We all know asbestos in homes poses a major health risk. Asbestos removal is a critical and highly regulated process aimed at safely eliminating asbestos-containing materials from buildings. But is asbestos removal covered by insurance? Let’s find out. 

What is asbestos, and why is it dangerous?

asbestos awareness

Asbestos is a natural mineral that was commonly used by the construction industry. The reason asbestos gained popularity as a building material is that it was fire resistant and could withstand high temperatures. As a result, asbestos was added to everything from paint and insulation to vinyl floor tiles.

However, studies in the 1970s and 1980s found that inhaling asbestos posed serious health risks and could even cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed strict regulations regarding asbestos usage.

Generally, most of the older homes built before 1980 have asbestos in some form. However, that is no reason to panic. You would inhale asbestos fibers which are released only when the material decays or is damaged.

This means that unless the asbestos in your home is actually damaged, you do not need to bother with removing it immediately or worry about your health being negatively impacted. However, that also means you need to be extra careful while remodeling or renovating your home.

For example, if you have a popcorn ceiling, it is possible that your ceiling tiles have asbestos in them, and unless you drill into them or do something to damage the asbestos, you’re absolutely safe. But if you do need to remodel, it’s best that you take all necessary precautions and consult an expert to avoid possible contamination.

Before planning an asbestos abatement, it’s advisable to test your walls and ceilings first for its presence. And if you are buying an older home, always have a thorough home inspection, including asbestos testing by a professional.

Read more: Radon mitigation costs

Where is asbestos likely to be found in your home?

If you are worried about the presence of asbestos in your home, here’s a list of some of the possible areas that could contain asbestos. Keep in mind though, that if your home was built after the 1980s, the chances of having any in your home are slim to none.

If you do live in an older home, we’d suggest that you invest in a professional inspection.

Here are some of the possible locations of asbestos in your home:

  • Exterior stucco walls
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Ceiling tiles 
  • Home insulation
  • Around fireplaces, stoves, water heaters, and anywhere else that may be exposed to high temperatures
  • In textured paints
  • Roof shingles
  • Cement roofing
  • Siding shingles
  • Heating ducts and furnaces

Is it safe to remove asbestos by myself? 

Caution asbestos

Identifying and removing asbestos on your own can be extremely hazardous to your health. Always hire a licensed specialist who is trained for the task. They possess the necessary expertise in handling asbestos safely, follow proper safety protocols, and have the appropriate tools and materials for the secure removal and disposal of the pollutant.

What is the average cost of asbestos removal?

The average cost for conducting asbestos testing in residential properties is approximately $600. However, a more extensive asbestos inspection may amount to $1500 or higher.

The expenditure for asbestos removal can differ based on the specific scope of the job. The asbestos removal cost ranges from $1,000 to $3,050. The national average cost is approximately $2,050

Is asbestos removal covered by insurance?

Tips to Lower Your Home Insurance Bills

Well, the short answer is that most home insurance policies do not cover asbestos removal, even if you have covered perils. This is because generally, home insurance coverage excludes pollutants such as asbestos, fuel, and chemical spills. Having said that, if asbestos is released into your home as a result of a covered loss, certain insurance companies might cover the costs for removal and remediation.

The other reason asbestos removal isn’t covered is that it is an extremely expensive prospect, both for the homeowner and the insurance company. Including asbestos removal as a part of homeowners insurance would mean insurance companies would need to increase the insurance rates. The reason the removal of asbestos is so expensive is because the process requires specialized training and equipment.

Considering asbestos exposure is dangerous only if the asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled, companies believe that you ought to be out of danger as long as the asbestos in your home is stable and safely tucked away behind your walls.

When is asbestos removal covered by insurance?

There is one exception where your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the cost of asbestos removal. That is if your home sustains considerable damage due to a covered peril, and part of repairing the damage includes safely removing asbestos from your home.

For example, if a fire breaks out in your home and damages your walls, exposing the asbestos-filled insulation behind them, your insurance policy may need to cover the cost of all the repairs, including removing the asbestos insulation. Most homeowners insurance cover asbestos removal in such a case. 

Is asbestos removal a difficult process?

Woman in cleaning suit

During the removal process, trained professionals follow strict safety guidelines to minimize the release of asbestos fibers into the air, using specialized equipment and techniques. Proper containment, wetting down the material, and wearing protective gear are essential parts of the removal process. They ensure the safety of workers and occupants. Once removed, the asbestos waste is disposed of following specific guidelines to prevent further exposure and contamination. 

What is the best way to plan your popcorn ceiling removal?

Good home maintenance and home management begin with good planning. If your home has a popcorn ceiling that you’ve decided has to go, the cost is probably the first thing you’d like to know. 

A reliable way to find out how much this home renovation will cost is through Kukun’s Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost Calculator. Here’s how you can get a cost estimate and plan the home improvement project. 

  1. Select the finish level you want from the following options:
  • Value
  • Quality
  • Luxury
  1. Decide if you want a whole house renovation or a specific number of rooms
  2. Enter the square footage of the area that needs asbestos removal
  3. Mention if you want the professionals to scrape the popcorn ceiling and prepare it for a fresh coat of paint.  

Within minutes, you will get an estimate of how much it will cost you to remove your popcorn ceiling. Remember that this figure excludes the cost of paints.

Last thoughts

Asbestos removal is necessary due to the severe health risks associated with exposure to this hazardous mineral. The microscopic fibers can become airborne when disturbed, leading to inhalation and potential health problems. And, prolonged exposure to asbestos can cause serious respiratory diseases. Thus, removing asbestos from commercial buildings and homes is crucial to safeguard the health and well-being of individuals – ensuring a safer living and working environment for everyone.

Read more: Popcorn ceiling repair

Is asbestos removal covered by insurance? was last modified: July 28th, 2023 by Narayan Shrouthy
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