I was reminded of Mr. McMahon’s mold experience when I read a story about him today in the newspaper. Seems that Mr. McMahon took a fall a few years back and fractured his neck. Since then, he has been unable to work, and as a consequence, his home was subject to foreclosure. That’s a sorry state of affairs for an 85-year old man who has made a fortune during his lifetime. But that’s where he finds himself right now. Other wealthy individuals, like Donald Trump, have come to his rescue so he doesn’t get thrown out into the street.
Remember Ed McMahon? He is best known as the sidekick to Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show on NBC. In 2002, McMahon sued his insurance company, American Equity Insurance Co., for more than $20 million. His lawsuit asserted that toxic mold sickened him and his wife Pamela, killed their dog Muffy, and made their Beverly Hills house uninhabitable.
A pipe had broken in the six-bedroom home, flooding the family room. Mold spread throughout the house, even spreading into the heating and air conditioning ducts. The cleanup contractors just painted over some of the mold.
The suit was finally settled in 2003 for $7.2 million. This settlement is the highest published recovery in the United States by an individual filing for property damage in a mold lawsuit.
Everlasting shame goes to the insurance industry for what they have done about toxic mold. Prior to 2003, policyholders submitted about as many mold claims as fire claims each year. The insurance industry saw that mold claims were increasing in numbers, and they forecast that toxic mold losses would soon overwhelm them. The reason for their fear is that the mold claims were not just for repairing the physical damage to the structure, but also involved the illnesses and deaths that the toxic mold was causing.
So, very quietly, they simply stopped insuring mold losses.
Most insurance companies have added a Mold and Microorganism Exclusion to their policies since 2003. Check your policy to see if mold is covered or excluded.
If it is excluded, start NOW finding coverage for Mold Damage.
If you had a water damage loss that ended up with mold, you should still be able to collect for the damage that the water did to your property BEFORE the mold grew. Don’t just sit idly by and accept a mold claim denial from an insurance company. Go ahead and prove that the water damage happened FIRST, and get your claim paid. Even if you have to file a lawsuit, it could be worth it.
If you have experienced a property loss, whether fire, wind, flood or even toxic mold, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, go to the website listed below.