Is a 4-point inspection required for my homeowner’s insurance policy?
If you are in the market to purchase a home in Florida you will more than likely need a four point inspection before purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy.
In today’s market, insurance companies will require a 4 point inspection with a purchase of a single-family home, multi-family home, commercial property, and sometimes even condominiums.
However, every insurance company is different and each of them have independent guidelines on when a 4-point inspection is required, so it’s always best to check directly with your agent first.
In this article we will go over exactly what it is, what’s covered and how to ‘pass’ a 4-point home inspection.
What is a Four Point Inspection?
A 4-point home inspection, performed by a licensed home inspector or building contractor, lists the conditions of the four major systems in a house (electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roof).
My main inspection report already includes these items, can I send my agent this report?
If you’ve gotten your home inspection from a reputable company, their main report will likely contain the required information. See our sample report by clicking here.
However, it will likely also include detailed information that may hurt your chances of getting approved. Since a four-point inspection only asks for very specific information, we don’t recommend sending your insurance agent the main inspection report.
Insurance companies are very interested in mitigating their risk. So, they use this four point inspection report to ensure that each of the major systems in a home have been well maintained, are in good working order, and are unlikely to fail in the near future.
If you would like to see a 4-point inspection sample report, click here.
How to Pass a 4 Point Home Inspection
In order to ‘pass’ a 4-point inspection, you will want to ensure that there are no problematic systems. Review each section below to get a basic idea of what a home inspector would be looking for.
There are certain branded electrical panels that over time have had a higher rate of failing, these include Challenger, Federal Pacific (F.P.E.), Zinsco, and Sylvania. If your property has one of these branded panels, you may need to replace it in order to get approved.
Other than the type of panel, the property may have deficiencies that will make the electrical system ‘unsatisfactory’. These can include, but are not limited to: improper, exposed, unsafe, and/or loose wiring; double-taps, improper grounding, scorching, etc.
Additionally, if the property has aluminum or knob-and-tube branch circuit wiring (wiring that goes throughout the house), it may need to be replaced with copper.
If the property has an air-conditioning system that has clogged or dusty evaporator coils, they will likely need to be cleaned due to fire hazard before approval.
Additionally, if the units are more than 20 years old, is leaking, and/or is not heating and cooling properly, the insurance company may require a complete replacement.
If the property is plumbed with Polybutylene supply pipes, they may need to be replaced in order to get approved. This is because these pipes are manufactured with a plastic that can react to elements of public water supply and can cause the pipes to burst.
Additionally, insurance companies will normally flag Cast Iron drain pipes and/or Galvanized supply pipes due to their likelihood of failing over time. Although there are cases where these types of pipes are accepted, the insurance carrier will likely request that an additional drain pipe camera inspection is performed.
Also, if the plumbing system shows any signs of leaks, insurance companies often require that they are repaired before approval.
Roofs in Florida have many types of coverings which each have different life expectancies. As of right now, insurance companies normally want to see that the roof has about 3-5 years of estimated life remaining.
Additionally, the roof must not have any physical damage, such as cracked tiles, damaged fascia board or evidence of active leaks.