance claim for mold after a hurricane in a timely manner. Immediately contact your insurance agent to report mold after a hurricane, following up with an email and a letter. Make sure to keep detailed records of every interaction with your insurance company. Make sure you have reviewed your insurance policy carefully to determine whether mold remediation is covered.
While you should protect your property from further damage (i.e., by using industrial de-humidifiers), do not make any permanent repairs. You should also never dispose of damaged property until your insurance adjuster has performed an inspection. Carefully photograph any mold that can be seen, inventorying all damaged property via photographs or video. Finally, speak to a knowledgeable bad faith insurance attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys to make sure you fully understand your rights under Louisiana state law.
FEMA Flood Coverage
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), providing flood insurance to those in high-risk areas. This insurance is delivered to the public via a network of about 60 insurance companies, as well as the NFIP Direct. Flood insurance through FEMA and NFIP is available to those living in one of the 23,000 participating NFIP communities. If you have a home or business in a high-risk flood area and your mortgage is through a government-backed lender, you are required to carry flood insurance.
How Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys Can Help with Your Insurance Claim for Mold After a Hurricane?
If you have experienced mold after a hurricane in New Orleans, LA, Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys will fight for your rights and your future. We understand how stressful it can be to deal with insurance companies, particularly following a catastrophic incident that has damaged your home and your belongings. Don’t try to handle a hurricane insurance claim on your own—contact Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys today.