Do I Need A Home Inspection Before I Get Home Insurance?

Homeowners insurance providers will sometimes require a home inspection before insuring your house to assess coverage risks. If your property is over 25 years old, odds are your insurance provider will request an inspection before they will underwrite a policy. On the other hand, homeowners insurance companies may only require an appraisal if the house is newer.

While home appraisals emphasize the value of the property, home inspection focuses on how much of an insurance risk your property is to an insurer. If your homeowners insurance is invalid due to a failed inspection, you can still remedy the situation. When you renovate the issues your insurance provider complains about, it can encourage them to reinstate your policy.

Is A Home Inspection Needed to Get Homeowners Insurance?

This is up to your homeowner insurance provider. But generally, there is no industry-wide rule or law that says your home must be inspected before it can be insured. Suppose your property is new or the previous owner had an insurance inspection done a year before with the same homeowners insurance provider. In that case, the company may trust that your home is still in good shape and skip the inspection process.

Keep in mind that the home insurance inspection is different from the home inspection required by your mortgage lender before closing on a property. A home buyer’s inspection is not required by law either, but it’s an important part of the closing process because it can help reveal a number of house-related flaws, giving the buyer leverage to negotiate a lower price.

Can I get Homeowners Insurance If I Don’t Pass My Home Inspection?

If you fail your homeowners insurance inspection, you need to fix every damage to your house that is making it uninsurable. It is also possible that your home insurance provider will write you a policy but on the condition that you make certain repairs or renovations within a stipulated time frame, usually about 30 days. If your property is simply too old for standard insurers to take a gamble on, you may need to get your property insured through companies that specialize in high-risk properties.

What is a 4-Point Home Inspection?

Home inspections are comprehensive evaluations of your property to identify any underlying problem they may have. This allows your insurance company to understand the level of risk they will need to assume by offering you a policy. During this process, your insurer will require a 4-point home inspection. A 4-point home inspection is especially required if your property is over 25 years old or your home has a history of maintenance or repair. This inspection focuses on the four parts of the house, which include:

  • Plumbing
  • Roof
  • Heating & Cooling Equipment (HVAC)
  • Electrical

Unlike the building exterior and frame, these 4 points have a limited lifespan and need to be upgraded every now and then through repairs or total replacement. Leaky and rusty pipes, obsolete electrical work, a leaky roof, old HVAC, etc., are viewed as high-risk by home insurance companies. And these may likely result in your application being rejected or a high premium.

For more information about home insurance policies and help choosing the best policy, contact Redwood Agency Group today to speak with an experienced insurance agent.