A few years ago Denise Sze wrote an article for the Merlin Law Group in their Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog that stated in part, “When mold is a result of a covered loss, it is wise to check the policy and get a professional opinion on whether any mold exclusion is ‘absolute.’”
She pointed out that “Some policies are expressly written with an ‘absolute’ mold exclusion. An ‘absolute’ exclusion means that no matter how the mold may come to be, the insurance company will not pay for the damages.” And added, “A good example of when mold may be covered is at the time of a plumbing loss such as a burst water pipe. Because a burst water pipe is a covered loss, any mold resulting is considered an ensuing loss and may be covered.”
So it follows that if contents are destroyed or damaged due to a burst pipe, they may be covered by the policy. Right?
Maybe not, according to the experts. For example, since mold takes time to grow, some carriers are limiting even their diminished liability to one week. After the incident (the rest, they claim is due to improper maintenance or mitigation).
Is your insured covered? Is there an absolute exclusion? Or did they wait too long to stop the mold growth? The policy will tell and even the contents pros would call in an expert to figure things out.