There has been an increased focus on mold in homes by the media and public safety experts in recent years. This focus on the potential health risks associated with the presence of mold is based on a number of medical studies linking mold to health risks in mold-infested homes. Research by the Institute of Medicine found evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with coughing, upper respiratory tract symptoms and wheezing in people who are otherwise healthy. The researchers also observed that exposure to mold in a home can aggravate asthma symptoms in those who suffer from the condition. The study also noted a specific risk of otherwise healthy children developing asthma when exposed to indoor mold.
Given the potential health risks associated with mold, my office often receives questions from homeowners regarding coverage under a homeowner’s insurance policy for mold removal. Most homeowner policies exclude or limit coverage for mold. Because mold coverage is excluded or subject to limitations under most policies, policyholders should seek legal advice if they need mold removed from their home.
During my time representing homeowners struggling with their insurance company following a severe storm, roof collapse and related water intrusion perils, I have successfully helped policyholders obtain the full value of their claim for mold damage. While mold may not be covered by your homeowners’ policy, many claims simply need to be re-framed as water damage claims. If the mold in your home is the result of a water pipe that bursts, a defective water heater that explodes or a harsh rain storm, mold removal might be part and parcel of water damage coverage.
Some policyholders inquire about the merits of agreeing to an appraisal rather than hiring an attorney. One important point to remember is that my firm represents policyholders on a contingency fee basis. Generally, this means we front the costs of litigating your claim, so you do not need to come up with money to fund your legal claim. Further, our law firm only collects a fee if we obtain a judgment or settlement. Because of our structure for handling fees and costs, there is no risk to retaining our firm to fight your insurance company.
While you can resolve a dispute with your insurance company by seeking an appraisal of the damage, there is a significant drawback to this approach. If you consent to an appraisal, you will forfeit your legal right to pursue a breach of contract lawsuit via jury trial. Although there are situations where an appraisal may offer the best option, you should first take advantage of the opportunity to consult with an experienced homeowner insurance claims attorney to evaluate you rights and remedies. I am a former claims adjuster, so I can review your situation and provide guidance on whether your mold issues can be resolved as part of a water damage claim.
If your homeowner’s insurance carrier has denied your claim for mold damage, my law firm may be able to get your insurance company to cover the water intrusion, physical damage to your residence and related mold issues. I am an experienced homeowners insurance claims attorney who handles disputed claims in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.