Inspections for homeowner’s insurance can help you get lower property coverage requirements based on expert evaluations. Lenders also recommend prospective homebuyers have an inspection before purchase to protect themselves. You are most likely to get homeowner’s insurance without inspection for homes less than 25 years old and new constructions.
Insurers Inspect to Minimize Their Risks
Insurers prefer to cover homes without high risks owners will need to use the policy soon, if ever. Natural disasters, fires, and “acts of God” are their unforeseeable, preferable reasons a homeowner might have to collect on the policy. Inspectors look for structural deficiencies and damaged or outdated systems as evidence the homeowner may use the policy sooner rather than later, and such factors are most likely lead to denials.
Home Age Matters for Insurance Inspection
Newer homes and brand new constructions will not have as many deteriorated systems and outdated areas. Many homeowners insurance companies are happy to insure people whose houses are less than 25 years old or were recently built from the ground up. You also may obtain a good policy without an inspection if you have had a recent inspection within the last few years.
What to Expect With an Inspection
4-Point home inspections are the most common evaluations insurers use to judge how sound homes are. These evaluate the property’s areas and systems where fire, water or chemical hazards are most likely to originate, fall apart over time and warrant replacement. These are:
- HVAC systems
- Electrical systems
Problems Don’t Mean You Won’t Be Insured
General inspectors will look for visible defects such as leaky pipes, exposed electrical outlets, and shoddy roofing. If they find problems within a specific area, they defer to a specialized expert who will do more thorough examinations. Once the specialist alerts you to repairs and replacements to remedy the problem, you must address them before you can acquire a standard policy.
You Can Prepare to Pass Inspection
If you need new homeowner’s insurance or are on the hunt for a new policy, the best thing you can do is prepare to pass inspection the very first time. Have appropriate documentation of structural data for your property, including square footage and room measurements, along with receipts for recent renovations and upgrades. In the long run, safety precautions such as fire alarms and flood sensors protect you and your family as well as increase the odds you’ll pass a homeowners insurance inspection with flying colors.
You still have options if your home doesn’t qualify for premium homeowner’s insurance without upgrades or repairs. For homes under construction or renovation, owners may acquire builder’s risk insurance or vacant property insurance. These policies are more expensive than standard insurance but cheaper than not being covered if disaster strikes.