Confused by your insurance requirements? Don’t be!
In this article, we’ll answer the question, “What is a 4 point inspection?”
There are many different types of inspections available to you as a homeowner: a buyer/seller inspection, wind mitigation inspection, even a termite inspection.
But there’s one type of inspection that’s a common topic in the insurance industry: four point inspections.
Perhaps your insurance company is requiring you to have one done. Or maybe you heard the unfamiliar term from a family or friend. In this article, we’ll answer your questions, including the most important: “What is a 4 point inspection?”
What Is a 4 Point Inspection?
Four point inspections examine four main components of a home:
Four point inspections are usually requested by home insurance companies for homes older than 20 years (but this can vary significantly from carrier to carrier).
Seeing the results of a 4 point inspection helps insurance underwriters determine three things:
the current condition of the home,
if issuing/renewing your policy creates normal or increased risk, and
if you qualify for credits or preferred pricing (if available).
If you’re familiar with how insurance works, you’ll understand why insurance companies seek to control their risk as much as possible. Insurers use millions of data points that indicate the older your home is, the more likely you are to file a claim.
4 Point Inspection vs. Home Inspection
While 4 point inspections only look at four house components, typical buyer/seller inspections look at the entirety of the home (or as much as possible without knocking down walls).
Because the goal of a full inspection is to help Buyers determine whether to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a property, the home inspector will examine as much as they can to give the Buyer plenty of information to help make their decision.
Another difference is that 4 point inspections are requested by the insurance company, while a full home inspection is ordered by the Buyer in a real estate transaction.
It is therefore up to the insurance company to decide whether to issue or renew your home insurance policy. If a home doesn’t pass inspection, they can refuse to offer coverage until needed repairs are made.
How To Pass a 4 Point Home Inspection
Just like any other inspection, four point inspections aren’t conducted on a pass/fail basis. Rather, the point is to highlight the current condition of the home so that the insurance company can make decisions.
However, if your insurance company then decides not to extend homeowners insurance coverage, many people would consider that “failing” the inspection.
Unfortunately, if you are getting a four point inspection in order to purchase a home, there isn’t much you can do to pass the inspection. If the property still belongs to the Seller, it is up to them to bring the house up to a certain standard.
However, if your home is approaching the 20+ year mark, you can take steps to prepare your home in the event your insurance company requests a 4 point inspection.
For one, take care of major issues within the four areas that will be examined during the inspection. For example, if a recent storm has left you with water damage and missing shingles, now is the time to address it.
It’s also a good idea to update older systems and appliances.
Common red flags for insurance companies include polybutylene plumbing, aluminum wiring, and defective or dangerous electrical panels.
If you’re not sure what repairs or upgrades are needed, you can always get a preliminary four point inspection by a qualified home inspector. Armed with that report, your friendly independent insurance agent can help advise you on the systems that should be repaired or replaced—before your insurance company asks for it.
Whether you’re looking for a 4 point inspection in Orlando, or you’ve just received word that your family home didn’t pass inspection, call Harry Levine Insurance today.
With our knowledge, resources, and connections, we can refer you to a qualified home inspector or find a carrier willing to issue you a policy.
Because we’re an independent insurance agency, we have access to carriers and policies that captive agencies don’t. As a result, you get the exact coverage you need to make sure you’re family is protected.
Call today or visit our website for a free quote.
Fort Collins RadonJanuary 11, 2021
It also helps you to get a more thorough inspection, so that there are no unpleasant surprises later on.
What are Polybutylene Pipes?September 2, 2014
[…] Many times homeowners don’t know they have polybutylene pipes until they have had a 4 Point Inspection. The companies say that they experience many more claims as a result of broken or leaking pipes in […]
Jason LevineSeptember 2, 2014
You are very correct. The inspections help the insurance companies underwrite and can alert a homeowner about a potential issue.