In Florida’s changing insurance market, many homeowners are confused about what they need in order to get (or retain) coverage. You may even have received notice that your insurance company is requiring you to submit an inspection report, even if you’ve been in your home for years.

As an independent insurance agency, Darr Schackow Insurance is always looking for ways to help our clients understand their insurance coverage. In this article, we’re tackling the question, “Do insurance companies require home inspections?”

 

What Does a Home Inspection Look For?

People often talk about getting “a home inspection,” but licensed home inspectors offer many different inspection types, depending on your needs.

Here are some of the most common home inspections.

Full Home Inspection

Sometimes known as a buyer’s inspection, full home inspections are the most thorough type of home inspection.

As their name suggests, they are typically requested by a potential buyer after making an offer on a home. Full home inspections give buyers useful information about the current condition of a home so they can make an informed decision about their purchase.

home inspector inside attic

Wind Mitigation Inspection

Wind mitigation inspections examine your home’s ability to withstand strong winds. The structure of your roof is the primary concern, but your home inspector may examine other areas of the home as well.

In Florida, passing a wind mitigation inspection can lead to savings on your insurance premiums.

Four Point Inspection

A 4 point inspection looks at four areas of a home: roofing/structural, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.

During the inspections, a licensed inspector will make note of the age, overall condition, and material of these systems to help insurance underwriters determine the level of risk posed by the home.

For example, they may notice that the electrical panel has been recalled, the water heater is 15 years old, or that the plumbing system uses polybutylene pipes. These are all examples of things that would increase the likelihood of you filing a claim in the future.

 

Do Insurance Companies Require Home Inspections?

It is very common for insurance companies to require a 4 point inspection upon purchasing a home or when renewing a policy on an older home (between 30-40 years). This is why some people in the industry refer to them as “home insurance inspections.”

The information in the inspection report will help your insurance carrier make estimates on your likelihood of filing a claim in the future. They will then use this information to calculate your premium amount or even decide whether or not to offer you coverage.

People making circle with hands on table with paper cutout of house and family in the middle

Can I Get Homeowners Insurance Without An Inspection?

The age of your home, your claim history, the type of policy you’re purchasing, and even your choice of insurance company will all affect whether a 4 point inspection is required.

For example, if you are purchasing a new construction home that conforms to current building codes, an inspection may not be necessary. However, if your home (or the home you are looking to purchase) is older than 15 years, there’s a good chance that you will need a 4 point inspection.

Keep in mind that 4 point inspections and full inspections are not interchangeable. A 4 point inspection may be enough for your insurance company, but it is not enough information to tell you whether a certain home is worth buying.

Similarly, you should not submit the results of a full inspection in lieu of a 4 point inspection.

 

What Happens If I Fail the Inspection?

Your home inspector is only responsible for determining the current condition of the home, not whether it “passed” or “failed.” However, your insurance company can decide whether or not to issue a policy based on the information in the report.

In some cases, the insurance company may offer coverage only after certain repairs or improvements are made to the property. Alternatively, they may make adjustments to the policy, such as a higher premium amount or lower coverage limits.

Finally, they may make the decision to deny you coverage.

If this is the case, speak to your independent insurance agent about finding replacement coverage with another carrier. Because independent agents are not tied to a particular insurance company, they are free to search the market for coverages that match your needs.

 

Looking For Coverage? We Can Help!

Whether you’re purchasing a new home or it’s time to renew your policy, finding home insurance is an important step that should never be overlooked.

The policies you purchase today are what will protect your home in the future when—not if—disaster strikes.

Since 1992, Darr Schackow Insurance has been providing Floridians with unmatched service and access to the nation’s top carriers. Call us today to request a free quote!