WHAT IS A 4-POINT INSPECTION? All You Should Know

WHAT IS A 4-POINT INSPECTION
WHAT IS A 4-POINT INSPECTION

“What is a 4-point home inspection in Florida?” is a common question asked while looking to buy a home for the first time. This inspection provides a home insurance provider with a clear picture of the present state of your home by looking at four primary systems: roofing, electricity, plumbing, and HVAC. The insurance company will be aware of the true liability they will assume if coverage is granted as a result of this inspection. In this article, I’ll explain what a 4-point home inspection is in Florida, as well as the difference between a 4-point inspection vs a full inspection.

What Is a 4-Point Inspection? 

A 4-point home inspection is a thorough study of a home’s current condition, focusing on four essential systems: roofing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.

Before someone can renew or be eligible for their preferred coverage plan, homeowners insurance providers require this specific inspection. Due to their increasing liability, insurance firms have recently been unwilling to provide coverage to residences on the real estate market that are more than 20 years old.

Someone looking for coverage for a home that is 30 years old, for example, may face electrical or HVAC system concerns in the coming years. Insured homes are likely to seek payment for such concerns, which will ultimately cost insurers extra money. The results of this examination are used by insurance companies to get a clear picture of the financial risk associated with the insured property.

Before fully committing to a mortgage, new homeowners might use this as a tool to determine whether the prospective property is worth the investment. Issues in the home’s four key systems can be a warning indication of impending troubles.

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Even if you don’t live in a state where this inspection is required, there are several advantages to having one done:

  • Quick and low-cost: These inspections are known for being low-cost and may be completed in a matter of hours by a qualified, licensed specialist.
  • Ensure the condition of your real estate: If you’re considering selling, this inspection will help you figure out what issues need to be rectified before moving forward.
  • Avoid future headaches: Stay ahead of potential problems by regularly inspecting your home’s primary systems.

History of the 4-Point Inspection 

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the 4-Point Inspection was created. This was due to a large number of insurance claims following the hurricane. While it is understandable that a strong wind event would cause significant damage, insurance underwriters did not anticipate a large number of claims because many home components were said to be in good condition.

As a result, the 4-Point Inspection was developed to assist insurance companies in determining how effectively a home is aging and maintained. While shingle makers claim that the dimensional shingle will last 25 to 30 years, the shingle may only survive 17 years.

When is it Necessary to Perform A 4-Point Inspection?

When your home reaches the age of 30, a 4-point inspection is usually required. It is, however, fully dependent on the insurance provider. When your home reaches the home of five years, State Farm Insurance, for example, may conduct a four-point inspection to see how well you are maintaining it.

What Goes Into a 4-Point Inspection?

An inspector will look at the following items during a 4-point inspection:

Electrical panels and wiring:

What type of wiring do you have in your home? If a home has copper, aluminum, or knob-and-tube wires, it is unlikely to be insured because of the risk of fire. Faulty wiring is responsible for approximately 90% of residential fires, therefore insurance firms are concerned. If your home is deemed to be uninsurable owing to wiring difficulties, it’s critical to plan for the modifications you’ll need. If you don’t, your chances of catching fire are greatly increased.

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning): 

Do you have central heating and air conditioning in your home? What is the state of the units? Is there any visible damage, such as a leak? When insuring older homes, keep in mind that each insurance company selects what it considers “appropriate,” but it’s not uncommon to see coverage canceled due to a lack of central air and heat.

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Plumbing:

Inspectors examine your home’s pipes to evaluate how likely they are to burst. If polybutylene piping is discovered, coverage may be rejected since it is more likely to explode. Some insurance companies may still cover you, but they will not cover water damage. If there is a flood as a result of pipes bursting in that circumstance, you are fully accountable for the complete cost.

Roof:

Inspectors look for things like roof age, material, and condition. In general, insurance companies will not cover shingle roofs that are older than 20 years or tile or metal roofs that are older than 40 years. However, if your roof is newer but has visible damage on the outside or water leaks into your home, you may be denied coverage.

What Is a 4-Point Inspection On a Home?

To run a successful business, a professional home inspector must be able to do multiple types of inspections. Being trained and certified to conduct inspections for vermin, radon, or mold, for example, is one example. Inspectors in coastal areas of the Southeast should think about getting training in wind mitigation inspections.

Professional inspectors must be able to execute 4-point inspections, even if there aren’t many requests for them. A domestic 4-point inspection is a fast review of a home’s principal components that are commonly utilized when a more in-depth inspection isn’t required or when the process would need more administrative time and paperwork than is truly required.

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Who Orders 4-Pont Inspection?

4-point inspections provide a glimpse of the state of a property. Insurance underwriters frequently order these before giving coverage to a homebuyer who may need coverage soon or a homeowner who is looking for a lower price.

When insuring older homes, four-point inspections are frequently required. Insurers have proven increasingly hesitant to provide coverage for older properties in recent years. For homes older than 40 years or rental properties older than 30, most insurance companies now require a 4-point inspection.

More Information about 4-Point Inspection

A 4-point inspection requires the same knowledge and skills as a full inspection for examining and reporting the condition of the four components, including noting all defects in the inspection report that is submitted to the client.

For 4-point inspections, there are no standard forms. Although there are no regulations requiring its use, the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) has a universal form for conducting 4-point inspections. Some insurers may require inspectors to use their standard forms, while others may simply outline the scope of work and expect the inspector to create their format. Photos of the front and back of the house are typically requested by insurance providers. Some people may also want photos of each of the four elements that have been inspected.

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In reality, 4-point home inspections will not account for the majority of a home inspector’s earnings. Learning how to conduct them, on the other hand, gives you another service to provide, which can help you expand your firm. Inspection Certification Associates’ online Home Inspector Training Course covers a variety of topics, including 4-point inspections. Our curriculum allows students to learn at their own pace, allowing them to continue working while preparing for their new careers.

4-Point Inspection In Florida

If you own or plan to buy an older home, rental property, or condo in Florida, you’ll almost certainly need a 4-point inspection before buying a homeowners policy.

When a home is older than 40 years or rental property is older than 30 years; most insurance companies will require a 4-point inspection. You can acquire a price for insurance without having to go through an inspection. However, before you buy the policy, you’ll need to get it inspected.

When Should You Get a 4-Point Home Inspection in Florida?

If you own an older home and your Florida homeowners insurance is up for renewal, or if you’re buying an older home, you’ll almost certainly be requested to complete a 4-point inspection as part of the underwriting process. This is a prevalent practice in Florida and other coastal states.

A 4-point inspection isn’t to be mistaken with a new home inspection; it’s for homeowners insurance (also called a buyers inspection, real estate inspection; home inspection, or full inspection depending on where you live). This distinction is critical because a new home inspection is essential to close on a home and meet your mortgage’s eligibility requirements. It takes two to three hours to finish as well. A four-point inspection is only visual and takes around 30 minutes. If you buy an older home, though, you may be compelled to undergo both examinations.

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Finally, 4-point inspections are more common in coastal states, particularly Florida and Texas. Coastal areas, such as Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville, are subjected to more severe weather; which can result in devastating disasters (loss of life; destruction of entire towns; demolished power grids, roads, airports; etc.). As a result, politicians are constantly updating construction codes. Homes built 40 years or more ago were designed to different standards than those erected today; which means they may not be as safe as more recent homes.

 4-Point Inspection vs Full Inspection

A 4-point inspection is sometimes misunderstood as a full home inspection. Both have the same purpose of assessing a home’s present state, but there are several critical differences to be aware of before determining which inspection approach is best for your home. Before you start looking for a licensed inspector, take note of the following differences:

Extent

Because inspectors are only looking at the home’s main systems, a 4-point inspection is usually a rapid process. Full inspections are known for being thorough; looking at far more of the home than a conventional 4-point inspection.

Purpose of the inspection

When dealing with homes over 20 years old, when structural integrity and other safety issues can occur; potential homeowners and insurance companies typically look at 4-point examinations.

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Full home inspections are more thorough and are typically carried out when people are looking for a new home. A comprehensive assessment of the home’s condition is required to ensure its worth and condition.

Insurance requirements

To get coverage or renew an existing policy, insurance companies frequently require homeowners; with property over 20 years old to undergo a 4-point inspection. As homes age, the possibility of potential problems grows, and providers want to make sure; the real estate they’re responsible for doesn’t cost them a fortune to repair.

4-Point Home Inspection Costs

Because charges vary from state to state and by an insurance provider, it’s reasonable to anticipate that a 4-point inspection on your home will cost you between $50 and $150.

Conclusion

Whether you’re attempting to insure and buy an older home in Florida or renew your existing policy, a 4-point inspection is critical in demonstrating to your insurer that the property is a fair risk for them to take on.

If you’re renewing your coverage, your inspection will either confirm that your home is in good working order or inform you of any safety issues that need to be addressed. While this may result in unanticipated renovation costs, your home’s safety should come first. A full inspection may be required to check that there are no additional issues with the property. Consult a licensed inspector for advice on the next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a 4-point inspection cost in Florida?

anywhere between $50 and $100
How much does it set you back? These inspections are performed at your expense and typically cost between $50 and $100. Enquire with your insurance agent for a recommendation. They frequently have a list of reasonably priced inspectors.

Who needs a 4-point inspection in Florida?

Insurance companies seek a 4-point check to see if the homeowner is “keeping up” with property maintenance and repairs. The regulations for the 4-point inspection were revised in 2018. An obligatory 4-point examination for Florida homes over 30 years old is one of the new features.

What are the four major components of an inspection report?

In a well-written inspection report, there are four sections. Date, subject, recipients, purpose, participants, description of the activity, and other basic information are summarized on the “title” page or cover memo.

How long is a 4pt inspection good for in Florida?

The reductions that most homeowners receive more than cover the cost of the inspection. Keep your report safe! It says it’s good for five years at the bottom.

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