Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Congress Enters Mold Battle

September 08, 2002|From staff and wire reports

In an attempt to end the battle between insurance companies and consumers about who is responsible for household mold remediation, legislation has been introduced in Congress that will tackle the myriad issues involved in the dispute.

The U.S. Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act, introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), calls for government-sponsored studies to determine the health effects of "toxic" mold exposure, the most hotly contested issue in the debate.

Additionally, the bill calls for standards for the prevention, detection and remediation of indoor mold growth and provides for local jurisdictions to modify building codes to minimize mold hazards in new construction.

The legislation incorporates an annual mold-inspection protocol for rental properties, and a mold-inspection clause for properties purchased with federally insured loans. It also calls for the development of mold insurance pools that would cover the costs associated with mold cleanup for those who purchase the coverage.

Consumer advocates greeted the proposed legislation with enthusiasm; the insurance industry expressed cautious optimism.

"We're very pleased that this legislation is being considered," said Jerry Davies, a spokesman for Personal Insurance Federation, an insurance trade group. "The industry wants to be able to provide policies for California homeowners, but at the rate litigation costs have been going up, it's getting harder to do so. This is a good beginning."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|