All about 4-point inspection

4-Point Home Inspection Explained: All You Need To Know

What is a 4-point inspection?

If you are going to buy a home, you might encounter this term.

A 4-point inspection is an examination of the current condition of your house covering 4 major components of your home. You may call it your house’s health checkup.

This checkup makes it easier for homeowners insurance companies to better understand your house’s condition.

A 4-point inspection is done by examining 4 major systems of your house that are – roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC.

Several homeowners insurance providers require a 4-point inspection to understand the risks associated with the house they are insuring.

Some conditions of the home can become a liability in the future and this inspection acts like a tool to alert the companies about potential future problems.

Generally, newer homes don’t need this but mostly, it’s required for older homes as they are more prone to damages and might need frequent repairs.

What is covered under a 4-point inspection?

As the name suggests, a 4-point inspection means an inspection of 4 major components of a house. Here are those 4 components.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)

HVAC means heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This is one of the most important components of your home. A licensed inspector will examine this system based on the following:

  • Your home must have properly sized and well-functioning heating and cooling systems. Fireplace and oil furnaces are excluded as they are not safe.
  • The age and condition of your HVAC is also examined. It’s not an essential test to pass but it will determine how efficient your system is.

Electrical System

The examination of the electrical system mainly means that the electrical setup in your home should follow the code regulation.

In simple terms, all the electrical outlets should be grounded and the system should be in proportion to the size of your home.

Whether you pass or fail a test depends on the code violation and the risks that may arise due to the violation. However, some electrical components are uninsurable and you will fail the inspection if they are found in your house. Here are some of those:

  • Aluminum branch wiring
  • Knob-and-tube wiring
  • Fuses/fuse boxes
  • A double-tapped breaker
  • Cloth and sheath wiring

Plumbing System

The inspection of the plumbing system means that the inspector will look at the drain and supply lines for any sign of leakage. They will also judge the condition of the pipes for the likelihood of bursting.

If polybutylene plumbing is found in your house, you will not get the coverage as these pipes burst more often.

However, some insurance providers can provide you the coverage but they will exclude coverage for water damage.

So if any water damage happens due to the bursting of pipes, you will have to pay for all the repairs from your own pocket.

Roofing

The roof is the most important component of your home. The whole structure of the building depends on the design of the roof. In the roofing inspection, inspectors closely examine the safety and health-related risks associated with your home’s roof design.

Here are some factors considered during the inspection:

  • Age of the roof – Roofs also have a life span. Replacing the roof of your home after every 20 years is recommended otherwise it may lead to cracked or missing shingles.
  • Roof deterioration – If the roof is old or poorly designed, it will lead to the accumulation of water that in turn will lead to water damage. This compromises your home’s safety.
  • Leakage – Inspectors will also look for the signs of any leakage from your roof. This will lead to the spreading of mold and other water damage that may prove to be costly.

Is A 4-point inspection required for every home?

No. The 4-point inspection is not mandatory for every home. It’s commonly required for older homes because the risks associated with older homes are much more than new homes.

If you want to buy an old home, you will likely need a 4-point inspection before getting a homeowners insurance policy for your home.

However, this varies from one state to another. In Florida, it’s mandatory to get the 4-point inspection done before obtaining a homeowners policy.

Some companies also require a 4-point inspection done for a home in a state where it’s not essential.

What happens if you fail a 4-point inspection?

In this inspection, you don’t get marks to determine if you have passed or failed the test. You just pass or fail.

There can be several reasons behind your house failing the inspection such as central heating or cooling system not functioning properly, damaged roof, aluminum wiring, or use of polybutylene pipes for plumbing.

Here are your options if your house fails the four-point inspection.

  • Negotiate with sellers to repair your house and make sure that every system is up to the mark to pass the inspection.
  • Search for an insurance company that doesn’t need a 4-point inspection before providing the policy.
  • Ask your insurance company if they will give you some time to make the necessary repairs to pass the inspection.

You don’t need to worry because every insurance company doesn’t require a 4-point inspection. So even if you fail the inspection, you can still get a policy.

However, if your preferred company requires it, they may provide you a temporary coverage and ask you to make the necessary repairs later.

Will you get homeowners insurance if your home fails a 4-point inspection?

You may or may not get the coverage. There is no fixed rule for this as this varies between companies.

Inform your agent about the issues related to all 4 components to get a precise quote.

Some companies may partially insure your home excluding the components where the problems persist.

You may need to pay more or face difficulties in getting insurance coverage for your home if the components of your home have serious problems.

Consult with your insurance agent as he can be your best guide in this situation.

Does a 4-point inspection help in lowering your insurance premium?

No. This inspection doesn’t affects your homeowners insurance premium. This inspection is only required by insurance companies to check if your home can be insured or not.

How to schedule a 4-point inspection near you?

Ask your insurance agent to provide you the list of local companies that do the 4-point home inspection near you. Other than this, you can also visit the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. You will get the list of the inspectors by state and address.

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