Home insurance is supposed to provide you with peace of mind – that your investment is protected against costly damages caused by a hurricane, severe storm, fire, etc. However, your insurance company will want their own peace of mind before they insure select properties. Often, certain homes – usually those 30 years or older – require one or more types of insurance inspection.
Like a home inspection that is conducted to provide the lender (and homebuyer) with knowledge that the structure and major systems are sound, insurance inspections are conducted to provide a clear view of the condition, age, and life expectancy of major aspects and systems of a home.
There are three main insurance inspections:
One of the more common inspection options requested, especially for homes 30 years or older, is the Four Point Inspection. This insurance inspection option conducts a review of four main parts of a home, the:
The age of the roof is determined either by documented replacement or through estimation based on its condition and on construction industry practices. The overall condition and projected life expectancy are listed in the report.
HVAC/ Heating and Air Conditioner
The age of the system is documented from the HVAC label, and any updates conducted by the homeowner (i.e. new duct work) are documented. The current condition and projected life expectancy are noted.
The type of materials used for the plumbing system are noted, as well as the condition and estimated age (or documented age based on replacement of the plumbing system). The age and brand of the water heater are gathered from the label, and the systems’ current condition are noted in the report.
The brand of the electrical panel, age of the wiring, and the type of wiring are all noted, as well as the condition of the electrical system (i.e. are wires properly installed based on code requirements and best practices).
In addition to written documentation, supporting images are taken and included in the 4-Point Insurance Inspection.
This inspection is conducted to determine the age of the roofing system as well as its current condition – taking note of any leaks or repairs. Based on these factors, the insurance inspector will provide a general life expectancy and document the condition of the roof with supporting images.
Wind Mitigation Inspection
Also referred to as Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection, this inspection determines how well the construction of a roof will hold up under strong winds, such as those created during a hurricane. For many, conducting this inspection can provide a valuable discount on insurance. Homeowners aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this inspection; it is available for multi-family homes, condos and townhomes, and commercial buildings.