How to Prepare for a 4 Point Home Inspection for Insurance
And a 4 Point Home Inspection Checklist to Make Preparation Easy for You
As recent as 5 years ago, a 4 point home inspection for insurance purposes wasn't a common practice. In fact, I owned our first home – built in 1959 – for 7 years and I never had a 4
point home inspection for our insurance.
While 4-point inspections were certainly around then, they weren't standardized. It was largely up to the inspector to do his due diligence in conducting the home inspection, so it was hard to prepare for a 4-point home inspection.
But times have changed.
Now, most – if not all – insurance carriers use the citizen's 4 point home inspection report.
That means it's easy to know what to prepare for.
Let's go through each aspect of the 4 point home inspection and how to prepare for each one.
What Does a 4 Point Home Inspection Include?
Before we even start the 4 point inspection, make sure the home inspector has access to the property. That means you need to…
Provide any necessary gate or access code.
Make sure your pets are safely put away – if necessary.
Communicate special directions for how to get there.
Clear a path around the perimeter of your home.
Now we can get started on the inspection starting with the Roof.
For the roof inspection, I walk the roof looking for signs of wear. I bring my own ladder to get onto the roof. And for roofs that I aren’t safe to walk on I bring my trusty inspection drone.
There are some roofs that I don’t walk. I don't walk on concrete or clay tile roofs because that could damage your roof. And I don’t want to do that. I'm not there to damage your roof – just inspect it.
Metal roofs I don’t walk unless they're completely dry. And roofs whose slope is too steep aren’t safe to walk either. That's when I break out my inspection drone to take video and pictures for me.
Here’s how you can prepare…
Have space to set my ladder, so I can get up on the roof.
Know where your attic access is.
Your HVAC Inspection starts outside where I need to get a picture of the unit and the manufacturer's label.
If your label is worn off, no worries I can get the same info from the air handler. I move indoors and snap pictures at the air handler. Inside, I check for standing water at the air handler and that’s it.
How you can prepare…
Make sure your outdoor unit is accessible, so I can take pictures.
Know where your air handler is in your home.
For your electrical inspection, I look at all the breaker panels to see if there are any causes for concern. The main concern we want to prevent when it comes to your electrical is fire, which is one of the most costly claims to repair averaging at $43,983/claim¹.
No one wants their home burning down because of outdated or incorrect electrical wiring. I have a laundry list of things to check and to make sure that doesn't happen.
How you can prepare…
Know where all of your breaker panels are.
Make sure the panels are accessible. I will need to be able to open and stand in front of the breaker panel.
Damaged plumbing or incorrect plumbing is the number one reason why homeowners file a claim for water damage². And while I pay close attention to your plumbing inspection, I don't do anything invasive like moving appliances.
I visually inspect the dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and water heater to make sure there's no standing water or signs of a water leak. I turn on your faucets and
look under all of your sinks to make sure everything is dry.
How You Can Prepare...
Make sure the area under your sinks is clean. You can have stuff under there. I just need a good view of the plumbing for pictures.
Provide access to the water heater.
And don't drop ice cubes under your fridge before I get there.
What’s Not Included in a 4 Point Inspection?
A common misconception is that a wind mitigation is included in the 4 point inspection. That isn’t the case.
A wind mitigation inspection is a separate inspection report that’s commonly done at the same time as a 4 point inspection.
In fact, if you scheduled a 4 point but NOT a wind mitigation, it’s worth asking your insurance agent if you should get a new wind mitigation inspection. Getting them done at once saves you both time and money.
If you've recently updated your windows and doors, then having the new impact ratings available for me may significantly improve your wind mitigation and your rates.
One more thing about wind mitigation inspections. During a wind mitigation report, I do permit research on your home, but if a permit was never filed, I'll need more information from you. Specifically, if you have invoices with a Florida Product Approval Number, then, I’ll need that. (The FPAN is the manufacturers way of verifying the product is legit.)
Now You’re Ready for a 4 Point Home Inspection
Is that really it? Yep. That's all there is.
I hope this quiets any anxiety you were feeling about having a 4 point inspection. Truth is they're really quite simple, and there's not much that you need to do to prepare.
Now as we talked about up front, these 4 point home inspections are for insurance purposes.
If you’re looking to buy a home, there’s a lot that a 4 point inspection doesn’t cover that you’ll want to know before you move in. Things like
quality of build...
You know, the “small” stuff.
As a home buyer, you want to know what you’re getting before you invest your money, so opt for the full home inspection – not just a 4 point.
If you still need to book that 4 point home inspection or wind mitigation, you can schedule online, right now.