Is Asbestos Removal Covered by Insurance? (2024)

Home insurance doesn’t typically cover asbestos issues, so you’ll likely need to pay out of pocket for asbestos removal.

Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

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Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Updated March 28, 2024 | Reading time: 3 minutes

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Homes built before 1980 could have asbestos in their building materials. This is generally not a cause for concern if the asbestos is sealed or contained. But asbestos can be a health hazard if it’s disrupted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[1]

Many home insurance companies won’t cover the cost of asbestos removal unless exposure happens during a covered event like a storm.

Here’s what you need to know about asbestos removal and your home insurance.

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Does home insurance cover asbestos?

A standard home insurance policy won’t typically cover asbestos removal, also known as asbestos abatement. But if a covered peril, like a storm, exposed the asbestos, your insurance may cover removal or encapsulation as part of the repair.

For example, when a tree falls on your roof, your home insurance would typically cover the cost to repair any damage. If your roof contains asbestos in its shingles or insulation, your insurance would likely cover the removal cost as part of the damage claim. But if you decide to replace your roof for reasons outside a covered peril and find asbestos, you’d have to cover the cost of the asbestos removal yourself.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay your deductible before your insurer covers the claim, and there could be limits to your coverage. If you’re not sure if your home insurance covers asbestos, it’s a good idea to check your policy documents or call your agent.

What About Vandalism?

Home insurance may cover asbestos that’s disrupted as a result of a covered loss like vandalism. For example, if your drywall contains asbestos and a vandal damages it, your insurance may cover the cost of removing exposed asbestos materials.

Where would asbestos be in my home?

Asbestos fibers can be found in many parts of older homes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).[2] Here are some common building materials that may contain asbestos:

  • Attic insulation and some types of home insulation

  • Protective wrapping around pipes, furnace ducts, and boilers

  • Textured paints and joint compounds

  • Linoleum or vinyl floor tiles (and certain types of floor-tile glue)

  • Cement roofing and siding shingles

  • Floors and walls near wood-burning stoves

How can I tell if asbestos is in my home?

Many homes built before 1980 have asbestos-containing materials in the flooring, roof shingles, insulation, drywall, or paint. But it can be hard to tell if the material includes asbestos unless it’s clearly labeled.

If you’re concerned that asbestos may be lurking in your home, you notice damage to materials you suspect are made with asbestos, or you’re planning to do some remodeling, it’s best to have a professional check things out. Asbestos inspectors are trained to evaluate your home and safely take samples for testing.

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Can you remove asbestos yourself?

It’s important to leave materials alone that you suspect could contain asbestos — especially if they’re damaged. Don’t drill into, sand, or clean these materials, and be sure to keep children out of any areas where you think there’s asbestos. Asbestos removal should be handled by professionals. It is a complex process that carries potential health and safety risks.

If you believe your house contains asbestos, an inspector can help: 

  • Assess conditions 

  • Provide guidance on repair or removal 

  • Test materials 

  • Ensure the asbestos contractor follows protocols for cleanup and removal

  • Monitor air quality after removal is complete

Before starting removal, be sure to understand any federal, state, and local regulations that may apply to inspector and contractor training and licensing. You should also understand any requirements for asbestos removal, handling, and disposal. Remember not all states require inspectors to be accredited. That’s why it’s important to review the requirements in your state.

Asbestos removal costs

Asbestos removal costs vary widely, depending on where the asbestos is found and how much needs to be removed.

Costs can range from $1,200$3,250 and be as high as $6,000 for a typical removal.[3] But if you need to handle a whole-home remediation, you can expect to pay $15,000$30,000.

You should always get a few quotes before deciding on an asbestos contractor.

Asbestos removal FAQs

Asbestos is most often found in houses built before 1980, but it isn’t typically a concern unless it’s exposed or disturbed. Here’s some additional information to consider if you think you may have asbestos in your house.

  • Is asbestos considered a pollutant?

    Yes. In the 1970s, the EPA labeled asbestos as a hazardous pollutant that can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants federally regulated under the air toxics program.

  • Is asbestos removal typically covered by homeowners insurance policies?

    No. Most home insurance policies don’t cover asbestos removal. But your insurance company may cover remediation if the asbestos was disturbed as a result of a covered incident — like your walls being vandalized or storm damage.

  • What dangers are there with disturbed asbestos drywall?

    Disturbed asbestos drywall can release potentially dangerous particles into the air. Over time, exposure to this dust can lead to serious lung diseases, like cancer and mesothelioma.

  • Is asbestos siding covered by homeowners insurance?

    Not usually. Removal of asbestos siding isn’t typically covered by your home insurance. But if your home’s siding is damaged by a covered peril event, like vandalism or a storm, your insurance company may provide coverage.

Sources

  1. Environmental Protection Agency. "Protect Your Family from Exposures to Asbestos."
  2. Consumer Product Safety Commission. "Asbestos In The Home."
  3. Angie's List. "How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost?."
Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault

Sarah Archambault enjoys helping people figure out smarter ways to use their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans. She’s created and edited content for Credit Karma, Experian and Sound Dollar, along with banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

Featured in

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