You will want to check your policy to make sure that you know which perils are covered and which are not, but there are a number of likely causes of mold that you can generally expect to be covered by most policies. These include the following:
- Burst pipes from freezing or appliance malfunction
- Vandalism and theft (for instance: a burglar breaking a window, leading to interior mold damages from rain)
- Ice, sleet and snow-related damages (example: ice and water leaking into your attic and creating mold damages in the winter)
- Fire, lightning and other perils may create a chain reaction leading to mold damages, but those listed above are among the most common.
Note that most insurers do not, by default, cover floods proper (river swells, flash floods, storm surge). You may want to buy additional protection if this is a concern where you live.
Of course, for your coverage to kick in, you will need to have done everything in your power that you can be reasonably expected to have done to prevent these damages, and to prevent them from getting worse. There are many scenarios where the damages may be regarded to be, on some level, the homeowner's fault. For instance:
- If you come home from work to find that you've been burgled, and you do nothing to prevent rain from getting in, your insurer is likely to cover the initial damages and losses, but the moldy carpet will be seen as more your fault than the thief's.
- Your washing machine breaks and floods from the laundry room into the kitchen, but at this point it was really being held together with duct tape and a leak was likely inevitable. Your insurer expects you to practice at least a basic level of home maintenance, so they might not cover this loss.
- A pipe breaks, and instead of shutting off the water valve (or attempting to), you simply let it flood your home until the plumber arrives.
If you practice basic home maintenance, if you make sure to control any potentially hazardous situation to the best of your abilities, you can generally expect your home insurance provider to cover you in the event of mold damages.