Unlike a full home inspection, a 4-point inspection only covers four main systems in a home. The inspector will examine and make notes on the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and roofing systems. Your homeowners insurance company may require a 4-point home inspection before offering coverage on a property.
Finding an Inspector to Perform a 4-Point Home Inspection
Even though this inspection is not a complete assessment of the entire home, it’s still conducted by a professional home inspector. When you are buying or selling a property, your inspector will review these systems during a regular complete home inspection.
Why Are These Inspections Necessary?
To get homeowners insurance coverage and sometimes to renew your policy, the insurance company will require a 4-point inspection to be completed. The report will inform the insurance company about the condition of each of the four major systems in a home.
The underwriter for your homeowners insurance policy may request that you pass a 4-point inspection before the policy can go into effect. Problems with the plumbing, electrical, roofing, or HVAC could cause issues with the home, making it a risk for your insurance company to insure it.
What Does a 4-Point Inspection of a Home Cover?
A 4-point inspection of a residential home covers the four major systems in the house. The inspector will examine each system and make notes about the age and condition. Underwriters are concerned about these areas because that’s where most insurance claims originate.
An Assessment of the Electrical System
Faulty wiring is a frequent cause of house fires. The inspector will make note of the type of wiring that is used in a home. He or she may record the brand of the electrical panel and the estimated age of the electrical system. Older aluminum wiring is more likely to lead to problems, including a house fire.
The inspector will verify the presence and condition of air conditioning and heating equipment. He or she will usually note the manufacturer and age of the HVAC system. Some insurers will deny insurance coverage if the home lacks a heating and cooling system.
Inspecting the Plumbing During a 4-Point Home Inspection
Your home inspector will look at the condition of the plumbing pipes. The type of pipe will be noted in the report, along with the age of the plumbing system. Certain types of plumbing pipes, like polybutylene, are more likely to burst. A homeowner with this type of pipe may not qualify for coverage related to water damage.
Your insurance provider will want to confirm that the roof of the home is in good condition. A failing roof can lead to water damage inside the house, making your home risky for the insurance company to cover. During the inspection, the inspector will assess the condition of the roof, estimate its expected life span, and note the roofing materials.
A 4-point home inspection offers an overview of certain aspects of a property. When purchasing a house, ask the insurance company if they require this inspection and talk to your inspector about completing an inspection before closing.