Travelers: Sorry, The Mold Between Your Window Panes Is Your Problem

A California man noticed weird, fuzzy dirt between the panes his windows. It wasn’t plain old dirt, but mold. Ew, mold! He called his homeowner’s insurance company to report the problem, and learned that not only did they not cover mold removal services, but that he now had twenty days to take care of the problem himself, or get his policy dropped. Oops.

The strongly worded letter told the homeowner that he had to get rid of the mold spores in order to “protect the property from further damage.” Well, fair enough, but he didn’t have the money to pay someone to scrape out his window panes. That’s why he reported it to the insurance company. He contacted consumer reporter Kurtis Ming over at CBS Sacramento.

To no one’s surprise, once a TV reporter was on the phone, Travelers said that of course they weren’t really going to drop the homeowner if 20 days passed without him getting the spores scraped. That was just… “a timeframe so that we can get communication back from the customer,” the company told Ming. So it’s just a tactic to get customers to open up the letter?

It doesn’t really matter, in the end. This story is a great example of creative consumer problem-solving, since a CBS Sacramento producer noticed the manufacturer’s name on a sticker on the windows. Perhaps they were under warranty and the company would replace them?

It may just have been because a TV station was on the phone, but the manufacturer did replace the moldy windows.

Call Kurtis: I Asked Insurance Company About Mold — Now They’re Making Me Fix It! [CBS Sacramento]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.