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Mold Hearing in Austin on June 26 Stages Showdown Between Property Owners and Insurance Companies

Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP

Some trapped moisture and time to grow are the only two ingredients needed to fester mold growth and potentially ruin a structure. While mold gains more headlines as a significant source of property loss and health threats, property owners are unsure about what is covered and what isn’t.

The presence of mold in a dwelling can be devastating to property owners as they scramble to work the system to find assistance.

“Knowing your rights in dealing with insurance companies is critical to resolving the problem quickly and efficiently,” explains Randy Howry, lawyer and partner of Herman, Howry, Breen, LLP.

Riding on the tails of the recent verdict in the Dripping Springs mold case that found in favor of the homeowner, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has scheduled a hearing on the subject of insurance coverage, residential property owners and mold. The hearing takes place Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 9:30 a.m. in the Lyndon B. Johnson School Auditorium on The University of Texas campus. Previously planned for a smaller venue, the hearing had to be moved to a larger facility based on the number of inquiries to TDI regarding the event.

Emotions are high as it has become public knowledge that certain insurance companies have filed proposed endorsements to the TDI that would exclude all coverage of mold and other fungi from homeowner policies. “The precedent of the verdict in the Dripping Springs mold case has caused a chain reaction of concern among insurance companies, while at the same time given hope to property owners who thought their resources were limited if they discovered a mold infestation,” comments Howry. “It is impossible to predict what revisions to insurance policies will be allowed over the next year, but it is important for consumers to stay informed on the subject.”

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