Every year, more insurance companies are seeking four-point inspections for homes in shorter time frames. State Farm, for example, requires a new four-point inspection every 3 years in order to renew coverage in some circumstances. That isn’t the only difficulty; insurance companies across the industry have expressed a desire to avoid insuring older properties. That is, however, unsurprising. When it comes to insurance inspections in Florida, there has been a significant amount of insurance fraud and fly-by-night roofing companies that have tarnished the roofing industry’s reputation. As a result, I decided to compile a list of what clients should expect during a Four Point Inspection.
Fraud & Bad Roofers Are Hurting Florida Homeowners.
Now I’d like to return to the first paragraph of this article’s introduction. In Florida, there is a lot of insurance fraud, which is forcing most homeowners’ insurance companies to leave the state. At the moment, homeowners are seeing hikes in their insurance premiums while also obtaining less coverage for their homes. This is referred to as “shrinkflation” in the industry. Insurance fraud is estimated to cost the average Florida homeowner between $400 and $700 per year in additional premiums. Here’s a link to an article that describes the situation.
On four-point inspections, the most common issue we identify is missing roofing permits. Many fly-by-night roofing companies are operating illegally, which has tarnished the industry’s reputation. This is a serious matter for homeowners. Numerous homes lack a permit indicating that their roof was properly installed and inspected by the city and county. The problem is that insurance companies require a permit to show the roof’s age. That’s all there is to it. Often, the homeowner is fully unaware of this, and when it comes time to do a four point, the homeowner or buyer is caught off guard by this issue. Since there is no permit or invoice to demonstrate that a roof has been updated, the age of the roof is reverted to the home’s original age or the date of the last roof replacement permit. For example, let’s say your house is 24 years old and you just replaced the roof 6 months ago, but you don’t have a permit to support the re-roofing. The roof will be considered 24 years old by the insurance company. Therefore, hiring a reliable roofing contractor is critical.
Here are a few things to consider when hiring a roofing contractor:
Verify a contractor’s license with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Hire a roofing company that has been around for a while. (At the very least, I’d advocate 10-15 years.)
Make sure you have a valid permit. The cost of obtaining a permit in most counties and cities is less than 45 dollars. There is no reason for a roofer to not obtain a permit.
A roofer can give a roofing certification if you don’t have a permit or documentation of reroofing. (You should check with your insurance carrier to see if this is acceptable proof of age and life expectancy.)
What’s inspected during a Four Point Inspection?
A four-point inspection focuses on the four primary home systems. Insurance companies want to know that older homes have been well-maintained and that all of the systems are functional. The roof, the electrical system, the plumbing system, and the HVAC system are all included in a four-point inspection.
When is a 4 Point Inspection Required?
When your home reaches the age of 30, a four-point examination is usually required. It is, however, fully dependent on the insurance provider. I’ve seen insurance companies require it on homes as young as ten years old in today’s real estate market.
When your home reaches the age of five years, your insurance underwriter may conduct a four-point inspection to determine how well you are maintaining it. When developing a new policy or renewing an old policy, a four point is usually required. In the end, it is dependent on the insurance carrier.
What should you expect during a Four Point Inspection?
Your inspector will take a lot of photos during a four-point inspection, which will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. The inspector will need to check the roof’s condition, which will entail looking for any leaks or obvious damage on the outside of the house as well as on the roof’s underside through the attic. They will also inspect the home’s plumbing, including all sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, water heater, and water-using equipment such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, and laundry machine. Some homes do not have a dishwasher, which is OK; any appliance that is missing will be noted as such. The inspector will then need to have access to the home’s electrical panel and HVAC system.
Here are a few quick recommendations to help you prepare for your inspection:
Check to see if anything is restricting access to the sinks, water heater, attic, electrical panel, or HVAC system.
Make sure any leaks are fixed before the inspection.
If at all feasible, clear the cabinets beneath sinks so that the inspector can see the plumbing in its entirety.
If possible, present any permits or receipts for previous work on the property to the inspection. This covers any work that has to be done, such as repairs or upkeep.
Home Inspection Services in Orlando FL
Are you looking for more homeowner tips? Did you know your home inspector is your best resource for home maintenance tips? We’re here to help you know the shape of your home. HOMESHAPE Inspections has been helping real estate agents and homeowners with Home Inspection Services in DeBary, Deltona, and Deland Florida. We also provide 4- Point Inspections and Wind Mitigations for insurance policy applications and renewals.