Don't judge a state's risk for mold by its climate, saysAmerican Risk Management Resources (ARMR) in its recent ranking ofstates at risk for mold contamination. Mold contamination oncommercial and residential property is currently a large concernfor the property-casualty industry — especially since it is nowexcluded or limited on standard property insurance.

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The ARMR study, now being used by Greenguard EnvironmentalInstitute (GEI), indicates that climate is not a sufficient gaugefor mold risk. Areas with dry climates like Nevada and Arizona madeit to the top 10 states at risk for mold while some Gulf States didnot.

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The model was developed by comparing mold losses on insuranceclaims with premiums paid on property and liability coverage ineach of the 50 states. The hazard ranking model does not yetreflect claims associated with 2005 hurricanes that struck theSoutheastern U.S. Wisconsin has the lowest relative mold loss rate,which is one-fiftieth of the loss rate in Texas based on therelative frequency of insurance claims, according to the study.

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According to Carl Smith, CEO/executive director of GEI, manybuildings and houses in dry climates develop mold issues whenmoisture is nurtured within walls and windows that are tightlysealed off from consistently hot conditions outside. “Mention moldright now, and the Gulf Coast comes to mind first, but thecontamination on real estate hit by hurricanes was generally lesssignificant overall than mold growth caused by inferior buildingmaterials or poor construction,” he said.

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The following are the top 10 states at risk for moldcontamination:

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Top 10

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States

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Relative Hazard

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Mold Ranking

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1. Texas

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2.95

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2. Florida

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2.50

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3. Oklahoma

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2.45

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4. South Carolina

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1.91

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5. Nevada

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1.90

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6. Arizona

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1.90

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7. California

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1.73

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8. South Dakota

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1.47

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9. Tennessee

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1.33

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10. Kansas

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1.25

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More information is available at www.greenguard.org.

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