Home inspections: What and Why?
So when your insurance agent tells you that you need a particular kind of home inspection to get insurance to get a discount, and you find it all overwhelming, what do you do?
In an effort to help you through the relationship between home inspections and homeowner’s inspection, Mr. Rick’s blog reached out to an expert on the subject who we have quoted before in our articles – Casey Hahn, an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance.
There are really four types of home inspections, and only two of those have any connection to homeowner’s insurance, according to Hahn.
One that we hear about a lot in Florida is a wind mitigation inspection. These inspections are critical for homes built prior to 2002 and homes that have had their roofs updated in the last 15 years.
“If a home was built prior to 2002, it does not qualify for a wind-mitigation credit unless there has been an inspection by a state-certified home inspector,” he said.
Such items as hurricane clips (or hurricane straps), as well as the size and space between nails used to tie down the trusses in the attic to the exterior walls of the home, can qualify the homeowner for some significant wind mitigation-related discounts on their homeowner’s insurance policy.
As far as homes built after 2002, the inspection may be used to prove the roof is less than 15 years old.
“The dollar amount of discounts that can be applied will vary from company to company,” Hahn said.
The other common inspection we hear about is a four-point inspection. The four points are roof, electric, plumbing and HVAC. Some companies will require it, and some others may not.
“Unlike wind mitigation, there are generally no discounts associated with four-point inspections,” Hahn said. “But it’s possible the results of this inspection will determine if certain coverages can be included in the insurance.”
For example, he said, the inspector may discover water damage due to outdated pipes. As a result, the insurance policy may exclude plumbing and/or water damage issues related to plumbing problems.
“With an approved four-point inspection in hand, we could determine the home is in prime condition,” he said. “We could then issue a policy that covers everthing in the home.”
There are two other common inspections that generally have no impact on homeowner’s policies – a termite or bug inspection and a standard inspection which covers everything in the home.
If you want to learn more about home inspections and how they impact your insurance, we will be glad to answer your question.
Next time, Mr. Rick’s blog will focus on old pipes and what you may need to do about them, especially if you’re planning on selling your home.