Will my car insurance company pay for mold problems in my vehicle?
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Asked April 30, 2015
Car insurance is a contract between the person who is responsible for the vehicle and the insurance company. In exchange for standing on your behalf in covered incidents, the insurance expects you to pay your premiums in a timely manner and keep the car in acceptable condition. The idea is that the insurance company has a right to expect the vehicle to be kept in usable condition rather than allowed to deteriorate.
Some problems that can pop up with a vehicle fall under the category of regular maintenance. For example, if mold begins to grow on the dash or the backs of the seats, it is considered the responsible of the car owner to remove it before it can cause any serious or permanent damage. Similarly, if the windshield is too dirty to see out of and you get into an accident, the insurer might deny coverage on the grounds that you did not perform a minimum acceptable amount of vehicle upkeep.
Not only is mold excluded from auto insurance coverage, it can cause the value of the car to depreciate much faster. To illustrate, consider that the car is totaled, and the adjuster discovers large amounts of mold growing inside the vehicle when it is examined. Since your insurance company may only pay a depreciated value for the car, that value would be further reduced because of the deterioration caused by the mold. This example could actually lead to you getting very little payout on the totaled vehicle, depending on other factors involved, such as the age and condition.
Rather than insuring the vehicle against mold, your money would be better invested with an auto detailer who could clean the interior of the car on a regular basis. In addition to keeping mold away, this option would also prolong the usefulness of the vehicle, effectively preserving the value for a longer period of time. Having the car thoroughly cleaned 2 or 3 times a year would not be a large cost burden and the savings over a denied claim would make it well worth the cost.
Answered May 2, 2015 by Anonymous