Our phone has been ringing off the hook!
A major insurance underwriter was forced into receivership and many homeowners risked losing their insurance on November 1, 2019. As a result, homeowners are now scrambling to replace their home insurance coverage and are being asked for certain inspection reports in order to guarantee coverage.
At EDC Professional Home Inspections, we are no stranger to the ways that an inspection can affect your home insurance. In this article we’ll take a look at three different types of home insurance inspection reports (including 4-point and wind mit inspections), when you need them, and how they can help you.
Four Point Inspections
Four point inspections are required by insurance companies before they will grant coverage.
Companies’ requirements vary, but most require them for homes older than 30 years and require homeowners to submit updated 4 point inspections before renewal. There is a recent trend, however, of underwriters requiring 4 point inspections for homes older than 15 years.
Unsurprisingly, four point inspections look at four key parts of a home:
- Electrical system
- Roof & Structure
During the inspection, the inspector will note the age, overall condition, material, and basic type of each of these categories. There is no option for the inspector to list any mitigating circumstances that might explain areas of failure.
The report is a condition-based inspection that is written from the perspective of the underwriter—not the homeowner—and is used by the underwriter to evaluate their risk in insuring the property. However, the insurance company may allow you to bring your property up to their policy standards so they can bind your coverage.
Wind Mitigation Inspections
Unlike four point inspections, wind mitigation inspections are entirely voluntary, but many agents strongly encourage them because they make the premium price more attractive.
Also known as “windstorm inspections,” they report on a home’s ability to withstand strong winds. (With so many hurricanes making landfall on our shores, it’s easy to see why this is such a useful inspection.)
These are not condition-based reports; they simply document a home’s characteristics to withstand wind. But even though insurance companies do not require homeowners to submit a wind mitigation report, all insurance underwriters are required by law to offer discounts on home insurance premiums based on their wind-resistant characteristics.
The good news? The savings usually outweigh the cost of the inspection and are valid for about five years.
Because of their low cost and voluntary nature, there is no risk when it comes to wind mitigation inspections. Even a “bad” inspection cannot cause your premiums to go up and they give you valuable information that you can use to strengthen your home against the next big storm. (And, since we live in Florida, rest assured that there will always be a “next big storm.”)
Roof Certification Inspections
Insurance underwriters have all the statistical data for how long roof coverings last in our Florida climate. Therefore, it is not uncommon for homeowners to get letters threatening loss of coverage unless they replace the roof covering, even when the roof is in decent condition. And with municipal building department records not always accurate, the roof materials may be newer than the underwriter believes.
If this happens to you, ask your agent if a roof conditions report can resolve the concern. Most underwriters accept this report as long as it estimates more than three years remaining on the roofing materials.
There are no guarantees, however. In fact, many of these inspections that we perform show the reason why the data averages are accurate and that the roof really should be replaced.
Home Insurance Inspections You Can Count On
With a 4 point, wind mitigation, or roof conditions report from EDC Professional Home Inspections, you can rest assured that your insurance underwriter is getting the information they need. We also don’t leave you on the windy corner. If your insurance agent or underwriter needs to talk to us directly, we’re here for you.
If you need a home insurance inspection, we’d love to help you! EDC’s owner, Erik Coplin, is a Master Home Inspector and former nuclear engineer who believes in accuracy, attention to detail, and the need to go above and beyond with every job.
Call today to schedule your inspection.