Will Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Asbestos Removal?
Many homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of sustainability as they look for ways to make their homes more eco-friendly and safe for occupants. Last century, all kinds of chemicals and materials were used in home construction that are now banned, reduced, or replaced due to potential health hazards. Asbestos is one particular health hazard that has received much attention. If you decide to upgrade your home with asbestos removal, check to see if there is asbestos coverage in your homeowners policy.
Why Is Asbestos So Dangerous?
Asbestos was originally used in home building as a safety measure due to its resistance to fire. Another reason this naturally occurring fibrous material was widely used was due to its exceptional durability. It was considered useful in home insulation from the 1930s through the 1950s.
After many years of extensive research – especially on people who work closely with asbestos – it became clear that too much exposure to it can lead to illness. Starting in the 1970s, after asbestos was identified as a carcinogen, the EPA began to restrict its use. Most modern homes built from the 1980s on do not contain asbestos. Then in the 1990s, the asbestos industry overturned the ban through the courts, although now it’s avoided in new construction that demands sustainable solutions.
Deciding on asbestos removal will make your home safer as you eliminate small fibers that can get stuck in people’s lungs. If these fibers build up in the lungs over a long period, the victim has a risk of developing cancers such as mesothelioma. Despite increasing public awareness about the dangers of asbestos, it can still be found in old homes. Some places where asbestos might still exist include attic insulation, plaster, paint, cement roofing, siding shingles, pipe insulation, window caulking, acoustic ceiling vinyl floor tiles, and glue used in floor tiles.
Scientists have widely documented the link between asbestos and illness. Despite the dangers, it’s a stable material that is relatively safe until it crumbles to powder and mixes with the air people breathe. Once it transforms into this state, it can easily get into a person’s lungs. For this reason, the EPA recommends that homeowners avoid removing asbestos themselves and outsource to an experienced professional contractor with the proper tools and protection.
Questions About Asbestos Insurance
There is no universal asbestos coverage in standard homeowners insurance. To know whether or not your policy covers asbestos removal, you will need to review it yourself and talk with your agent. The standard homeowners policy may mention asbestos, but what’s considered pollution isn’t usually covered for removal. Asbestos is often excluded from the list of covered perils, which are the types of disasters that trigger payouts for damage. Insurance companies usually don’t cover the costs of removing pollutants, including asbestos. It’s best to find out directly from your agent if a removal project can be covered.
If you decide on asbestos removal, it may mean paying extra for different types of remediation such as special handling, removing debris, and potential testing. While the average cost of removing asbestos is about $1,500, you need to research what the prices are in your geographic location. In some places, it may cost over $2,000. Despite the cost, it is always safest to let a professional handle the removal to avoid potential health risks. Whenever you look to buy a new property, you should request an asbestos inspection before making an offer if you want an eco-friendly home.
At Little & Sons Insurance Services, we understand that despite your best efforts to keep a safe home, factors such as asbestos can cause health hazards. Talk to one of our experts to discuss what you need in your homeowners insurance policy beyond the standard plan to customize it to meet your personal needs.