Four Point Home Inspection And Why?
State Certified Inspections LLC
License HI7932 & Insured
Four Point Insurance Inspection and the Buyers Blues
When you own or purchase an older home, rental property or condo in Florida, you will likely need for a 4 point inspection before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy. Most insurance companies will require a 4 point inspection when a home is older than 20 years. You can get an insurance quote without an inspection. However, you will need inspection before actually purchasing the policy.
Insurance companies have become increasingly reluctant to issue Homeowner Insurance Policies on older homes (usually 20 years old or more).
Their common concern is that there may be conditions in an older home that could become a liability to them. For instance; a home with a roof nearing the end of its reliable service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may seek reimbursement from their insurance company for damages to the home or its contents. Similar concerns extend to the condition of the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems in an older home. If these elements are in poor condition, in need of being updated or replaced or were improperly installed, they may fail and cause fire or water damage to a home
Newer homes are assumed (by the insurance companies) not have these problems as frequently as older homes. Each FL insurance company has slightly different guidelines on when a 4 point inspection is required, so check with your Independent Insurance Agent. A newer home may not need this inspection.
What is a 4 point inspection in Florida?
A 4 point inspection looks at the 4 major systems (Roof, Electrical, Plumbing & HVAC) In an older home the insurance company wants to know that if the home has been well maintained, and the major systems are in good working condition. This inspection must be done by a licensed home inspector or building contractor to be accepted by the insurance underwriter
What does the four point inspection focus on?
A) Roof – Type of Roof Covering (shingles, tile, metal, or asphalt rolled roofing). The age and condition of the roof. Are there missing shingles or is there leaks.
B) Electrical System – The type of the wiring in the home (copper, aluminum, knob and tube). The brand of the electrical panel. The condition of the homes electrical system
C) Heating and Cooling – Is there central heat and air in the home? The age and condition of the system. Are there signs of leaking?
D) Plumbing System – Type of supply and drain lines found in the home (copper, CPVC, galvanized, lead, polybutylene, etc.) Is there evidence of current or past leaks? The age of the hot water heater.
Some insurance companies like Citizens Insurance, require the inspector to use their form. Other insurance companies allow the inspector to use their preferred format. In addition to the written report photos of each of the major systems are required by the insurance company.
How much does it cost?
These inspections are done at your cost, and generally run between $85 & $125. If you are purchasing your home we provide a 4 point inspection to you at no cost at the same time as your regular home inspection.
Will it help lower my insurance premiums?
No. whether your home “passes” or “fails” a 4 point inspections, it does not change the cost of homeowners insurance. This inspection simply determines whether an insurance company will offer insurance on your older home.
Can your home fail a 4 point inspection?
If your home has problematic systems, or does not meet an insurance companies underwriting guidelines, you may be declined. If this happens, you can fix that issue, or contact another insurance company. Common reasons that insurance companies won’t insure older homes include:
- A three tab shingle roof that is over 15 years old or an architectural/dimensional shingle that is over 20 years old
- A tile roof or metal roof over 40 years old or being damaged
- Aluminum wiring or knob and tube wiring due to fire hazards
- Certain brands of electric panels including Federal Pacific, Zinsco, Challenger, and Slyvania due to fire hazard
- Home without central heat and air
- Polybutylene plumbing due to the high risk of plumbing bursts.
- A hot water heater over 18 years old.
If your home has one of these issues, be sure to tell your insurance agent up front so you get an accurate quote.
Can you get insurance if your home doesn’t pass a 4 point inspection?
If your home has one of these issues, be sure to tell your insurance agent up front so you get an accurate quote. Insurance companies vary in their responses to homes that have issues. Some insurance companies won’t insure these problematic homes at all, while others take a different approach.
There are insurance companies that will offer insurance, but exclude coverage for the problematic system. For example, most insurance companies will not offer coverage on a home with polybutylene plumbing. Those few insurers that will cover a home with polybutylene plumbing exclude all water damage. This means that if the plumbing bursts and floods this home, the cost of repairs will be out of your pocket. Often the only way to get insurance on a home with polybutylene plumbing is to accept this significant water damage exclusion.
If your home has not been updated or has an older problematic systems, consider updating them. Before purchasing an older home for the first time, be sure to check that you can find insurance that is affordable. When purchasing an older home, we recommend getting a 4 point inspection done first, and working with a reputable independent insurance agent. They can help determine the cost of insurance and advise whether the home is insurable.
If your home has not been updated, expect to pay more for your insurance or have a more difficult time obtaining insurance.