Does home insurance cover asbestos removal?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once used in the construction of buildings due to its flame retardant qualities. However, the material has proven to be a health hazard and has been used infrequently since the 1970s. If your home was built before 1980, there could be asbestos that should be removed to protect your health. The process requires professional help, and unfortunately the cost is rarely covered by home insurance.
Does home insurance cover asbestos removal?
Asbestos can pose a major health risk adults and children alike. Exposure could potentially lead to the development of lung cancer, mesothelioma, or a separate lung disease called asbestosis. These problems can be caused by inhaling asbestos particles that have been disturbed.
You can choose to have asbestos removed by a professional on your own or in the natural course of repairs, for example if you are already renovating the area of your home where it is located. Check your state and local guidelines for finding a properly certified asbestos contractor so you can be sure the removal is done correctly and safely.
You may not be able to claim reimbursement through your home insurance for this service. Instead, you usually have to pay the full amount out of pocket. Most home insurance companies have a pollution exclusion, which means that the mitigation of a pollutant (including asbestos) is not covered. The exception is if a covered risk reveals or disrupts existing asbestos. For example, if a storm damages your home and displaces any existing asbestos, you could be covered. You will need to check your policy language or speak to a licensed agent to be sure.
Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous when it is damaged or disturbed, which allows particles to enter the air and be inhaled. If asbestos is in good condition and is not chipped or exposed in any way, then it is less likely to harm your health. When you see any part of your home covered with asbestos, you may want to look for cracks, chips, or other signs of damage that could indicate fibers being released into the air.
Where to find asbestos?
Older homes may contain asbestos in several different places. Here is some common places to check asbestos:
- Boiler, steam pipe or furnace: asbestos blanket or tape
- Floor tile: backing or adhesive
- Door seals on stoves
- Decorative sprays for walls and ceilings, including textured paints
- Insulation of houses built between 1930 and 1950
How to check for the presence of asbestos?
It is not always easy to find asbestos in your home. It may be easier to hire a professional to take samples if you suspect you have asbestos in your home. This is especially important if your home was built before 1980 and you are about to undertake a home improvement project. Since demolition can cause asbestos fibers to be released into the air, it’s best to mitigate the risk before it happens.
A professional asbestos contractor may take samples for verification. In the event that the presence of asbestos is confirmed, you usually have two options. The first is simply to contain asbestos, especially if you don’t plan to disturb the area where it is located. The second option is to hire a qualified asbestos professional to remove it completely.
How to get rid of asbestos?
It is generally not recommended to carry out your own asbestos removal project. The The EPA warns against even touch, dust or sweep anything you suspect is asbestos. An asbestos professional can repair the area either by sealing the material to prevent it from spreading into the environment, or by enclosing it for the same purpose.
Removing it can inadvertently release more asbestos into the air, which involves sealing off the area from the rest of the house and meticulously treating the area as a hazardous area. The asbestos contractor should continuously spray asbestos to keep it moist and prevent dry fibers from being released. He or she will then seal the removed asbestos and safely remove it from your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an asbestos inspector and an asbestos contractor?
a inspector does not remedy a problematic asbestos situation, but rather helps you confirm whether or not asbestos is present in the home and to what extent. In addition to a visual examination, the inspector can also safely take samples and provide you with laboratory analysis. They will let you know the extent of the asbestos and usually recommend the safest way to handle the situation.
An asbestos contractor, on the other hand, actually performs the job. Each state has its own regulations regarding how asbestos should be treated and disposed of. It is important to make sure that your contractor has a good reputation and meets all local certification requirements.
How much does asbestos removal cost?
It is important to know the cost of asbestos removal since most home insurance policies do not cover it except in rare circumstances. Some reports put the US average cost for asbestos removal at $ 1,994, with the majority of that being spent on labor and materials involved in sealing the contaminated area.
Of course, the cost varies greatly depending on the size of the area and how much to remove versus encapsulation. Your total cost for asbestos removal also depends on your state’s specific fees for disposal permits. In Virginia, for example, permit fees can range from $ 50 to $ 470 depending on the size of the area. In Oregon, fees start at $ 100 and can go up to $ 3,500 for large-scale projects.
Is the use of asbestos illegal today?
The EPA banned the use of asbestos in 1989, but this law was rescinded in 1991. This means that asbestos is still legally permitted in most materials in the United States. However, it is prohibited in the following materials:
- Corrugated paper
- Commercial paper
- Specialty paper
- Floor felt
However, even though asbestos is technically permitted, it is rarely used and production has declined significantly over the past decades.