Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

Asbestos home insurance

Is asbestos removal covered by home insurance? This, and more important questions, answered. 

Posted

Fact checked

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder.

Heaps of older Aussie buildings have asbestos in them, which can be an expensive problem when it comes to making repairs or renovations. Unfortunately, most home insurance policies won't cover any damages or liability related to asbestos.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a material which was used widely in building and manufacturing before the 1980s. While asbestos was considered affordable and durable decades ago, we now know that direct exposure to asbestos is very dangerous.

Several types of cancer have been linked to asbestos exposure, as well as other diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Thankfully, asbestos was banned in Australia in 2003.

How can I protect my home from asbestos?

Asbestos can sound scary but the good news is that, as long as it's left undisturbed, asbestos is relatively harmless.

However, if you have a home which was built before 1990 or are thinking about buying a home from that period, it's recommended that you get an asbestos survey from a licensed assessor. In some cases, it may even be a government requirement to undertake a pre-renovation or pre-demolition survey.

The survey will help you identify if asbestos is present and the condition it's in, as well as offering guidance on how to manage the risk.

If you're uncertain whether certain products in your home contain asbestos, you should always treat them as if they do.

Remember, safely removing asbestos can be a complicated process, so you should always take appropriate precautions, particularly during renovations and repairs.

Where can I find asbestos in my home?

According to the Australian Asbestos Network, if your home was built before 1990, it's likely there is asbestos in some form within your home.

Asbestos or asbestos-containing materials can be found in the following areas:

  • Backing panels in meter boxes – cement fencing
  • Concrete framework – expansion joints
  • Gables and eaves – imitation brick cladding
  • Lining behind wall tiles – packing under beams
  • Roofing and gutters – sheds
  • Splashbacks – textured paints
  • Thermal insulation around fireplaces – wall sheeting
  • Window putty – vinyl, carpet and tile underlay

Australian facade

Why doesn't home insurance cover asbestos removal?

Asbestos is present in approximately one third of Australian homes. If insurance companies promised to pay for the cost of asbestos removal in every one of them, they'd have to charge much higher premiums in order to cover the potential costs.

If they did this, very few homeowners would be able to afford the more expensive premiums. So instead, insurance companies generally rule out any asbestos-related costs.

Frequently asked questions

Picture: GettyImages

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site