A four point insurance inspection is a limited examination of the roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. This inspection is for Florida insurance companies to understand the general condition of each system to see what kind of liability they are insuring before you purchase home owners insurance. Waypoint Property Inspection performs four point inspections in the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
A four point inspection should not replace, or be misinterpreted, as a full home inspection during the home buying/selling process. This is a common mistake and can cause headaches for home buyers where items are not inspected during the four point that would normally be covered during a full comprehensive home inspection.
So what does a four point inspection cover and what does it not?
The roof is inspected for leaks, repairs, age, estimated life, damage, and a few other items. This is to give a generality of condition and estimated life left to the insurance company.
On the other hand, a home inspection would cover the above and portions like: flashing, chimneys, vents, minor damages, manufacturer defects, installation defects, etc. The home inspection also includes a more thorough examination and detailed reporting of the attic.
The electrical system is inspected at the main panel and all sub panels. The system is checked for updated wiring, unsafe wiring, exposed wiring, unsafe panels/brands that have been known to cause fires, and proper grounding.
All while, a home inspection would include all outlets, recommendations, GFCI’s, AFCI’s, mismatch breakers, etc. A home inspection is a more wholistic and detailed examination of a home’s electrical components while a four point is almost only an inspection of the electrical panels.
The plumbing system is inspected for functionality of the water heater, leaks, and some safety issues. All undersinks will be inspected, as well as the water heater for proper installation. A common issue for plumbing systems can arise if your home has Polybutylene, which is a plumbing supply system installed in the 90’s that has the potential to leak at the connections. If your home has polybutylene, it will need to be replaced before the home can be insured.
During a full home inspection, all plumbing systems are ran/inspected. This includes: toilets, showers, tubs, appliances, etc. The system is checked for proper drainage, supply, and operation. Furthermore, recommendations are added for things like proper insulation, hammering, or water heater ages.
The air conditioning and heating system of the home is inspected for basic functionality, age, and if there is any water damage around the air handler. However, many other items are inspected during an actual full home inspection.
A limited four point inspection is a good thing for home buyers as it helps home owners obtain insurance all while ensuring the home has basic functionality and safety items. However, the four point should not replace, or be misinterpreted, as a full inspection due to its limitations and suggestions. For instance, an inspector may give estimated roof life as 3 years on a four point inspection, however, during a home purchase process, it may be worth to negotiate the roof into the deal, budget repairs, or budget entirely for a new roof due to other minor damages.