Do You Need an Inspection to Get Homeowners Insurance?

May 18, 2022

Whether you already own a home or are in the process of buying a home, you need homeowner’s insurance. If you have a mortgage on the home, the lender will require it. The coverage protects their interest in the property as well. Even if you own the home free and clear, you’ll want protection in the event that you experience a loss.

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As you shop around for insurance, you may find that some agencies require a home inspection, but others don’t require it. Learn when you might face this issue and what you can do.

Older Homes Usually Need a Home Inspection

What defines an ‘older home’ depends on the insurance company. In general, though, homes over 25-years old often require proof that they qualify for homeowner’s insurance. The insurance company needs to be aware of the risk they take by insuring the home. While they do ask many questions, which you must answer truthfully before taking coverage, having a professional inspect the property further proves that the home is insurable.

Basically, the insurance company needs to know that all systems are properly maintained and aren’t about to fail. The inspector can look at the intricacies of the home and let the insurance company know if there are any serious issues with the home that could leave the carrier with a liability.

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A 4-Point Inspection

When we say that the insurance company may require an inspection, it’s probably not the same one you paid for when you bought the home. They usually do what’s called a 4-point inspection. The four major points they inspect include the roof, and all systems in the home (plumbing, electrical, and HVAC). These are the systems in the home that are crucial to proper running and that can cause serious issue if not in good working order.

If the inspector finds issues with the home, he may or may not provide intricate details. He may just tell the insurance company there are impending issues and it doesn’t pass the company’s standards. From there, you may be required to hire a specialist, whether electrical, plumbing, roofing, or HVAC to investigate the issue and provide a detailed quote to repair it.

Failing an Inspection

Failing an inspection doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance. It may just take a little work (and money) on your part to get the problem fixed. If you are buying a home, you can negotiate the repairs with the seller if you are still within the negotiation period of the contract. If you own the home, you will have to finance the repairs yourself. Once you have the work done, you can provide proof of the work to the insurance carrier to see if you qualify for coverage now.

Again, not every insurance company requires an inspection. If you shop around, you may find different requirements from different carriers. Look at all of the factors that go into this decision including the type and amount of coverage, the cost, and the requirements to obtain the policy.

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