How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Do I need a home inspection to get insurance?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Let’s start with three definitions:
- Home inspection - A complete evaluation of a home and all its components, usually prepared for a home buyer during the inspection period of the sales contract.
- Four point inspection - A limited inspection of a home for an insurance company that evaluates the age and condition of the roof, electrical system, heating and air conditioning system, and plumbing.
- Roof certification report - An evaluation of the age and condition of a roof by a licensed roofer or contractor.
- Wind mitigation report - An evaluation of the hurricane-resistance of a home in order to a discount on the windstorm portion of a homeowners insurance policy.
If you are buying a home, some insurance agents may ask for a copy of the home inspection, primarily to collect data on the type of construction and details of the home’s components. A home inspection is recommended, but not required, to purchase a home. If you don’t have one, they will get the data from public records, a visit to the home, or interviewing you. We recommend that you do not give your home inspection report to the insurer, if it is possible to avoid it, because the report provides more information than they need and you may get nit-picked about minor defects that would otherwise not be a concern.
Statistics show that older homes have more claims than newer ones, usually related to deteriorated components like an older roof or water heater—both of which have the potential for an expensive claim when they start leaking. So when a home becomes 20-years or older your insurer may request that you provide a four point inspection or roof certification report to write a policy for your newly purchased home or to renew a policy. Homes that are less than 50-years old may be insurable without a four point inspection, usually with a company that charges more than one that requires a four point. Once the home is 50-years and older in Florida, a four point inspection is definitely required. Also, some insurers are starting to require four point inspections for older mobile homes. One company is an exception to these guidelines: State Farm now requires a four point inspection to bind insurance for homes of any age in Florida.
There is also a wind mitigation inspection, that checks the storm-resistant features of your home and can get you a discount on the windstorm portion of your homeowners policy. The inspection is not necessary in order to get insurance, but Florida insurers are mandated by law to give your discounts according to the storm-resistant construction details that are documented in the inspection report.
Also see our blog post Should I give a copy of the home inspection report to the bank or insurance company?
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