Is an Inspection Always Required to Get Homeowners Insurance?

Your prospective insurer may require a home inspection to assess your homeowners’ insurance coverage needs. However, this isn’t always the case, and you might even qualify for standard coverage without a home inspection. As explained below, the final decision is up to the insurer.

Do You Need a Home Inspection to Obtain Insurance?

An inspection can reveal the amount of coverage you need and the level of risk an insurer assumes by insuring your property. While an inspection isn’t always mandatory, it may be required to insure a property that is old or hasn’t been recently inspected. This type of property evaluation can also help you avoid buying a home that’s too defective for the asking price.

Is an Appraisal Good Enough to Get Home Insurance?

While an appraisal isn’t as comprehensive as an inspection, it may be accepted by your prospective homeowners insurance company. However, an inspection may be necessary for an old property whose value and safety are contestable. Your insurer may require repairs for any issues uncovered before selling you a standard policy.

When is a 4-Point Home Inspection Required?

You may have to pay for a 4-point inspection when buying homeowners insurance for a property that’s more than 25 years old. The brief assessment covers four parts of the house, namely

  • roofing
  • plumbing
  • heat, ventilation, and air condition (HVAC)
  • electrical systems

These components degrade with age and can lead to an increase in your insurance rate if the potential cost of repair is too high. If an older property hasn’t been renovated, it may require an inspection to estimate the possibility of a covered claim in the near future. Alternatively, an insurer may require you to repair severe defects before approving your property for coverage.

Note that a 4-point inspection doesn’t delve into all issues that can substantially impact the value of a home. You shouldn’t rely on it when deciding whether to buy a home.

What Other Areas Can a Home Inspection Cover?

A comprehensive home inspection goes beyond the key areas covered in a 4-point evaluation. The inspector checks for issues like cracks in furnaces or the chimney, frayed electrical wiring, drainage problems, or damaged shingles. Investigations can cover other areas that could impact insurance rates, such as signs of pest infestation, water and mold damage, and lead-based paint.

What If Your House Fails an Inspection?

A failed home inspection dwindles your chances of qualifying for home insurance. To get approved for coverage, you’ll usually need to repair all highlighted issues. Alternatively, you may get a policy that remains valid on the condition that you fix specific problems within a short period of time, such as 30 days. However, it’s difficult for a home with serious structural flaws to pass a 4-point inspection. If you don’t wish to pay for the repair of leaking plumbing lines or a damaged roof, you may negotiate with the seller to take care of that. This decision might trigger an increase in the property’s asking price.

Property inspections and appraisals are crucial homeowners insurance facts to consider when shopping for coverages. To be on the safe side, you should engage an insurance expert who can help you understand what to do to protect your interests before buying your dream property. Contact us today at Burton A. Harris Insurance Agency for in-depth insights on home insurance coverage requirements.