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Insurance Inspections 101 for Realtors

4-Point Inspection

A 4-point inspection will encompass a thorough examination of the home’s:

  • Roof

  • Electrical system

  • Plumbing system

  • HVAC system

An insurance company may require a 4-point inspection on any house over 20 years old before giving a policy. During a 4-point inspection, the inspector will likely be very interested in the roof. They will want to know the age and inspect its condition. Any leaks or missing shingles could be a problem. Also, the insurance company may object to your roof if it’s too old.

When looking at wiring, an insurance company may not want to cover houses with aluminum or knob and tube wiring. These are old-fashioned wiring systems that are no longer allowed in residential construction because they are fire hazards. Certain brands of electrical panels are also forbidden. Always best to ask the insurance agent about the brand first and check it against the do not insure list.

Regarding plumbing, an inspector may be looking at the pipes to check for leaks. The building material of the pipes is also important. For example, some carriers won’t cover polybutylene (PB) pipes because they have a higher chance of failing. They may also want to check out the water heater as age also is a big underwriting factor and most carriers now give an issue if over 15-25 years old.

Also, insurers may have a problem if the inspector finds a wood stove or a fireplace that isn’t up to code when inspecting the heating elements of the home.

During a 4-point inspection, an inspector will:

  • Examine electrical box and home wiring

  • Look at plumbing under the sink and around the house

  • Examine the roof

  • Look for mold

If the home fails the 4-point inspection, the inspector can give you tips and recommendations on how to remedy your home to make it eligible for coverage. Besides that, just talk with your agent and they will recommend how to best help.

Wind Mitigation Inspection

A wind mitigation inspection is usually optional, but it may be the most helpful since a wind mitigation inspection can directly help your client save on insurance premiums.

Insurance companies ask for wind mitigation inspections to assess a home’s ability to withstand hurricane-strength winds and wind-driven debris in various ways. If the home proves to be sufficiently fortified, the insurance company will lower your rates.

How to Prepare for a Home Insurance Inspection:

Besides making significant repairs, there are some things you can do to prepare for a home insurance inspection that will make it go smoothly. You can:

  • Repair any loose or damaged shingles on the roof

  • Clear debris from the gutters and roof

  • Trim large branches hanging over the property

  • Check for leaking plumbing fixtures

  • Repair missing handrails on stairs

  • Fix leaky pipes

  • Ensure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work

  • Check for a working fire extinguisher inside the house

Of course, as we always stress all of our Realtor partners, call us with any questions or concerns and we will make sure that you and your clients get this home sold!

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