Mold destroys more wood than all the fire and termite cases combined. Any type of flood, pipe burst, pipe leakage, roof leakage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Unfortunately, more often than not, you do not realize that you had a water leak immediately because these leaks occur behind walls where they are not visible. This inevitably leads to property damage that the homeowner's insurance should be financially responsible. We handle all types a mold damage claims including damage to walls, in the ceiling, in the shower or bathroom, in the attic and roof, and in the floors.
Can you put in a claim for mold damage on your homeowner's insurance?
Yes. Mold damage is generally a covered loss that your homeowner's insurance should pay for damages. However, many homeowner's insurance polies have confusing language regarding mold damage and have lesser limits on mold damage. Insurance companies try to use these to their advantage to wiggle their way out of properly paying claims.
As experienced property damage lawyers, we know the tricks and games that insurance companies play. In some situations we can even get around the cap limits in an insurance policy.
Can you sue your homeowner's insurance for a mold claim?
Yes. Homeowner's insurance policies generally have provision that allow you to submit mold damage claims. When the insurance company either denies your claim or offers an amount less than what your claim is worth, you have a breach of contract claim. You entered a contract with your insurance company to provide you insurance in the case of a loss to your property and you paid your insurance company money for this coverage. When the insurance company does not hold up to their end of the bargain by offering you the fair value for your claim, they have breached the contract.
Homeowner's insurance policies are very lengthy and complex. In many cases, the insurance company has put caps on the limits of damages that you can recover in mold damage cases. Insurance companies use complicated language and cap limits to try to shirk their financial responsibility to you. As experienced property damage lawyers, we can guide you through the claims process and get your case into litigation as quickly as possible. The sooner we can file a lawsuit on your claim, the sooner that we will be able to make a recovery for you.
Should you hire an attorney for your mold damage claim?
Yes. Insurance companies do everything they can to minimize the amount that they pay out on claims. The less money they pay out on your claim is more money they make as profit. Insurance companies have hundreds of attorneys that regularly use proven tactics to deny or reduce claims with unrepresented parties. You can't afford not to be represented.
Furthermore, mold damage lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement. This is referred to by many lawyers as the no fee guarantee. The lawyers do not make any money unless they make a recovery for you. Additionally, there is a fee statute in these types of cases. The fee statute allows a lawyer to recover legal fees from the insurance company if you prevail on the case. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we have had cases where the insurance companies has paid the entirety of the legal fees separate and apart from any settlement that we have recovered for the client.
How do you know if you have a mold problem?
The mold can usually be seen or smelled. Additionally, there are mold test kits sold at home improvement stores, or there are professional mold remediation companies that have the equipment to be able to test for molds. These professional remediation companies also have moisture meters that can detect the presence of moisture behind walls and in floors. This can help you isolate where the is moisture coming into your home to determine were the mold has started.
What are the defenses to a mold damage case?
Insurance companies will use a variety of tactics to defend against a mold damage case. One of the most frequent is blaming the you, the insured, for failure to mitigate damages. For instance, they will try to get you to admit you knew there was a leak or some other type of water damage you knew about and did not properly fix that resulted in the mold damage. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we have seen these sort of parlor tricks before and know how to prepare our clients to avoid these potential pitfalls.
When there is toxic mold and black mold in your home, should you be concerned about health risks?
Mold affects people differently. For some people mold exposure can lead to stuffy nose, red and itchy eyes, or wheezing; while other people have more intense reactions. There is always a little mold everywhere. However, even if you have mold in your home, it does not necessarily mean that the mold is toxic. According to the CDC, not all fungi produce mycotoxins, and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions. The CDC further states mold can be different colors, but color is not an indication of how dangerous mold can be. All mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
You shouldn't live in fear that your health will be negatively impacted by living in your home. Get your home safe. Let us worry about getting you the fair value for the mold damage to your home.
Can you hire an attorney for your mold damage claim if you already have a public adjuster?
Yes. We regularly work with public adjusters on all types of cases, not just mold damage cases. Public adjusters can help drive the damage amount of a claim, but if settlement negotiations on your case fail, then a lawsuit will have to be filed. Public adjusters are not attorneys and do not have the ability to file lawsuits and litigate cases. As a testament to our reputation and tenacity in property damage cases, public adjusters will regularly refer cases to use for litigation.
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we frequently litigate property damage cases. See how we can help you. Call us for a free strategy session.