4-Point Inspection vs. Regular Home Inspection
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s advisable and sometimes necessary to hire a home inspector. These professionals help to assess the current state of the property, and the information in the report is then used when determining home value and other important factors. Most people are familiar with the general idea of home inspections, but few people understand the purpose of a 4-point home inspection.
A 4-point home inspection is basically an abbreviated version of a home inspection. These types of inspections are used to get a general assessment of a house’s major components. 4-point inspections are commonly requested by insurance companies or are opted for when a more in-depth report is not necessary.
Who Would Order a 4-Point Inspection?
Think of 4-point home inspections as a summary of the condition of the home’s major systems. These assessments are normally ordered by underwriters before issuing insurance policies to homebuyers or to homeowners who are shopping for a more affordable premium.
Older homes typically require 4-point inspections before insurance coverage will be provided. In the past years, insurers have grown increasingly skeptical about offering coverage to people who own older homes. For this reason, many insurance companies require a 4-point inspection on a house that is older than 40 years.
What Does the Inspector Examine?
Companies that provide homeowners insurance aren’t usually in need of a complete home inspection that assesses the complete condition of the property and its components.
Even though a 4-point home inspection is similar to a homebuyer’s inspection in a lot of ways, as its name suggests, there are only four areas covered in this assessment.
- Roof – A majority of insurance companies won’t offer coverage to homes with roofs older than 40 years. Water leaks and roof damage are two reasons that coverage could be denied.
- Electrical System – 4-point inspections look at a home’s electrical system including the type of wiring, the circuits, and the panels. Faulty wiring could be hazardous, creating the possibility of house fires, which is a risk to an insurer.
- HVAC Systems – These assessments report on the condition of a home’s HVAC equipment. Some insurers will deny insurance coverage for homes that don’t have heating and air conditioning systems.
- Plumbing – Plumbing is another major focal point of the 4-point home inspection. The materials, estimated age, and condition of the pipes will be recorded.
If the 4-point inspection reveals any major problems in these areas, the homeowner might not receive coverage, depending on the insurance company’s requirements. Any noted defects of the major systems could end up being the source of future claims. For example, an older roof might fail, resulting in the homeowner seeking reimbursement for the damage. The other areas covered in the inspection could also lead to insurance claims if there is significant damage or advanced age.
A 4-point assessment helps insurance agencies learn about the condition of the 4 major systems in the home. When it comes to insurance, coverage could be denied or issued based on the findings in the inspection report.