Home and Property Owners in Florida are often in need of certain insurance inspections so that they can either keep their existing policies, bind new ones, or receive discounts on premiums. We perform insurance inspections as part of our full service home inspection business in Tallahassee, Quincy, Crawfordville, and other surrounding Cities. There are really 3 types of insurance inspections that we perform and we thought we would take a few minutes and discuss the details of each, what to expect and some common issues that arise. Insurance inspections can be frustrating sometimes for the property owner because different insurance companies have different requirements and underwriting guidelines. All too often, a homeowner has been with a company for years with no issue, and out of the blue they get a notice of non-renewal because their carrier has changed its criteria on what and where it wants to insure homes. The surprised homeowners began shopping around only to be told they will need to have some insurance inspections performed before they can get new coverage. These inspections document certain components and their conditions on specific forms, which will include a number of pictures.
The Four Point Inspection
The four point inspection is an inspection that documents 4 major systems of the home. It covers the Roof, Electrical system, Plumbing and HVAC. This inspection is required based on the age of the home and differs from company to company. Some Insurers will require it if a home is 25 yrs old, others 30 yrs, but almost everyone requires it after a home reaches 40 yrs of age. Each insurer has different criteria for what they are willing to insure or not insure, the four point inspector just documents what is or isn’t there and the conditions. What may be an issue for one company will not be for another, but your insurance agent will know once they have reviewed the 4pt inspection report. One can expect a 4 point inspection to take roughly 45 to 60 mins, though sometimes longer on site and the report will be roughly 3-4 pages plus 15-20+ pictures. Some of the pictures are required or are standard for every report, while others will be of any issue that should be flagged. Below is an example of a common issue from each section.
The Wind Mitigation Inspection
The wind mitigation inspection report is never required by the insurance company as it can provide you with discounts, which are oftentimes substantial, on the wind portion of the home owners premium. More often than not a home will qualify for some type of discount and this why we encourage everyone to have a wind mitigation inspection performed, ESPECIALLY if your roof has been replaced since 2008. The wind mitigation inspector typically takes 30-60 minutes to complete the inspection on site and the report will be 6 pages plus 6-10 pictures. The inspector will need access to the attic to be able to document the various components and attachment methods used in the roof structure’s construction. The most common issues with the wind mitigation inspections are from previous contractors not completing the permitting process or installing components correctly. Here are a couple of examples of what you do not want to see in the wind mit report .
Roof Certification Form
A roof certification form will need to be completed when the roof gets to a certain age. In Florida, Insurance companies consider a 3 tab or standard shingle to have a 15 yr life and an Architectural shingle to have a 20yr life. While that is a pretty good ballpark number, not all roofs age the same and not all roofs face the same conditions. The purpose of the roof certification form is to document the remaining useful life of a roof and its condition so that a homeowner can still be insured for an additional time period without having to replace the roof immediately. While performing roof inspections around Leon, Wakulla Jefferson and Gadsden Counties I often times come across roofs that are past their expected life, are still in great shape and can offer years more of service before they should be replaced. Here is the Citizens Roof Condition Certification Form for one to review. This inspection will take just 20-30 mins on site.