It’s common in coastal states for an insurance company to require an inspection of some homes. Here are a few things you need to know about why a 4-point inspection may be required to secure your homeowner’s insurance policy.
When Do You Need a 4-Point Inspection?
Typically, your insurer requests a 4-point inspection on homes older than 40 years and rental properties older than 30 years. They want to verify the home has been cared for properly and be made aware of major defects. Problems with the home indicate a possibility that a claim will be filed on the policy.
A 4-point inspection looks at the four major systems of your home:
- Electrical: The inspector will determine the type of wiring that a home has. For example, it knob and tube, aluminum, or copper? The inspector looks at the overall condition of the wiring, electrical panel, and circuits.
- Plumbing: An inspector checks for leaks, the water heater’s condition, and whether the home has CPVC, copper, polybutylene, galvanized, or lead plumbing lines.
- Roof: The insurance company will want to know what type of roofing covers the home. It could be shingles, tile, metal, or wood. The inspector will record the approximate age of the roof and any signs of leaks or damages.
- HVAC: During a 4-point inspection, the inspector will note the age and condition of the heating and cooling system, including the furnace, vents, and ductwork.
A Regular Home Inspection Compared to a 4-Point Inspection
While you can provide your insurance company a full inspection instead of the four-point inspection, it’s better to give them an abbreviated report including only the information they requested. A regular home inspection goes into far greater detail and points out many other defects with the home.
Why Would a Home Fail a 4-Point Inspection?
Here are a few typical reasons why your insurance company might deny coverage.
- The roof is too old and in poor condition.
- Aluminum wiring poses a fire hazard.
- Certain electrical panel brands are fire hazards.
- The home doesn’t have central heat and air.
- Polybutylene plumbing tends to lead to burst pipes and water damage.
- A water heater aged over 18 years is more prone to failure.
What Happens if the Home Doesn’t Pass?
If your home is denied coverage, you can try shopping for another insurance company. If the home has issues that would cause you to be denied coverage, you’ll need to make the necessary repairs.