4-Point Insurance Inspection

A four-point inspection is a home inspection that looks at the four major systems of your home and assesses it for risk. The four major systems are your roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. You might need this inspection if you own an older home. The good news: it’s usually pretty quick and may open up more home insurance options for you.

Who Needs a 4-Point Inspection?

Homeowners who have older homes may need a four-point inspection before they can get home insurance. During a four-point inspection, an inspector evaluates how up-to-date four key systems are in your home, namely your:

  • Electrical wiring and panels.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
  • Plumbing.
  • Roof.

Four-point inspections identify key areas that most commonly result in insurance claims. If a home fails all or part of the inspection, the inspector will go over what needs to be fixed or replaced to alleviate deficiencies. The fixes may be necessary to obtain insurance.

You should note that a four-point inspection cannot replace a new home inspection. If your home insurance company says you have to have an inspection, be sure to ask specifically what type of inspection you need.

4-Point Inspection vs. Home Inspection

A four-point inspection is specifically for homeowners insurance, and shouldn’t be confused with a new home inspection (also called a buyers inspection, real estate inspection, home inspection or full inspection depending where you live). This distinction is important because the full home inspection is a much more thorough evaluation of the condition of your home. It also takes two to three hours to complete. A four-point inspection takes about 30 minutes and is only visual. However, if you buy an older home you might be required to have both inspections.

Four-point inspections tend to be more prevalent in coastal states, specifically in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Coastal areas experience more inclement weather that leads to catastrophic devastation (loss of life; destruction of entire towns; demolished power grids, roads, airports; etc.). This prompts lawmakers to frequently update building codes. Homes built 40 or more years ago were made in accordance to different standards than those built today, which is why they may not be considered as safe as more modern homes.

What Does a 4-Point Inspection Cost?

You can expect to pay $175 for a four-point inspection of a single family home. 4-Point inspections of multi-unit homes is quoted on a case-by-case basis.

4-Point Inspection Checklist

Electrical Wiring and Panels

What kind of wiring is in your home? If a home has copper, aluminum, or knob-and-tube wires, chances are it will not be insurable due to fire hazard risks. The inspector will also look to see if you have a recalled electrical panel.

Faulty wires cause nearly 90 percent of residential fires, so this is something insurance companies take very seriously. If your home is found uninsurable due to wiring issues, it is vital to budget for necessary upgrades. If you don’t, your risk of fire is significantly amplified.

HVAC

Does your home have central heating and air conditioning? What condition are the units in? Are there any signs of obvious damage such as leakage? Remember each insurance agency determines what it considers “acceptable” when insuring older homes; however, it’s not uncommon to see coverage denied for lack of central air and heat.

Plumbing

Inspectors look at the type of pipes in your home to determine how likely they are to burst. If polybutylene plumbing is found coverage can be denied as these are more prone to bursting. However, some insurance companies may still insure you, but will exclude water damage. In that scenario, if there is a flood due to pipes bursting, you are 100 percent responsible for the total expense.

Roof

What’s in a roof? Roof age, material, and condition are what inspectors look for. Generally, insurance companies do not insure shingle roofs more than 20 years old or tile or metal roofs more than 40 years old. However, if your roof is younger but has apparent damage outside or water leaks inside your home, that might be cause to deny coverage.

Pre-Purchase Home Inspections in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Surrounding Areas

C.W. Inspections provides 4-point insurance  inspections in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Walker, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Plaquemine, Brusly, Addis, and more. Not sure if that's you? Give me a call at  (225) 803-8821 or send me an email.

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