Is mildew growth covered under homeowners insurance?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 10, 2011

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Insurance Question from Whitehouse Station, NJ

Asked on 12/10/2011

Is mildew growth covered under homeowners insurance? I have had water in basement before . Heavy rainfall, seeps in, dries up or seeks sump pump. During this unusually wet year, the water did not dry up. Now I see mold spores on my furniture on the first floor.

Answer given on December 14, 2011

Homeowner insurance protects you from “sudden and accidental” damage to your home. There are exclusions to the policy, and flooding is considered an excluded peril. Seepage into the basement may not be considered a flood, but most policies exclude such damage. In addition, the mildew damage you are suffering would be considered a loss over time, and not sudden and accidental, so again it would most likely not be covered.Your contents are subject to different limits, and they are usually covered on a named perils basis. Mildew would not be a named peril. In addition, many policies require a covered loss to the home before the contents would be covered.Finally, most insurance companies now have an exclusion or major limitation for mold or mildew losses. You should review your insurance policy to see if there is such an exclusion. If there is no coverage provided, it is not recommended to submit a claim, since it would be denied, yet you will have a claim showing on your record, which could increase your premium.

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