Will Home Insurance Cover Asbestos


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: JANUARY 24, 2023 | 1 MIN READ

Suppose a home inspection has revealed that there’s asbestos on your property. In that case, it’s essential to take the proper steps to isolate or remove the material safely. Breathing in asbestos fibers can increase the clogging of the lungs and cause many breathing disorders. If not corrected, this could eventually lead to deadly mesothelioma cancer.

Asbestos can be dangerous, so you might wonder if your home insurance covers the cost of removal or containment. It’s worth comparing some of the provisions of your home insurance policy against these common ones. This could help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right one.

When Might Homeowners Insurance Cover Asbestos Removal?

Your home insurance helps protect the value of your house and allows for emergency repairs after natural disasters or accidents. Those accidents/natural disasters that are not your fault are usually covered. These disasters might include a fire, storm, lightning strike, a burst plumbing pipe, or vandalism during a break-in. These are covered perils and will be listed in your homeowners insurance policy.

Homeowners can’t always afford to hire a property restoration company to come in and clean up after a disaster. Luckily, home insurance policies usually include cleanup as part of the policy. This means the homeowner will be reimbursed for all their cleanup expenses, not just structural repairs.

Storms can make a big mess, but do you know the insurance coverage that might be available? Your home insurance might cover the cost of cleaning or containing asbestos if it’s exposed by a fallen tree.

When Is Homeowners Insurance Unlikely To Cover Asbestos Cleanup?

Everyday Repairs and Routine Maintenance

Your home insurance doesn’t pay for “routine” maintenance or repairs. Suppose asbestos is simply present in your home. In that case, they’re unlikely to cover the cost of removing or containing it. The insurance will likely consider this cleanup work routine home maintenance and upkeep. It may not be eligible for reimbursement under your home insurance policy.

Home Renovations

For homeowners, it’s also important to know that insurance providers won’t cover the damage you cause to your home by accident. If you decide to renovate your home and rip out some walls and pull out asbestos as you do around the renovation. Cleanup is probably your responsibility since you’re the one who caused the material to become exposed!

Other places that you might find asbestos materials in your home include:

  • under vinyl floor tiles
  • above or in ceiling tiles
  • roof shingles
  • around your boiler
  • wall and floors around wood-burning stoves

Your Options for Asbestos In the Home

Whether your home insurance pays for asbestos cleanup, it’s good to understand your options if you discover this material in your home.

When is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral used extensively in decades of construction because it’s cheap, fireproof, and lightweight. Today, asbestos is only dangerous when you breathe in or ingest the particles. Having asbestos in your home is like having a bottle of rat poison under your kitchen cupboards. It’ll stay safe if you don’t come into contact with it, and it’s well-contained.

Depending on the type and location of asbestos in your home, you may opt for containment rather than removal. The type and location of asbestos in your home will dictate what removal process you should undertake. If asbestos is only in one area, containing it with thick plastic sheeting, drywall, or other materials could be an option for you.

What to do in Case of Asbestos Exposure

If you discover asbestos in your home, if it’s in good condition, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. The asbestos particles only cause a problem if they are disturbed. However, if you accidentally disturb the asbestos, there are some steps you should take.

  • Avoid the area as much as possible, particularly preventing children from playing in that area.
  • Don’t dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials.
  • Call in a professional asbestos abatement or removal company as soon as possible.

To help you decide between containment and removal, note a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Asbestos Inspection: If you’re unsure whether or not you have asbestos in your home but may want to carry out work in the future, consider an asbestos inspection. This will let you know the situation and allow you to weigh your options.
  • Re-sell Value: Homes with asbestos in the building materials are at risk of being devalued. Often, homeowners are unaware of the presence of asbestos in their homes until they need to sell or renovate. Correctly removing the asbestos can protect the value of your property and preserve its true worth.
  • Future Renovations: Is the asbestos located in an area you may end up renovating, like a finished attic that will be used for a child’s playroom? If so, remove the asbestos to preserve a safe and clean environment.
  • Proximity to Living Spaces: Asbestos might never pose a risk to your family. Especially if it’s an area, you rarely visit. Make sure to monitor or remove it for safety precautions.

If You Opt for Removal, Hire a Professional!

If you have asbestos in your home, it’s not safe to try and remove it yourself. You’ll need a professional to protect against dust and the risk of inhaling or ingesting these fibers. Exposure can happen even when wearing a dust mask or gloves. Homeowners often don’t know that asbestos can be found in their homes, putting them and their families at risk. Even if your home insurance doesn’t reimburse you for the removal cost, it’s best to hire a professional asbestos removal company. They will remove it thoroughly and safely.

FAQs

What does it mean if your house has asbestos?

If your house has asbestos, it usually won’t pose any health risks. The issue is when the asbestos becomes old or damaged and releases fibers into the air.

Is asbestos a pollutant?

Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under the air toxics program. On March 31, 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified asbestos as a hazardous pollutant.

Does asbestos contaminate the air?

Asbestos particles are tiny fibers that release into the air when asbestos damage occurs. These can make their way into the lungs causing lung diseases and other health problems.

Can insurance companies deny coverage for asbestos?

Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover the removal of asbestos. However, suppose the asbestos is disturbed due to a covered loss. In that case, you may find that your insurance policy will pay out for the removal and remediation. When asbestos releases in your home due to your own actions. The insurance company may not reimburse you for any expenses.

Is asbestos a health hazard?

Research shows that asbestos exposure can make people ill – even in limited amounts. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to go about removing it from your home. Asbestos is not a health hazard, but exposure to the particles, when damaged, can cause health problems.

How much does asbestos removal cost?

The removal of asbestos has to be carried out by a specialist. How much asbestos abatement and removal may cost depends on several factors, including where the asbestos is located, how much there is, and the project’s overall scope.

Is asbestos a building material?

Asbestos was a building material before it was discovered to pose a health risk and can cause health problems such as lung cancer. Older homes, in particular, may contain asbestos. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of asbestos in some instances, including preventing new products containing asbestos from entering the market. Nowadays, asbestos construction materials are rarely, if ever, used.

What are the different types of asbestos?

There are six types of asbestos: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite.

How to Get a Home Insurance Quote that Covers Asbestos Removal

If you know that you have asbestos in your home and are unsure whether your insurance policy will pay out if it becomes damaged. Speak to your insurance agent for more details.

While most insurance policies won’t cover the removal of asbestos, they will typically cover it if it’s damaged or disturbed due to a covered peril.

It’s wise to compare the rates of insurance companies in your area. We make this easy. Simply fill out our online rate form to get rates or connect to a licensed home insurance specialist.