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What Kind of Homeowners Insurance Inspection Do You Need?


If your homeowners insurance policy is up for renewal, your insurer may request a homeowners insurance inspection. These inspections can impact your premiums and coverage – or even affect your chances of renewal. But when you understand what to expect, you can lay the groundwork for a successful inspection.

Here, we’ll walk through the three most common types of homeowners insurance inspections and suggest ways to prepare. But first, let’s look at why insurers request inspections in the first place.

Background: Why Do Insurers Request Homeowners Insurance Inspections?

Insurance carriers often ask to inspect your home if it’s been a while since your last inspection or if you live in an older home.

The purpose: to assess your home’s risk and potential replacement costs before agreeing to a policy. Insurers want to make sure they manage their risk appropriately – that is, that a policy’s premium aligns with the amount of risk the property in question exposes the company to.

Homeowners insurance inspections don’t just help insurers, though. An inspection helps you confirm your home’s structural integrity and identify outstanding risks. If you pass, you may avoid premium hikes, plus credentialed confirmation that your home’s up to par.

But not everyone passes their inspection. If you fail, your insurer may still renew your policy, but you’ll have to make repairs – typically within 30 days of notice. Your insurer may even refuse to insure certain parts of your home.

Note that more severe damage may render your home uninsurable. Your insurer may cancel your policy altogether. If you have a mortgage, you’ll need to find another home insurer before your existing coverage lapses.

Thankfully, many homeowners won’t have to worry about failing their inspection. When you identify and address glaring risks, you can improve your chances of passing. Let’s look at three common inspection types and tips to stay prepared.

1. Exterior Inspection: Common For Most Homeowners

When insurers request a homeowners insurance inspection, they’ll typically start with an exterior inspection – standard for newer homes.

During an exterior inspection, an inspector will evaluate the outside of your home for liability concerns, like a storm-damaged roof in need of repair. They’ll take photos and measurements of your:

  • Roof.
  • Gutters.
  • Garage.
  • Chimney.
  • Siding.
  • Yard.
  • Nearby trees.
  • Exterior doors, walls, and foundation.

Before an inspection, it’s smart to assess your home’s exterior yourself. This way, you can identify major risks and take the right steps to address them. Here’s how to prepare:

  • Check your roof for loose or damaged shingles.
  • Clear your roof and gutters of any debris.
  • Look for cracks or water damage on your exterior walls. 
  • Check your window and door seals.
  • Trim low-hanging branches and consider removing dead trees. 

Many of these tasks are part of proper home maintenance – especially when the weather’s warm. Still, it’s important to double-check everything before an exterior inspection to boost your chances of passing.

2. Interior Inspection: For Older or Higher-Value Homes

Many insurers only request an exterior inspection. But if you own an older or higher-value home, your insurer may also inspect the inside of your home. Together, exterior and exterior inspections can paint a more comprehensive picture of your risk.

During an interior inspection, inspectors often assess your home’s:

  • Floors.
  • Ceilings.
  • Plumbing.
  • Appliances.
  • Interior walls.
  • Electrical system.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

To mitigate your risk ahead of time, it helps to review the inside of your home. As you walk through your house, go through this checklist:

  • Look for uneven flooring.
  • Check your plumbing for any leaky joints.
  • Take note of water-damaged ceilings and baseboards.
  • Check your major appliances for any operational hiccups or defects.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work.
  • Replace your HVAC filter and check for any internal obstructions.

Give yourself enough time to make any repairs before your inspection date. Proactive maintenance can make for a quick and easy interior inspection.

3. Four-Point Inspection: For Older Homes or Floridians

In most states, four-point inspections aren’t as common as exterior and interior inspections. But they’re often requested if you live in an older home – or if you live in Florida.

A four-point inspection evaluates the highest-risk areas in a home. Inspectors will check the integrity of your:

  • Roofing.
  • Plumbing.
  • HVAC system.
  • Electrical system.

Like the other two inspection types, preparation is key to mitigate your risk beforehand. Make sure to follow these tips:

  • Identify damaged or loose shingles.
  • Look for leaky joints in your plumbing.
  • Replace your HVAC filter and clear any vent debris.
  • Make sure your circuit breakers work properly.

With the right preparation, you’ll be more likely to pass your homeowners insurance inspection – and successfully renew your policy.

Talk to an Insurance Agent to Understand Your Inspection Needs

This guide can help you grasp the basics of interior, external, and four-point inspections. But with professional guidance, you can better understand the inspection process and how it impacts your policy renewal.

We can help. Our independent agents can explain how insurers evaluate inspection reports and what your rate changes might look like. And if you fail an inspection, your agents can help you shop for a different carrier. Interested in learning more? We’d love to chat

The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.

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            [franchise_id] => 297
            [category_title] => Insurance Insights
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            [date_added] => 2023-06-06 18:01:17

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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.