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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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about INSURANCE:

* Could faulty work or lack of a building permit for home improvements cause an insurance company to deny a claim?

Why is a fuse box/panel an insurance problem for homebuyers?

How is Citizens Property Insurance different from other Florida homeowners insurance companies?  

Is the 4-point insurance inspection strictly pass or fail?

Is a wind mitigation inspection report (OIR-B1-1802) required for homeowners insurance in Florida? 

Which building permit date is used for the Building Code section of the wind mitigation form? 

What are the different roof deck attachment discount categories for a wind mitigation inspection?

What determines the year of a house? 

What is the difference between a toe nail, clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

How do I get the hip roof discount for my homeowners windstorm insurance?

How do I get my home ready for a four point inspection for insurance?

Can I do my own wind mitigation inspection?  

Will a house without air conditioning pass a 4 point inspection?  

What’s the difference between a gable and hip roof for my insurance? 

Why does my homeowner's insurance want a four point inspection? 

• What is the wind mitigation inspection for homeowner's insurance? 

Which water pipes are an insurance problem and possibly uninsurable? 

• Why did I get no discounts or only a small discount from my wind mitigation inspection? 

Why does my homeowner's insurance want a roof inspection? 

Is it common for an insurance company to require an inspection? 

• How do I get insurance if my home can't pass a 4-point inspection? 

• How does a repaired sink hole under a house affect its market value?

    Visit our HOME INSPECTION and INSURANCE pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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