4 Point Inspection:
A 4-point inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house reviewing four major systems: roofing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).
This specific inspection might be requested by homeowners insurance companies before someone can renew or be eligible for their desired coverage plan, especially on a house that is more than 15 years old. It allows insurers to determine how much risk they would take by offering you a home insurance policy.
For example, someone seeking coverage for a home that is 30 years old may have electrical or HVAC system issues that could arise within the next few years. Insured homeowners will likely seek reimbursement for such issues, costing insurers more in the long run. Insurance providers utilize the results of this exam to have a clear picture of the financial risk being taken on with the insured property.
New homeowners can also use this as a tool to gauge whether the prospective property is worth the investment before fully committing financially to a mortgage. Noticeable issues found in the four major systems of the home can be telling future headaches on the horizon.
The 4 Point inspection is not an inspection of the overall structure of the house and does not determine the overall condition of your home. If you are interested in knowing the condition of the home, we suggest also having a full residential inspection completed in addition to your 4 point inspection.
Is a 4 Point Inspection Required?
Not all homes or insurers require this inspection. However, if you purchase an older home, especially in states like Florida, it might be needed. Ask your homeowners insurance.
Can I use my regular home inspection report instead?
You can provide the insurance company the full home inspection report in lieu of a 4 point report. However, we strongly recommend that you don't do this. Often, a home inspection will also list other defects within other systems or components. We don't recommend sending all those issues to the insurance company as it might affect their decision to insure the property. The 4 point form completed during the 4 point inspection will be specific to what insurance companies require. Both reports are completely different.
Will it help lower my insurance premium?
No. whether your home "passes" or "fails" a 4 point inspection does not change the cost of homeowners insurance. This inspection simply determines whether an insurance company will offer insurance on your property.
Can you get insurance if your home doesn't pass a 4 point inspection?
Yes and no. There are insurance companies that will offer insurance, but they might exclude coverage for the problematic system(s). Often, the only way to get insurance on a home with problematic systems is to accept damage exclusion. Other times, you might not be able to purchase homeowners insurance until necessary remedies are made. Since it will give you a clearer picture of what to expect, providing your insurance company with a 4 point inspection prior to closing is crucial. A house might fail a 4-point inspection for defects such as leaking pipes or a damaged roof that's not structurally sound. If you're not interested in making the repairs yourself, perhaps in return for a reduced sale price, you can negotiate with the current owner to fix the issues. In worse case scenario, it might be a deal breaker for you. However, you will be able to walk out of the deal instead of making a bad investment.
Click to view a sample here