Mold, Asbestos and Homeowner’s Insurance

by Cheney Hines

Removal and abatement of asbestos and mold issues in the home can be costly and time-consuming, as well as stressful and inconvenient. Many homeowners will turn to their insurance companies to help offset these costs. Unfortunately, claims related to mold and asbestos damage can present a challenge. If the problems are not addressed properly, the claim could be denied. Here is some information about how to tell if you are covered against these issues.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Exclusions

You should always review your insurance policy for limitations or exclusions on coverage. If there is anything in the wording of your policy that you do not understand, you should call your agent. In some cases, you may be able to adjust your policy to include special coverage for any exclusion in the basic documents.

Insurance and Mold Damage

For many years, mold damage was not covered by insurance policies. This has changed, but may require you to take out specialized additional coverage. When it comes to issues related to mold damage, if the problem is caused by a factor that your policy covers than removal of the issue should also be covered. However, there could be a cap on the amount of damage that is covered. Check to see if you can add additional coverage. Many companies will allow this for around $50 per month.

Asbestos Claims

If your home was built before 1990, you may well have asbestos somewhere in the structure. When left undamaged and undisturbed, the material doesn’t pose a hazard. However, when it becomes brittle and old, it can create dangerous particles in the air. Inhaling these particles can create health and environmental issues including cancer.
In general, basic homeowner’s insurance do not cover asbestos removal. As with mold, if the issues related to asbestos claims arise from a peril that is otherwise covered, removal of the problems may also be covered up to a certain extent. Ask your insurance agent if they can add on specialized asbestos coverage. They may or may not be able to help in this area.

Qualified Abatement Companies

It is not recommended to attempt to remove mold or asbestos issues on your own. You could release dangerous particles into the air and create environmental hazards. These can even open you up to lawsuits from those affected.
A qualified abatement company can come into your home, assess the problem and address it quickly and efficiently without putting you, your loved ones or the local area at risk. More importantly, however, abatement companies can sometimes help you with insurance issues by advising or even contacting the insurance company.
In the end, if you suspect you may have mold or asbestos issues in your home, you should carefully review your homeowner’s policy and speak with your agent to determine if you are covered for removal. Calling in a qualified abatement company can sometimes shed light on issues that might help in this area. If you may need to remove asbestos, mold or other hazards from your home, check out our asbestos removal process and call us today.