How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Should I fix all the defects listed in a four point inspection report right away or submit it to the insurance company first?
Saturday, September 25, 2021
If you want to limit the expense of the repairs, we suggest first submitting the report to your insurance company and waiting to get a list of what they want fixed before proceeding with any repairs. We have done a lot of four points over the years, along with the follow-up revised reports after repairs, and found that the underwriters sometimes don't ask for every defect listed on the report to be addressed. Window air conditioners as the sole source of heat in a home is unacceptable to most companies, and they require "permanently installed heat”, for example. But a few allow them as long as everything else is satisfactory. Also, the level of repair required can vary. An insurer may want a leaking roof repaired (not that expensive), or decide it must be replaced (much more expensive).
And, conversely, sometimes things that aren’t even listed as a defect become an issue. If the box for PEX water pipe is checked on the four-point form indicating that it is present, some companies now require it to be replaced, even if no deterioration or evidence of leakage is found. See our article Can I get insurance with PEX piping? for more on this.
Another thing you will find out if you wait for their reply is how long the insuror gives you to make the required repairs. They give 30 or 60 days for many repairs, and issue coverage right away. This allows you time to get bids for the work and find the best price. But if, for example, your roof is clearly in failure and requires replacement based on the report, you can anticipate that the insurance company will not issue coverage until it is replaced, and should not wait for their response. Find a roofer that can get it done right away.
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