You might need 4 point inspection if you own an older home. The good news is that it’s usually pretty quick and may provide opportunity for more home insurance options for you.
Buying a house is a process. If you’ve gone through it, you understand the paperwork, inspections, and reports that becoming a homeowner can require. This depends on the home you purchase, your insurance carrier may need a 4-point inspection of the house.
Four-point inspection reports can influence your ability to get homeowners insurance. The Insurance companies use the information to conclude if they will offer coverage for your property.
In the event you need home insurance coverage you can compare home insurance quotes. You can save money while protecting your house and family.
What Is a 4-Point Inspection?
It is an examination of the well-being of your home in four areas:
- Plumbing, and
Most insurance companies required that before you can get or maintain home insurance coverage. The inspection gives the insurer a chance to get an opinion from an unbiased professional on a house’s condition. It further assist the insurer to understand the risks of the real estate they’re insuring.
A 4-point inspection can alert the insurance company to potential problems because certain conditions in the home could be a foreseeable liability. Homes built newly may not require 4 point inspection. However, it can be important in older homes because they’re more likely to be in disrepair or have had repairs that may not meet building regulations.
When Do You Need a 4 Point Inspection on Your Home?
If you own an old house and are up for renewal, or you’re purchasing an older home, chances are you will be asked to submit a four-point inspection as part of the underwriting process. Florida and other coastal states is where the practice is prevalent.
An insurance agency has its own set of rules regarding who needs an inspection however, there is a basic outline of what’s covered under a four-point inspection. The National Association of Certified Home Inspections (NACHI) provides a universal four-point inspection form, but using this form isn’t required by law.
A four-point inspection is precisely for homeowners insurance. It shouldn’t be confused with a new home inspection (also known as buyer’s inspection, real estate inspection, home inspection or full inspection depending where you live). This distinction is however necessary because the new home inspection is expected to close on a home and meet eligibility criteria for your mortgage. It usually takes two to three hours to complete. A four-point inspection takes about 30 minutes and is only visual.
How beneficial is 4 Point Inspection
Four-point inspections is assumed to be more rampant in coastal states, specifically in Florida and Texas. Coastal areas, like Tampa, Miami, or Jacksonville, experience more inclement weather that leads to catastrophic devastation (loss of life; destruction of entire towns; demolished power grids, roads, airports; etc.). This natural disasters influenced lawmakers to frequently update building codes and regulations. Houses built 40 or more years ago were made in accordance with the prevailing regulations and codes in force at the time. This is the reason they may not be considered as safe as new homes.
The 4 point inspections policy identify key areas that most commonly result in insurance claims. If a house fails all or part of the inspection, the inspector will go over what needs to be fixed or replaced to alleviate deficiencies.
What Does a 4-Point Inspection Cover?
A 4-point inspection covers the major components found in most homes:
- HVAC system: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
- Electrical system:Electrical wiring and electrical panels.
- Plumbing system:Hot water heater and existing water damage.
- Roofing:Roof covering and roof shingles.
A home inspector ordinarily analyze your home’s structure and parts to look for current or future problems and complete a the form. The report usually cover pictures of each system and the interior and exterior of your home.
Analysis of what Goes Into a Four-Point Inspection?
During a four-point inspection, an inspector will look at:
Electrical Wiring and Panels:
What kind of wiring is in your home? If a house has copper, aluminum, or knob-and-tube wires, chances are it will not be insurable due to fire hazard risks. Faulty wires cause nearly 90 percent of residential fires, so this is something insurance companies take very seriously. If your home is found worthy for insurance due to wiring issues, it is vital to budget for necessary upgrades. If you don’t, your risk of fire is significantly amplified.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning):
Does your home have central heating and air conditioning? What condition are the units in? Are there any signs of obvious damage such as leakage? The insurance agency determines what it considers “acceptable” when insuring old houses; however, it’s not uncommon to see coverage denied for lack of central air and heat.
Inspectors at the type of pipes in your home to determine how likely they are to burst. If poly butylene plumbing is found the policy can be denied as these are more prone to bursting. However, some insurance companies may still insure you, but will remove water damage. In that case, where there is a flood occasioned by pipes bursting, the total expense will be on you.
Roof age, material, and condition are the things inspectors look for. Generally, insurance companies do not insure shingle roofs more than 20 years old. And also do not insure tile or metal roofs more than 40 years old. However, if your roof has apparent damage though new or water leaks inside, it may result to denial of coverage.
4-Point Inspection vs. Home Inspection
One should bear in mind that a 4-point inspection is not the same as a full home inspection. Insurance underwriters and insurance companies use the information in a 4-point inspection when combining insurance policy. Though it can leave out critical areas of the home.
If you’re contemplating to buy a house, a full inspection can reveal potential concerns important to new homeowners to include:
- Structural integrity
- Site conditions
- Plumbing fixtures
- Toilet and sink operation
- Doors and windows
A home inspection can assist you decide if to buy a particular house. But your insurance company doesn’t generally need all the extra information a home inspection needs.
Do All Homes Require a 4-Point Inspection?
No, not all homes need a 4-point insurance inspection. Old houses usually require a 4 inspection.
Home inspection requirements differ from state to state. For instance, to get homeowners insurance in Florida, you need to have this policy done. And some insurance companies need an inspection prior to issuing an insurance policy no matter your state. This is much more prevalent in houses over 10 years old.
What If You Fail a 4-Point Inspection?
Four-point inspections don’t have a grading scale: the only results are “pass” or “fail”. If the house fails a 4-point inspection, it’s usually because the central heat and air conditioning system is absent or lacking, the roof has damage, or aluminum wiring or poly butylene pipes are present.
If you’re buying a home that fails a 4-point inspection, you have three options:
- Agree with the sellers to make important repairs.
- Search for an insurance company that doesn’t need this policy.
- Enquire if the insurer will accept a failed inspection and give you one or two months to make repairs.
A building contractor can assess the of cost repair which are helpful during negotiations with the seller. Remember: not all insurance companies require a 4-point inspection. If they do, you may get temporary coverage and make the repairs at a later date.
The insurance companies mostly use 4 point home inspections are. However, you may end up paying the bill or having to track down an inspector to complete the report.
How much does a 4-point home inspection cost?
The cost of a 4-point home inspection can differ by state and inspection company. Generally, expect to pay between the range of $50 and $150.
How do I schedule a 4-point inspection near me?
Your insurance agent may have many local companies they recommend for 4-point home inspections. Another place to look is the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI®). It lists inspectors by state and address.
Does a 4-point inspection include a wind mitigation inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection is a report that insurance companies need to issue insurance. It’s not the same with a 4-point inspection. While a 4-point inspection analyzes a home’s major systems, a wind mitigation inspection determines a house’s stability during strong wind.
The Bottom Line for Homeowners
A 4-point home inspection differs from a full home inspection, though it’s important to obtain home insurance. It’s better to ask your insurance agent to refer you to an inspector because they may have a working relationship with local companies. If the home fails a 4-point inspection, you still have options to find the best homeowners insurance for you. However, you should be careful and think getting a full inspection to reveal other potential concerns in the house.