How To Prepare For A Home Insurance Inspection In 2021

By Sa El Published:

Home insurance inspections help determine the insurable value of a home and whether the property poses any liabilities.

They are typically required when switching insurance providers or opening a new policy on a home that hasn’t recently been inspected.

home insurance inspection

Here is everything you need to know to pass your home insurance inspection with flying colors.

How Do Home Inspections Work?

A home inspection involves visually assessing a property. An inspector goes room by room to determine the quality of different components.

Most home insurance inspections are four-point inspections, in that they primarily focus on the roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.

Other areas a home insurance inspection checklist may include:

  • Carpets
  • Doors
  • Flooring
  • Locks
  • Outdoor and indoor lights
  • Paint
  • Sidewalks
  • Sprinklers
  • Walls
  • Back and front yards

Home insurance inspections differ from home purchase inspections in that a home purchase inspection is aimed at identifying issues that could affect the sale, such as eligibility for financing, and often include an appraisal.

Home insurance inspections, on the other hand, are simply confirming the home is insurable. They may also be used to suggest coverage levels.

A home insurance inspection report can take several hours to complete, and like a home purchase inspection, you can still ask the inspector questions.

Inspectors provide invaluable feedback that serves as a blueprint for improving property value.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

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Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us.

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get home insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Types of Home Inspections:

Most home insurance inspections take a holistic view of the property. They look at the structural and exterior parts to assess safety and livability.

Many other, specialized inspection options examine:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Pest activity
  • Lead and radon levels
  • Water quality, flow rate, or purity
  • Soil contamination

An inspector may recommend these additional services, depending on the results of your home insurance inspection report.

For instance, one in 15 American homes have high levels of radon. Getting a radon test over 48 hours minimizes the chance for future health complications.

Wood-destroying organisms (WDO), such as ants, termites, and beetles, pose an equally substantial risk to your home.

However, many home insurance policies don’t cover direct pest damage. A standard home insurance inspection is unlikely to include efforts to check for insect damage.

What Inspectors Look For?

An insurance inspector’s goal is to uncover potential problems that might render a home uninsurable.

It is not their responsibility to offer improvement suggestions or valuations. They may make safety suggestions, but that will depend on the inspector, as it is not a requirement.

Inspectors analyze potential risks and appraise the property's replacement cost (which is not the same as its market value).

The replacement value varies based on the cost of materials and labor necessary to rebuild the home.

This number helps insurers create an accurate premium and provide insurance coverage.

Your inspector also won’t mention the quality of aesthetic features, unless they’re creating a demonstrable problem.

For instance, if you have some peeling paint or a hole in your sheetrock, that's unlikely to affect your inspection.

Home insurance inspections aren't factoring in the curb value of your house. They're only interested in its replacement cost and policy risk.

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Why Do Insurance Companies Inspect Homes?

Insurance companies want to ensure homeowners have the right amount of insurance coverage and that the home is in insurable condition.

For example, they don't want to insure a house that has existing damage only to have the homeowner file a claim shortly after approval to fix it.

Inspections also provide a detailed assessment to prevent guesswork in their estimates. The cost to rebuild your home is what matters most to an insurance company.

If a flood, fire, or other disaster causes a total loss, the insurer needs to know the payout to replace everything.

Insurance companies use calculation software to determine a ballpark estimate, but on-site inspections offer the ultimate precision.

How to Prepare for a Home Insurance Inspection

"How do I prepare for a home insurance inspection?” That’s the million-dollar question.

The answer depends on the existing condition of your home and your time frame.

If you’re short on time, don’t bother cleaning and repairing cosmetic issues, such as faulty doorknobs or chipped paint.

Remember that home insurance inspection companies are looking for major issues, not superficial ones.

For example, aging carpet isn’t going to be an issue, but a leaky, sagging roof most certainly will.

The best you can do on short notice is to make sure everything is accessible for inspection.

Walk through your home the same way an inspector would. Go from room to room, making sure you can easily view the attic, HVAC system, and plumbing.

Make a note of any major issues or those that may impact the structure of your home, such as leaking window seals, and repair them if you have time to do so.

The more time you have, the more intensive your repairs should be. Invest in high return on investment (ROI) projects, such as kitchen remodeling and garage door replacement.

These boost your home’s functionality and value simultaneously and will affect your insurance coverage.

Other safe investments include installing smart technology and increasing energy efficiency.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Home Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us.

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get home insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Can I Get Home Insurance Without an Inspection?

It is possible to get home insurance without an inspection.

Relatively new homes may not merit a mention in a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report.

As long as you do not have other liabilities, you may circumvent inspection. Don’t ask your insurance provider directly, though, otherwise it raises suspicion.

Take Action

A home insurance inspection is a quintessential part of insuring a home.

It guarantees you get proper insurance coverage in case of a total loss.

Home insurance inspections focus on physical and mechanical issues, and you may need additional, specialized inspectors for pest or chemical problems.

The proper precautions help you avoid a failed homeowners insurance inspection.

That includes repairing important structures, like the roof, gutters, yard, and windows. This proactive maintenance gives you the best odds of passing while minimizing your premium.


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

Sa El


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