Does home insurance cover asbestos removal? This post will aid you immensely if you are among those who usually ask this question. Asbestos was widely employed in the construction of historic dwellings. When performing repairs or renovations, this is a costly issue to solve. Because of its extensive usage, most house insurance plans exclude coverage for asbestos-related damage or liabilities, except in limited circumstances.
Furthermore, although asbestos exposure is a serious health hazard, most landlords’ insurance plans do not include asbestos removal. Pollution is often excluded from homeowner’s insurance coverage, so you won’t be compensated for cleaning up your house’s contaminants, such as asbestos.
If asbestos is uncovered due to a covered risk, such as wind damage, there is an exemption. Even so, you’re not assured to be covered – it depends on the insurance.
The hazards of asbestos exposure were not widely known until the 1970s and 1980s, when it became a prevalent construction material for homes owing to its fire-resistant characteristics.
Long-term asbestos exposure, found in many structural parts of the house, such as floor tiles, roof materials, and padding, may result in life-threatening malignancies and other respiratory diseases.
Asbestos is likely to present in older houses and structures constructed before 1980. This does not, however, imply that it must always get deleted. Asbestos is only harmful when it has decayed to the extent of respirable particles and has been inhaled for a long time. Despite the dangers of asbestos, its disposal is usually not covered by homeowners insurance unless in exceptional situations.
What is Asbestos?
Many houses constructed before the 1980s employed asbestos-containing building materials known for their durability and heat resistance. Asbestos was also detected in common home products and kitchen equipment at the time, including stove tops, fireplaces, and container heaters.
Seasons back, it gets revealed that asbestos fibres, if disturbed and breathed in large concentrations, might raise your risk of illnesses and other health issues, including lung cancer. That’s why, in 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented strict asbestos-use laws to help avoid asbestos-related illnesses.
Does Home Insurance Cover Asbestos Removal?
If an insurer approves a home damage claim and asbestos is found during the repair process, the company may pay to have it securely removed. They may not compensate for any loss, harm, or legal responsibility you suffer due to asbestos exposure at the covered location.
Some insurers will provide house insurance for asbestos-containing property owners and occupants. This, however, is not a common practice. If you want extra asbestos coverage, you’ll need to find a firm that specifically covers asbestos in its policies.
The nature of the complaint, the policy, and the insurer influence whether or not the home plan pays for asbestos removal. Working with or managing asbestos is often excluded from basic house and possessions insurance plans.
Pollution is often excluded from home insurance coverage. This makes it impossible for homeowners to get compensated for cleaning up contaminants in their homes. Pollutants include asbestos, as well as gasoline and chemical leaks.
When does insurance cover asbestos removal?
Asbestos removal is often not covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, in rare circumstances, insurance companies may be able to help with asbestos removal costs. If your house was damaged by a covered danger that revealed asbestos, asbestos removal might be required as part of the repair procedure. The insurer will make an exception in this circumstance.
For example, if a severe hurricane destroys your home to the extent that asbestos materials are discovered, you may be able to file an insurance claim. If windstorms are a covered risk under your policy, the insurance policy will cover appropriate repairs, including asbestos removal.
To be clear, this will only apply to select insurance products. Homeowners should check their policy statements to see whether losses caused by a covered danger are reimbursed.
How can I detect if my home has asbestos?
Without rigorous testing from a skilled specialist, it’s impossible to identify asbestos. However, if your house was constructed before 1980, there’s a good possibility it includes asbestos. You’ll need to contact a professional asbestos specialist to evaluate your house if you want to be sure.
It is harmful if asbestos has broken into dust or bits that may get inhaled over a lengthy period. It is not necessary to remove asbestos promptly if the origin of asbestos is closed and undivided, such as inside the insulation or in your floor tiles.
If you’re building a house that needs asbestos removal, you’ll likely have to spend extra for the necessary cleanup. Special handling, cleanup, and potentially testing are all part of the remediation process. If the rebuilding is not connected to a covered loss, your insurance company will not pay it. If the remediation is required to repair or replace property damaged due to a covered loss, the cost of the remediation may get covered.
Where may you find asbestos in your home?
Asbestos-containing materials may be found in many older houses, including:
1. Steam tubes, furnaces, and furnace ductwork, to name a few.
If you reside in an older house, asbestos blankets or asbestos magnetic tapes were likely used to protect one or more sections of your HVAC unit.
2. Sheets of cardboard, millboard, and concrete
Asbestos sheets often insulate the walls and floors around a furnace or a wood-burning stove.
3. Gaskets for the doors
Since asbestos was affordable and protective, it was often employed to seal edges, joints, and tubes.
4. Refurbished appliance
Many devices were coated with asbestos for much of the twentieth century because of their insulating and heat-resistant characteristics.
5. Floor tiles made of vinyl
Asbestos may be prevalent in vinyl, tarmac, and rubber linoleum, particularly in the glues used to insert the tiles.
6. Man-made ashes and embers
Artificial charred remains and cinders containing asbestos were commonly used in gas-fired open fires in homes built before 1990.
7. Joint substances, patching, and contoured paint
Asbestos may be present in ceilings and walls, patching and joint substances, and some types of paint.
8. Panels for the roof and façade
Asbestos is often found in older residential roofing materials.
When does asbestos become hazardous?
Asbestos is only deadly if you inhale in or consume its fibres; else, the chemical is not poisonous. Asbestos is like keeping a jar of rat poison stashed beneath a kitchen cabinet. You’re usually safe as long as the substance is isolated and you don’t come into touch with it.
You could choose containment over removal based on the kind and position of asbestos in your property. Covering asbestos with thick plastic tarps, drywall, or other items that are glued, hammered, or fastened into place is one way to contain it.
Here are some things to think about while deciding between containment and removal:
Worth at a later date: Even if asbestos is controlled, the existence of the material may reduce the total value of your property if you want to sell it in the future. Engaging in asbestos removal today will safeguard the value of your house in the future if you decide to sell it. Renovations in the Future: Is the asbestos in a location that you want to remodel in the future, such as an attic that you want to complete for a child’s playroom? Removing the asbestos will keep the area free and sanitary for future repairs if that’s the case.
Closeness to Living Areas: Is the material near where your family spends time? Asbestos might be hidden beneath plumbing tubes in a remote part of your house, never coming into touch with your family. However, it should be removed if asbestos is found in the cellar above your room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is asbestos always a health hazard?
Asbestos isn’t harmful if kept undisturbed and in excellent working order. When the material is cut, chipped, or destroyed, toxic fibers are released into the air. When breathed over a lengthy period, this might cause health complications. Consult a competent specialist if asbestos fragments have been found in your house.
Is it possible for me to remove asbestos on my own?
No. If you elect to have asbestos eliminated from your house, keep in mind that this is not a do-it-yourself project. Dust masks and housekeeping gloves prevent fibers from being inhaled or ingested. Those fibers may also be traced to other rooms in the house.
Even if your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the cost, hiring a professional licensed asbestos firm will guarantee the job is done correctly and properly.
While opinions differ on whether private home insurance should cover asbestos removal, the important thing to remember is that if your property has hazardous asbestos, it must be eliminated. Professional asbestos abatement and management are essential for your home’s security. This is true regardless of whether or not the cost is covered by house insurance.
Licensed asbestos specialists can minimize pollution and stop asbestos fibers from spreading throughout your property. While the expense of asbestos removal sometimes seems prohibitive, consider the danger that asbestos poses to you and your household if it is not removed.
Call the asbestos removal experts instead of risking subjecting your family members to asbestos.
Finally, although asbestos abatement is unlikely to be covered by your home policy, it may be reimbursed if the asbestos is destroyed in a covered incident. You’ll have to depend on your landlords to safeguard the home against asbestos if you’re a tenant. This is true, albeit damaged asbestos might prompt you to seek legal advice or terminate your lease. Hope you got your answer on does home insurance cover asbestos removal.
Nicholas J. Banks has been an expert in the Insurance industry for over 10 years. He is well-versed in all aspects of insurance, and he has worked on Allstate Ins Group since 2006.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, followed by a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California to further his career in Insurance Management.
His experience working with many different companies has helped him develop valuable insight into how to succeed in this exciting field, which he now shares through our blog “Pro Insurance Info.”