When obtaining home insurance in Florida you may come across the four point inspection. A four-point inspection is a critical aspect of home insurance as it tells the insurance company the kind of liability they are taking on before they insure your home.
So what exactly is the four point inspection? How much does it cost? Do I need one? Let’s cover that here.
What Is It?
While the four point inspection basically tells your insurance company the liability they are taking on before they insure your home, it is a little bit more than that.
The four point is an inspection of the four major components of a home: roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
The inspection looks at these four areas for general function, safety issues, age, and miscellaneous issues insurance underwriters typically would want to know.
The History of the Four Point
The Four Point Inspection was first introduced in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. This was because there were so many insurance claims after the hurricane.
While it is understandable that a high wind event would cause massive damage, insurance underwriters did not expect many of the claims since many home components supposedly had a lot of life left.
Therefore, the Four Point Inspection was introduced to help insurance companies understand how well the home is aging and being maintained. For example, while shingle manufacturers suggest the dimensional shingle is a 25-30 year shingle, the shingle could only last 17 years.
When Is A Four Point Inspection Required?
A four point inspection is required typically when your home reaches 30 years old. However, it entirely depends on the insurance company.
For instance, State Farm Insurance might require a four point inspection when your home reaches 5 years old to see how well you are maintaining the home.
What Is Included In The Four Point Inspection?
As mentioned, the four point inspection looks at the roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Let’s look into each section a little bit more to see how you can better prepare for the inspection and pass the four point inspection.
For the roof part of the inspection, the inspector will report on the roof type, roof age, approximate life left, and any damage/concerns.
The insurance underwriters typically want 5 years of life left on your roof.
If you have any of the following, it could affect your home insurance. So you might need to perform repairs before you can obtain insurance.
- Excessive granule loss
- Loose Shingles
- Lifting Shingles
- Cracked Tiles
- Missing Tiles/Shingles
- Damaged Tiles/Shingles
- Missing fasteners
- Roof Leaks
- Previous unprofessional repairs
For the electrical system, the inspector will note any repairs, the type of wiring/panel, the age, the condition, and any safety hazards.
We have blogged about a few different electrical specific issues that could arise. If you have any of the following you can expect to have to complete repairs:
- Federal Pacific Electrical Panels
- Challenger Electrical Panels
- Sylvania Zinsco Electrical Panels
- Cloth Wiring
- Double Tapped Breakers
- Knob & Tube Wiring
- Two-Prong Outlets
- Fuse Boxes
- Aluminum Wiring
- Neutrals & Grounds On The Same Bar in Subpanels
Most of the above-mentioned items are for older electrical systems (older than 30 years). So, if your system is newer or recently updated you should not have to worry.
There are other smaller issues that could appear on your four-point inspection as well.
- Missing GFCI’s
- Improper/Missing Grounding/Bonding
The inspector will inspect and report on the water heater, water heater age, type of plumbing, and if there are any leaks.
Here are some common issues that appear on the plumbing section:
The HVAC section will include an inspection and report on the condition of the air conditioning and heating systems.
The inspector will look for functionality, any water damage around the plenum, and the approximate life left on the A/C system.
How To Pass A Four Point Inspection
A four point inspection is not a pass/fail. The inspection only notes what is at the home. Then, it is up to the individual underwriters to say what is and what is not allowed.
Some insurance underwriters can provide home insurance for 30 days while some items are fixed. Additionally, some underwriters will be okay with items in your home for a higher premium.
Ultimately, passing a four point inspection is a case by case and depends on the insurance company not the home inspector.
How Does A Four Point Inspection Differ From A Home Inspection?
A four point inspection only covers the above mentioned four components of a home in a general sense. Also, the report is built for insurance agents not for homebuyers.
A home inspection would be much more detailed and cover many other sections of the home such as, structural issues, recommendations, insulation, window condition, etc.
A four point inspection is an insurance required inspection that tells insurance underwriters how well the home has been maintained and the kind of liability they are insuring.
The inspection is typically required on homes after 30 years of age, but can be as soon as 5 or 10 years.
Homebuyers, sellers, and owners might be required to make repairs to qualify for home insurance based on the findings of the four point inspection.
If you have additional questions, be sure to comment below. If you are in need of a four-point inspection in Tampa Bay, Waypoint Property Inspection can help