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Recently a number of new non-destructive diagnostic techniques have been investigated for the reliable condition assessment of the ageing of metal oxide surge arrester (MOSA). Among them polarization/depolarization current and return voltage measurement techniques showed very promising results. This paper presents an insulation polarization model for investigating polarization-based diagnostics for metal oxide surge arrester. The simulations of the proposed model are validated and verified by comparing the data from the polarization/depolarization current measurements. The simulation of return voltage for MOSA is also performed to validate the insulation polarization model. Finally, the usefulness of this model for MOSA diagnostics has been highlighted in this paper.