Asbestos – Out of Site, Out of Mind?


Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, that’s not the case for a major insurance provider that is now dropping clients because of a policy change regarding asbestos. A homeowner came to 7news with a letter stating their Allstate homeowner’s insurance policy is being canceled.

The siding of the home is made of asbestos, a popular insulation material used before it was outlawed in 1980 because exposure can be dangerous, often leading to lung cancer and mesothelioma. President of Lyons Insurance, Stephen Lyons, says about 20% of homes in the area have asbestos due to older construction. “Whether it be the siding, the roofing, the floor even the commercial spaces, some still have asbestos,” said Lyons. He says there are a lot of factors to determine the risk of an older home, but asbestos is one that is harder to assume for some major providers.

“Removal or remediation of asbestos is very expensive,” said Lyons. “There can also be lawsuits from the contamination or the physical damage of the removal of asbestos.” It’s not just Allstate. Lyons says many carriers are being selective in this area and it may be because we can be exposed to asbestos easier. “Number one there’s the wind risk factor, number two there’s the water risk factor,” said Lyons.

So, insurance companies may be more willing to write up policies for newer homes rather than take a bigger risk on an older one. Lyons says there are a few options for homeowners with asbestos. You can either get rid of it, or find a policy and provider that will assume the higher risk. We reached out to Allstate and are awaiting a response.