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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Hoarding Can Cause Homeowner's Insurance Claims to be Denied

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Piles of clothing, papers and other garbage in the home of a hoarder. Hoarding in a home can cause your homeowner's insurance company to deny claims and even cancel your policy.

A hoarding situation in your home or that of a loved one can be a sensitive and emotionally challenging experience.

Nobody plans on becoming a hoarder and, unfortunately, the situation is often severe before action is taken.  Not only does hoarding present a health risk due to the dangerous and unsanitary conditions created by clutter, it can also cause your homeowners insurance claims to be denied or your policy to be canceled. If a claim arises out of negligence or failure to maintain your home, your homeowner’s insurance company might determine that the damages are not covered.   

If you are concerned that hoarding might affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, consider whether your home might be susceptible to one of the following dangers. 

  • Water Damage – The homes of hoarders have a raised risk of water damage. Because of the lack of access, plumbing and roof maintenance is often limited. Also, water damage is often not discovered because it is hidden away behind all of the stuff.   Unnoticed structural issues such as rotted windowsills and roof leaks allow water damage to occur unnoticed.  
  • Fire – Much of the clutter in the home of a hoarder is flammable. Stacks of papers, boxes and other flammable materials create a dangerous fire risk. These objects are often stored next to heating vents, power outlets and in the kitchen, where they are likely to catch fire. Because a cluttered house is difficult to clean, the kitchen area also presents a fire risk with its greasy build up and accumulation of trash.  
  • Mold – Because of the likelihood of untreated water leaks as well as excessive trash, mold will often grow and spread in the homes of hoarders. Mold caused by a lack of maintenance is not covered under the majority of homeowner’s insurance policies.  
  • Pests – Along with the trash, unsanitary conditions and clutter, bugs and mice can live in the home of a hoarder unnoticed. This causes damage to walls, wiring and even the structure of the home.  
  • Blocked Exits – When contents pile up in a house, they make their way down hallways, in front of windows and even doorways. This causes a dangerous situation as emergency personnel cannot easily enter nor make their way through a home in order to treat an ill person or put out a fire.  

If there is a hoarding situation in your home, you know that it needs to be dealt with sooner than later. 

Our professional hoarding cleanup services include the removal of contents of your home, including the sanitization and temporary storage of items to be kept.  Our technicians will treat any water and mold damage that exists, as well as remove and replace damaged materials such as carpeting, walls and flooring.  

If you have concerns about the clutter in your home, call our office at  (203) 743-5362 for a confidential inspection and analysis of your situation.

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