Does USAA Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

Mold can be a headache for homeowners. If left unchecked, it can cause extensive damage to your home. So does your USAA homeowners insurance policy cover mold?

The short answer is yes, USAA homeowners insurance can provide coverage for mold damage under certain conditions. In this article, we’ll explain exactly how USAA covers mold, key exclusions to be aware of, and tips for getting the most out of your homeowners insurance when dealing with mold.

What Causes Mold in a Home?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp, warm environments. It produces spores that spread through the air. When the spores land on a wet surface, they can begin growing more mold.

There are a few common ways mold infestations start in a home:

  • Water damage: Plumbing leaks, heavy rain/flooding, and high humidity levels can all cause moisture issues that allow mold to grow.

  • Poor ventilation: Bathrooms, basements, and other areas without proper ventilation are prone to mold growth.

  • Roof/siding damage: Leaks from damaged roofing or siding can lead to excess moisture.

  • HVAC systems: Faulty air conditioning units or ductwork with condensation buildup can distribute mold spores.

If the moisture issue is not fixed quickly, mold can rapidly multiply and spread in your home. Even a relatively small mold problem should be addressed right away before significant damage occurs.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

Standard USAA homeowners insurance policies provide some coverage for mold damage and remediation (mold removal).

However, there are important caveats and exclusions to be aware of:

  • Mold must be a result of a covered loss: The mold growth has to be tied to an underlying cause of loss covered by your policy, such as water damage from a burst pipe, storm damage, or fire damage. Mold itself is not covered.

  • Coverage limits: Most homeowners policies limit mold coverage to $5,000 or $10,000. Major mold problems often exceed this limit.

  • Policy may not cover mold assessments or testing: Analyzing the type/extent of mold is often excluded. Read your policy carefully.

  • Pre-existing mold and maintenance issues: If you had a mold issue before getting coverage, the insurance company won’t cover it. General home maintenance is also your responsibility.

Given these limitations, USAA encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent mold growth. But if mold does occur from a covered incident, your homeowners policy can provide some reimbursement for professional remediation.

Key Causes of Mold Covered by USAA

While each USAA homeowners insurance policy differs based on your specific coverages and limits, there are some key causes of water damage where mold coverage commonly applies:

1. Burst Pipes

If a pipe suddenly bursts and causes water to flood your home, leading to mold growth, this would likely be covered. Make sure to mitigate damage by shutting off the water and contacting USAA right away. They can dispatch a water mitigation crew to start drying out your home.

2. Roof Damage from Wind/Hail

Storms can damage shingles and lead to interior leaks. The resulting mold would be covered if it’s directly tied to a covered storm claim. Make temporary repairs to prevent further water intrusion after a storm.

3. Sump Pump Failure

If your sump pump fails and allows flooding into your basement, USAA will cover the mold remediation stemming from this incident.However, they likely won’t cover the cost to replace the faulty sump pump itself.

4. Refrigerator Line Leaks

If the water line to your fridge springs a leak and causes water damage, resulting mold can also be covered. Make sure fridge water lines are properly maintained.

5. Bathtub/Sink Overflows

If a bath/sink overflows from a clogged drain or broken plumbing, and the standing water allows mold growth, you can make a claim to remediate the mold damage.

The key is being able to clearly tie the mold to a covered water loss event. If the source of moisture is unclear or excluded by your policy, coverage may be limited.

What Kinds of Mold Damage Are Not Covered?

There are some common mold issues that your standard USAA homeowners insurance policy won’t include coverage for:

  • Pre-existing mold: If you already had a mold problem when you purchased coverage, the insurance company won’t pay for remediation. Always disclose any known mold issues upfront.

  • Improper home maintenance: Mold caused by maintenance issues like a poorly ventilated bathroom, old leaky plumbing, or general dampness is your responsibility to fix.

  • Gradual/long-term water intrusion: Small leaks that cause gradual mold growth over time are often excluded. The water damage has to be sudden and accidental.

  • HVAC system mold: Mold spreading through air ducts due to condensation issues has limited coverage. Proper HVAC maintenance is usually excluded.

  • Mold assessments: The cost for a professional mold inspection or testing is often excluded. But the remediation costs may still be covered.

  • Mold resulting from tenant behavior: If you rent out your property and a tenant’s actions (like overflowing a tub) cause mold, your insurer may deny coverage due to negligence.

These exclusions highlight the need for preventative maintenance. Addressing minor leaks early and keeping humidity down can help avoid large uncovered mold issues.

Mold Remediation: How USAA Homeowners Insurance Handles Claims

If you do suffer a covered water loss that results in mold growth, here is how USAA generally handles the claims process:

  1. Report the water damage claim as soon as possible. Provide details on what caused the water intrusion and subsequent mold.

  2. Mitigate any further damage. Turn off the water source, dry out the area, remove any porous/wet materials at risk of further mold growth.

  3. Inspection & testing. USAA may send an adjuster and test for mold. But testing itself is often excluded, so focus more on the remediation plan.

  4. Remediation plan. Based on the size and severity of the mold issue, USAA will work with you on a remediation plan within your coverage limits. This may involve professional mold removal.

  5. Additional repairs. After mold is remediated, further repairs like drywall replacement, sanitizing HVAC systems, etc. may be needed. What USAA covers depends on your specific policy.

  6. Reimbursement. Keep all invoices for remediation costs, repairs, hotel stays, etc. USAA will reimburse you (minus deductibles) up to your policy limits.

Move quickly through the claims process and take photos/document all damage before remediating. This helps establish that the mold was caused by a covered incident.

Tips for Getting the Most from Mold Coverage

To make sure you get the mold coverage you need from USAA, keep these tips in mind:

  • Inspect your property regularly for any moisture issues or leaks to prevent major mold problems down the line.

  • Consider adding mold coverage as an endorsement or rider if your limits seem too low. This gives you extra protection.

  • Maintain proper humidity levels, especially in rooms prone to condensation like bathrooms.

  • Clean any mold right away, even if it seems minor at first. Nip it in the bud before it multiplies.

  • Dry out your home ASAP after any water damage event to prevent mold from taking hold.

  • Open claims quickly and document damage with photos/videos before removing moldy materials.

  • Keep copies of all invoices and payments for reimbursement submissions.

  • Ask your agent about any exclusions that seem unclear or restrictive. Amend your policy if needed.

With the right vigilance and an understanding of how USAA homeowners insurance handles mold, you can rest assured knowing you have important protection. But be proactive and take preventative maintenance seriously as well. Limiting moisture and addressing leaks quickly goes a long way to avoiding major mold headaches.

Can You Get Extra Mold Coverage?

If the standard mold coverage under your USAA homeowners insurance policy seems insufficient, there are some options to expand your protection:

  • Increase coverage limits: Ask your agent if you can add a mold coverage endorsement that boosts the limits from the standard $5,000 or $10,000 up to $25,000 or more. This costs extra but provides peace of mind if you have significant mold concerns.

  • Add water/sewer backup coverage: This protects against backups from municipal water/sewer lines that can cause major flooding and subsequent mold growth. Make sure backups from home systems are covered too.

  • Get guaranteed replacement cost: Opting for replacement cost vs. actual cash value coverage means USAA will pay to fully repair or replace moldy materials without depreciation deductions.

  • Purchase specialty mold coverage: Some insurers offer policies that specifically cover mold testing, inspections, prevention, and large-scale remediation costs beyond what a homeowners policy

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold? | Home Insurance Mold and Water Backup


Does my homeowners insurance cover replacing damage from mold?

Homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover mold damage or removal unless it’s the result of a covered peril. If the mold in your residence was caused by something sudden or accidental, such as a bursting pipe or some other covered incident on your policy, you may be protected.

Does USAA renters insurance cover mold damage?

Renters insurance from USAA will cover mold in certain situations. The mold must have formed because of water damage that was sudden and accidental. For example, if a pipe bursts suddenly in your apartment and sprays water all over the walls and floors, mold could develop before your landlord can clean up the moisture.

Does USAA cover roof damage?

For example, supplemental windstorm insurance coverage from the USAA Insurance Agency usually protects your property from hail damage if you have broken windows, or dents in shingles and siding. Hurricane damage from collapsed walls, or damage to your roof, doors and windows from a tornado, may also be covered.

Does USAA cover termite damage?

Do USAA and State Farm Cover Termite Damage? Most standard homeowners insurance policies, including those from State Farm, don’t cover termite damage as part of a standard homeowners insurance policy. USAA may cover some termite damage, subject to various limits and exclusions.

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