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Poll: Many unaware that basic homeowner insurance skips mold, quakes

Many Americans are confused about the basic elements of homeowner insurance policies, according to a new study.

More than four in 10 people wrongly think that the policies cover mold damage and 73% don’t realize that the policies do cover personal items that are stolen from a car, according to the poll by InsuranceQuotes.com.

Perhaps most dangerous for anyone in California, 51% are unaware that earthquake coverage is not covered by standard homeowner policies, the study found.

Poll respondents did better in knowing that fire is covered (90% know that). And 72% understand that lawsuits from an injured visitor are covered.

The lack of understanding could be very expensive in an emergency, said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com.

“This misconception could prove extremely costly,” Adams said. “Mold remediation can cost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s often not covered by homeowner’s insurance, especially if it was caused by neglected maintenance such as a leaky pipe.”

The survey was done early last month and has a margin for sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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