At EDC, the most popular inspections among homeowners are the 4 point and wind mitigation inspection.
Many homeowners have been told by friends, family, or real estate professionals that they need these inspections, but they might not know why. In fact, you may be confused about why the full-home buyer/seller inspection doesn’t suffice.
The truth is that each type of property inspection is different and each of them is used for different purposes…and that includes four point and wind mit inspections.
But before we discuss the differences between the 4-point and wind mitigation inspection, it helps to know a little more about them individually.
What Is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection, also called a “windstorm inspection” is a visual examination of a home’s ability (or lack of it) to withstand damage during a windstorm.
During this type of inspection, the home inspector examines your home’s various characteristics to withstand wind.
While wind mitigation inspections are not required by law, we highly recommend them for every Florida homeowner.
For starters, your insurance agent or broker might require (or at least “highly encourage”) you to get a wind mitigation report before they will issue you an insurance policy. More and more, we’re seeing insurance agents push wind mit inspections on homeowners.
But perhaps the best reason to get a wind mitigation inspection is that, under Florida law, insurance companies are required to give discounts on home insurance for structures that receive a passing grade. For most homeowners, the discounts they receive more than make up for the cost of the inspection.
Hang on to your report! It states on the bottom that it’s good for five years. But if you’re shopping for a new insurance policy with a three-year-old wind mit report, your insurance carrier will likely request an updated one. If you’re not shopping, most carriers will let it ride past five years. (And if you can’t find your report, let us know; we don’t get rid of them.)
What is a 4 Point Inspection?
Four point inspections are sometimes required by certain insurance companies before they will issue a policy. Each insurance company will have its own set of guidelines but, typically, 4-point inspections are required for any home more than 30 years old.
Insurance underwriters and insurance companies use four point inspections to determine your home’s level of risk. Older homes are thought to be not as well-maintained as new construction, so they are seen to be a greater risk to the insurance company.
As you might have guessed, there are four main things that are being examined during a four-point inspection: 1) Electrical, 2) Plumbing, 3) Roof and Structure, and 4) HVAC system.
When filling out the report, a home inspector will have the option to list the age, overall condition, material, and basic type for each of these categories. The results of your 4-point inspection will determine which carriers will insure you, or whether they will even insure you at all. However, you may be permitted to bring your home “up to standard” to obtain insurance coverage.
What’s the Difference?
So what’s the difference between a 4-point inspection and wind mitigation inspection? The main difference lies in what features they involve.
During a wind mitigation inspection, your roof is the primary area of concern. The inspection will mostly take place on, around, and under the roof (your inspector will need to access your attic or crawlspace to do this). Since a 4-point inspection covers more areas of your home, it will take slightly longer and the inspector will need to examine a much greater portion of your home (though not as much as a full-home buyer’s inspection).
Wind mitigation inspections are entirely voluntary (though perhaps this may change one day) while most homeowners get a four point inspection because they are required to by an insurance company.
The final difference—albeit a small one—is the cost. Wind mitigation inspections usually cost around $85 for the homes in EDC’s service area. A four point inspection will be closer to $125.
Whether you need a four point inspection, wind mitigation inspection, or buyer’s inspection, the most important thing is knowing that the report is thorough and accurate. No home inspection is a “great deal” if it misses a major issue that you’re stuck with later.
EDC’s owner, Erik Coplin, is not only a Master Home Inspector, but a former nuclear engineer who believes in accuracy, attention to detail, and the need to go above and beyond with every job. We go above and beyond with every inspection and give you a 100-day warranty for added peace of mind.
If you need a home insurance inspection, we’d love to help you! Call today to schedule your inspection.