Homeowners And Mold Claims In Texas

Most homeowners in Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Mansfield, Benbrook, Burleson, Haslet, Saginaw, Fort Worth, or any other city in Texas is not going to have a mold problem with their home. But the ones who do will wonder: What now? Will my insurance cover the costs the mold problem is causing?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to these questions.
The quick answer is: It depends on what your homeowners insurance policy says.
The longer answer is: It depends on what the courts have ruled that your insurance policy means.
And the real answer is that you will have to consult with an experienced Insurance Law Attorney. His answer will depend on the previous two answers but atleast he or she will be able to discuss with you, your options and what has been the result in cases with similarities to your own case.
Almost all homeowners policies, and for that matter, policies that cover other types of structures, will have exclusions for mold coverage unless you specifically ask for mold coverage and pay the higher premium for that coverage.
To learn a little about mold and how it affects people you can go to MedicineNet.com. Mold is very large group of microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. Most are filamentous organisms and produce spores that can be air, water, or insect borne. Mold is a common trigger for allergies.
For people who are sensitive to molds, exposure can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, or wheezing. People with serious allergies to molds may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings or in mold infected homes. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses, such as obstrusive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
There are many other places to learn more about problems created by mold.
The Texas Supreme Court, on June 11, 2010, issued an opinion in the case, State Farm Lloyds and Erin Strachan v. Wanda M. Page, where the issue was the interpretation of a homeowners insurance policy and whether or not it covered mold damages.
In this case, State Farm Lloyds had issued a Texas Standardized Homeowners Policy — Form B to insure the dwelling and its contents of the home owned by Wanda Page. (More about these various forms can be studied at the Texas Department of Insurance web-site). The adjuster, Strachan, hired Industrial Hygiene & Safety Technology, Inc. to perform an indoor envoronmental quality assessment. The assessment revealed a variety of different molds growing in the home. To abate the mold, Industrial Hygiene recommended that the home and its contents be remediated. So the next question was; Who is going to pay for this?
The court got into a lengthy discussion about the law in this area and how other courts had ruled. In the discussions about other court rulings, this court distinguished the facts and insurance policies in the other courts from the facts and insurance policy in this case. In the end, this court ruled that the State Farm Lloyds policy covers mold damage to the personal property of Page but not the dwelling itself.
In these mold coverage cases it needs to be understood and emphasized that each case can be drastically different based on the causes of the mold and the wording in the policy.

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