Asbestos Abatement Phillip Landry asked 2 months ago
Asbestos Abatement

Hello,

My wife and I experienced a fire at our home after my grill caught fire. It ended up catching the side of the house on fire, and although it was put out before it spread, we do have hole in our home and there is smoke damage throughout the entire house and in the attic.

We have filed a claim and hired contractors and we are at the point in the process where our adjuster and the contractor are beginning to compare scopes of work to determine what will be covered.

Our primary contractor handling the remediation has discovered that the wall and floor work that needs to be done has revealed that some of the original wallpaper and flooring appears to be intact underneath the current layer. Our home was built in 1983 and he is concerned that there might be asbestos either on the wall, the floor, or both. He asked me to check our homeowner’s policy to see if there is an exclusion or coverage for asbestos abatement. I have found mention of asbestos in our policy which states that:

The insurer will not cover “bodily injury or property damage arising out of the actual, alleged, or threatened presence, discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, re-lease, escape of, or exposure to contaminants or pollutants at or from any source or location. Contaminates and pollutants inlcude…asbestos. This exclusion does not apply to bodily injury or property damage caused by contaminants or pollutants from a hostile fire.”

That to me sounds like that if the damage from the fire released asbestos then that damage should be covered, but any additional asbestos released into our home from more extensive repairs to the floor or walls would not be covered.

Any feedback on whether I am reading this correctly would be greatly appreciated, and I am happy to provide more text if needed.

1 Answers
Asbestos Abatement United Policyholders Staff answered 3 weeks ago

Phllip:

We’re sorry to hear about this situation. Our initial reaction is that your analysis is correct that the cost of removing the asbestos that got exposed due to the grill fire should be covered. But once asbestos is exposed, it does need to be properly removed, which means from areas that weren’t damaged by the fire as well – Hopefully you can get one comprehensive estimate from a trustworthy, credentialed asbestos removal company in your area that includes the full scope of the work – ask the insurer to cover it, but be prepared for them to balk and want to split the bill in some way.

Here’s our general guidance on your rights in Texas. The insurer should definitely pay for all the testing. Here is a link to BluSky’s “Asbestos Testing, It’s the Law” publication. We have created an Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide that covers the risks associated with hurricane debris and asbestos:

We hope this offers some help.
Best, Team UP