How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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What is the difference between a full home inspection and a four-point insurance inspection?
Saturday, May 8, 2021
The easiest way to explain the difference between a home inspection and a four-point is that one is for you and the other is for the insurance company. A full inspection gives the homebuyer a thorough assessment of the condition of a home, along with a listing of problems that require repair.
But the four-point inspection is essentially a standard-form questionnaire that an inspector fills out. It is focussed on looking for defects in the four key components of a home (roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) that might cause an insurance claim in the near future. For example, a four-point does not determine whether your a/c system is functioning up to par. It only notes if it is older or has evidence of current or previous condensate leakage, both of which foretell possible expensive future claims.
Insurance companies usually request a four-point inspection as a prerequisite to offering coverage for homes over 30 years old. Many companies will accept your home inspection in lieu of a four-point. However we recommend not giving the insurance company your full home inspection. It’s more information than they need, and you are usually better off getting your inspector to also do a four-point form, which is often offered at a discount when done at the same time as the home inspection. This avoids having an underwriter request repairs or decline coverage over an issue that would not be covered in a four-point inspection.
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