I have black mold algae causing damage on my roof. Will my homeowners policy cover the costs associated with it?
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Asked September 3, 2013
The roof of the dwelling is covered against a number of perils, but is not covered against everything that could damage it. Additionally, insurance regulations vary from one state to another, and what is covered in one location may be excluded in another, or even by a different insurer. The most common response from insurers is that mold on your roof is not covered, but your policy may be different.
Insurance companies consider keeping the roof clear of debris is being part of normal home maintenance, and that means they can deny a claim for mold on the roof under the grounds of negligence on the part of the homeowner. Typically, roof mold begins to grow in valleys and corners where old leaves have built up. If the roof is cleaned off regularly to remove any debris that may have collected, the risk of having mold is much lower.
In contrast, if a tree limb fell on your roof during a severe storm, the damage that it caused would be covered, because wind damage is a covered peril in most standard home policies. However, if the limb that fell is obviously a dead branch that has been waiting to fall for some time, you could be faced with the same denial as for black roof mold, and under the same grounds. As the homeowner, you are responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep the home in good condition and safe from incidental hazards.
Even if your homeowner's policy does cover roof mold, you may want to give the situation some careful thought before you file a claim. If the deductible for the repairs is not much greater than the cost of the full repair job, paying for the project out of pocket could save you from higher insurance rates farther down the road. And it isn't just your home insurance that could rise, because there is a national database of loss claims, and the file is examined every time you apply for new coverage.
Answered September 3, 2013 by Anonymous