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Understanding homeowners insurance inspection

Can You Get Home Insurance Without An Inspection?

A homeowners insurance without inspection is possible. However, insurers may require inspection depending on certain circumstances. For example, homes older than 25 years old need an inspection to see if there are any liabilities in the property. Some insurance firms may even do a 4-point inspection to qualify interested individuals for a standard home insurance coverage.

What Do Home Insurance Inspectors Look For During An Inspection?

There are three basic things inspectors check for before property owners may gain homeowners insurance coverage. These things are:

1. Security And Safety Risks

Inspectors will check walls, ceilings, and floors for potential hazards. These professionals will also examine the dwelling for liability risks in the premises.

2. Measurements

Home insurance inspectors will also bring measuring tools during inspections as they will scan for special features. They will also check for the quality of the materials used in home construction. Inspectors may suggest further improvements to the dwelling for the insurance firm to qualify the homeowner for standard coverage. They may also take photos during the inspection for documentation and evidence.

3. Maintenance And Updates

 Insurance inspectors will also check for maintenance and updates in different areas of the property. The areas to survey into include electrical systems, heating and plumbing units, windows, roof, and areas that may need maintenance or repair later on.

Preparing For A Home Insurance Inspection

Homeowners should prepare the following items for an upcoming insurance inspection:

  • Receipts and other pertinent data pointing to costs for renovation and design work.
  • Documentation regarding the square foot dimensions of the home.
  • Updated lists of plumbing, windows, heating, roof, and electrical systems.
  • Information about safety devices around the property which may include alarm systems, water damage prevention devices, and flood sensors. 

Homeowners and members should also ensure that the premises are tidy before the inspector arrives. Take the time in looking at potential fire hazards and other liabilities that may reduce the chances of getting approved for homeowners insurance coverage. For example, staircases may require fixed guardrails or there shouldn’t be any hazardous obstructions blocking hallways.

Is It A Requirement To Get An Appraisal For Home Insurance?

Home insurance companies may accept appraisals when preparing policies. Remember it’s not a requirement and insurers still have discretion if they need an appraisal. If the house is old, then the appraisal may no longer be of any use. Old home insurance companies may require property inspections for interested and existing policyholders with old dwellings.

In many cases, insurance firms already have their appraisers to send to properties. The reason behind companies to offer their appraising services instead of accepting the help of third-party appraisers is risk mitigation. Insurance companies conducting loss prevention appraisals check for a property’s structural soundness. These professionals will also check for defects and liabilities that may exist within the property in question.

Appraisers examine several areas around the home. These locations include chimneys, foundations, and the underlying brickwork. Appraisals may also include the checking of appliances for potential weaknesses or moisture damage. 

What Are The Differences Between Home Insurance Inspections And Appraisals?

Applications for mortgages or HELOC typically require home appraisals. However, the goal of appraisers isn’t to check for the safety of the premises but to check the home’s value. Home inspections, on the other hand, look for potential safety and security hazards in the property. Homeowners insurance companies may also require or suggest improvements in dwellings before approving or updating policies. Some insurers may accept appraisals instead of home inspections. 

Is It Possible To Do Appraisals Without The Help Of Insurance Companies?

Homeowners may do a personal check for the value of their homes without the help of professional appraisers. However, conducting appraisals without expert help should only be for reviewing insurance policies. For instance, some insurers may over-insure the dwelling, which is a sign that the coverage premiums are too expensive. 

What Can I Do If My House Fails A Homeowners Insurance Inspection?

Did your homeowners insurance get denied after inspection? Failure to comply with the standards of home insurance inspections isn’t a cause for worry. President of WIN Home Inspection in Nashville, Tennessee states that inspection reports are a portrait of the integrity of the property as opposed to a grade. He says his company sees it as a snapshot of the functional condition of a house’s major systems as compared to a pass-fail event.

If a house fails an insurance inspection, homeowners should take the advice of inspectors to heart. List all possible liabilities and risks mentioned by inspectors. Hence, it’s always important to be present during inspections as homeowners can get a first-hand walk-through of the instructions laid out by experts. 

The next thing to do is to secure the house and remove most or all hazards and risks mentioned by inspectors. After repairs, replacements, and updates, homeowners may go back to negotiating for approval of their desired coverage. Remember, home inspectors are an unbiased entity which may be a third-party professional working separately from insurance companies. Hence, these experts can only give estimates for appliance replacements and other weaknesses.

Last, always expect the unexpected and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make any last-minute preparations to ensure that inspections go as smooth as possible. 

What Is A 4-Point Inspection?

Inspectors will look at four major points of interest which are most likely to cause an insurance claim. These systems are:

  1. Electrical System
  2. Plumbing System
  3. Roof System
  4. HVAC System

During the inspection, inspectors may ask questions to verify the integrity of each system. These questions may include but are not limited to:

  • Are they in good shape?
  • Are there any repairs recently done?
  • If so, were the repairs made by professionals? 
  • How old are the systems?

Remember, 4-point inspections only relate to getting homeowners insurance policies and nothing else. The entire scope of the inspection will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete for most cases. It’s different from a real estate inspection as this form of property checkup is more comprehensive than inspections relating to insurance. 

2 thoughts on “Can You Get Home Insurance Without An Inspection?”

  1. My father owns a home in Florida that had its insurance canceled after the home was paid off over a year or so. A recent inspection was performed and a small patch on the roof a 2ft size needed to be repaired. The inspection found no leaks from the inside of the house. The insurance company refuses to insure until the patch is repaired.
    First: does he need insurance since the house is paid off?
    Does he by law have to fix the patch on the roof even though they found no leaks on the inside of the house?
    Respectfully
    Kimberly

    • Hello Kimberly,

      By law, he is not required to have homeowners insurance if his house is fully paid off. However, it is highly recommended to have homeowners insurance to avoid financial risks.

      As for insurance company denying you insurance, I would try to contact various insurance providers and see if you can find an insurer that is willing to provide your dad with coverage. Ideally, he should try to repair the patch of the roof that is in bad condition. Although it might not be leaking yet, being exposed to nature it will likely to gradually deteriorate and cause leakage in the future. Of course, you might be able to judge better if it needs to be repaired since it is hard to make any recommendation without inspecting it.

      Regards,

      HomeownersInsuranceCover Team

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