During the course of home ownership, your need for insurance may require you to obtain one or more different types of inspections to satisfy your insurer’s underwriting requirements and keep insurance coverage on your home. While state lawmakers consider making changes to help alleviate pressure on one of the nations largest homeowners insurance markets, some Florida based homeowners insurance carriers are taking it upon themselves to underwrite a cleaner, and leaner, book of business. And the clean book starts with a rigorous review of a home inspection. Some insurance companies may require this up front before agreeing to start insurance on your home to verify it meets their appetite and criteria. If you are wondering what a home inspection consists of, today I am going to explore the different types of insurance-related inspections and what to expect when this occurs.
If you need to get any type of home-related inspection for insurance purposes, you first need to know what type of inspection it is – there are many different types of home inspections that can be requested during the life of your insurance purchase, and they all have different purposes.
4 Point Inspection
A 4 point inspection is an inspection that looks at 4 specific, major systems of your home. Those 4 systems are your Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, and Roofing systems and this inspection verifies they are in good shape and free of any noticeable hazards or excess wear and tear that may indicate it is near the end of it’s useful life. The intent of these inspections to ensure the 4 systems are in working condition and not in danger of failing, and to ensure the age and/or type of system is acceptable to your insurer with regards to their underwriting guidelines. This type of inspection is typically completed by a local home inspector of your choosing, and is typically required when you wish to secure new insurance coverage with a new carrier. We refer to this as an “eligibility inspection” as it’s main purpose is to get you in the door for your next insurer. In some cases, if you have had your insurance policy with the same insurer for a number of years - your insurer may elect to do this type of inspection in preparation of providing you a renewal offer. In some cases, your home could be harboring a hazard that renders you inellgibile for continued coverage with your current insurer. If this happens, you may receive a notice of non-renewal or a notice of cancellation soon after the inspection takes place.
Wind Mitigation Inspection
A wind mitigation inspection isn’t really an inspection in the traditional sense. It’s intent has nothing to do with the age or condition of anything in the home – it’s intent is to document how well your home would withstand hurricane force winds. Because every home in Florida is constructed differently based on location, and year built, this inspection was created to differentiate one homes ability to withstand higher winds vs. another and it gives your insurer the ability to discount your rate for better results. This inspection documents when the last time the roof was replaced, the shape of the roof, how strongly the roof system is attached to the home, and whether or not your home has hurricane protection on all glass openings (windows and doors). This type of inspection is typically completed by a local home inspector of your choosing, and is usually required when you first begin insurance or when make changes to your home that may result in better windstorm protection. This form has evolved over the years, so you may have had one completed years ago that is no longer usable to your insurance agent. Or – you may have recently installed a new roof or added hurricane protection – this type of inspection is your key to getting insurance discounts associated with such an upgrade.
Roof Certification Inspection
A roof certification inspection consists of inspecting only the roof to verify the visible condition as well as the estimated life expectancy remaining. This type of inspection is typically required when your roof reaches a certain age and the insurer is requiring proof to verify it’s still in good enough shape to offer insurance. This type of inspection can be completed by a licensed home inspector or a licensed and certified building/roofing contractor.
Full Home Inspection
A full home inspection (otherwise known as a pre-purchase or buyers’ inspection) should not be requested or required to secure insurance coverage on your home. Some carriers require to review this for newly purchased homes only, simply because the lack of one indicates a home that may have been purchased without the buyers’ due diligence and could have hidden problems the homeowner is unaware of. A full home inspection is completed by a licensed home inspector and is intended to go over every aspect of the home and notifying you of any area that may need addressed. The intent of this inspection is to make you aware of any problem – big or small – that is lurking within your home.
Exterior Only / Premises Inspection
An exterior-only inspection is typically conducted by your insurance carrier, at their expense, just to ensure the home exists where it says it does, appears as described, and doesn’t have any noticeable damage or hazards that need addressed. This inspection is intended to verify the roof appears to be in good shape visibly, and there are no unfenced or unfilled pools present, no trampolines present, and no ineligible animals present. This type of inspection is typically conducted soon after starting insurance with a new carrier and then again routinely every few years through the life of your insurance policy.
A tie down inspection is an inspection specific for manufactured homes (aka mobile homes). This type of inspection may be required before you purchase insurance coverage for a mobile home. Some carriers are in the habit of completing this inspection after you purchase coverage to ensure they are current and up to date. This type of inspection is generally required to verify the home is tied down properly and according to state code. Tie downs obviously affect how well a mobile home can withstand a wind event or hurricane, so this is an important underwriting concern when it comes to mobile home / manufactured home insurance.
Evolve Insurance Agency would love the chance to offer you a quote for your homeowners’ insurance. Simply click here or give us a call at 941-244-2760 and one of our associates will get started on a great rate for your homeowners insurance today!
Evolve Insurance Agency
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels