What is a 4 Point Inspection in Florida for Homeowners Insurance?
Does Florida homeowners insurance require 4 point inspections?
When you own or purchase an older home, rental property, or condo in Florida, you will likely need for a 4 point inspection before purchasing a homeowners policy.
Most insurance companies will require a 4 point inspection when a home is older than 40 years, or a rental property is older than 30 years. You can get an insurance quote without an inspection. However, you will need inspection before actually purchasing the policy. We discuss below what an inspection looks at and what will cause a home to not "pass" a four point inspection.
Each FL insurance company has slightly different guidelines on when a 4 point inspection is required, so check with your Independent Insurance Agent. A newer home does not need this inspection. You do not need this for a renters insurance policy.
What is a 4 point inspection in Florida?
A 4 point inspection looks at the 4 major systems (Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC) in an older home. An insurance company wants to know that an older home has been well maintained, and the major systems are in good working condition. This is not a safety inspection. Here is what a Sunshine State's Best Home Inspection 4 point inspection looks at:
Will it help lower my insurance premiums
No. whether your home "passes" or "fails" a 4 point inspections, it does not change the cost of homeowners insurance. This inspection simply determines whether an insurance company will offer insurance on your older home.
Can your home fail a 4 point inspection?
If your home has problematic systems, or does not meet an insurance companies underwriting guidelines, you may be declined. If this happens, you can fix that issue, or contact another insurance company. Common reasons that insurance companies won't insure older homes include:
Can you get insurance if your home doesn't pass a 4 point inspection?
If your home has one of these issues, be sure to tell your insurance agent up front so you get an accurate quote. Insurance companies vary in their responses to homes that have issues. Some insurance companies won't insure these problematic homes at all, while others take a different approach. There are insurance companies that will offer insurance, but exclude coverage for the problematic system. For example, most insurance companies will not offer coverage on a home with polybutelene plumbing. Those few insurers that will cover a home with polybutelene plumbing exclude all water damage. This means that if the plumbing bursts and floods this home, the cost of repairs will be out of your pocket. Often the only way to get insurance on a home with polybutelene plumbing is to accept this significant water damage exclusion.If your home has not been updated or has an older problematic systems, consider updating them.
Before purchasing an older home for the first time, be sure to check that you can find insurance that is affordable. When purchasing an older home, we recommend getting a 4 point inspection done first, and working with a reputable independent insurance agent. They can help determine the cost of insurance and advise whether the home is insurable. If your home has not been updated, expect to pay more for your insurance or have a more difficult time obtaining insurance.