Why do You Need This Type of Inspection?
Most insurance companies want a four-point inspection completed on older homes in coastal states, such as Florida. These inspections are generally required when you’re buying or own an older house, condo or rental property. Most home insurers make the request when rental or residential properties are older than 30 years.
You won’t be able to qualify for insurance coverage without a four-point inspection, however, you can still get a quote prior to the inspection.
What is a Four-Point Inspection?
All of the four major home systems are looked over during this inspection. That means your inspector will take time with the HVAC system, roof, plumbing components, and the electrical system. The insurance company wants to know that the four major systems have been maintained well over the years and if anything is nearing or at the end of its lifespan.
Here are specific things an inspector looks at:
- HVAC: Are there any leaks in the heating and cooling system? How old is the system? Does the home have central air and heat?
- Roof: How old is the roof and what kind of condition is it in? What type of roof is it and are there any missing tiles or shingles? Are any leaks present?
- Plumbing: Is the plumbing system comprised of CPVC, copper, lead, galvanized, or polybutylene drain and supply lines? How old is the water heater? Are there any leaks?
- Electrical: What type of wiring does the home have (aluminum, copper, or knob & tube)? What shape is the overall system in?
Is it Possible to Use a Regular Home Inspection?
Normally, insurance carriers simply want the information provided by a four-point inspection. It’s possible to send over the full home inspection, but it’s not necessary to provide the insurer with all cosmetic and/or minor issues inside the home. You’re better off getting a four-point inspection and reporting only on what’s requested by your insurance company.
How Much Will This Cost You?
Typically the homeowner is responsible for paying for the inspection. The good news is that four-point inspections are typically less expensive than a complete home inspection.
Can You Get a Policy if the Home Fails?
Some insurance companies will refuse to insure a home that fails the four-point inspection. Others will provide coverage but will exclude any damaged or aging components. For example, your insurer might give you a policy that doesn’t cover water damage when they don’t want to insure your type of plumbing pipes.
Sometimes, you’ll need to make updates or repairs before you can get full coverage on the home.