What is a Four-Point Home Inspection?
A four-point home inspection is an insurance inspection designed to evaluate specific systems and components of your home. But what exactly is a four-point inspection and why might you need one?
What Components Are Inspected?
Four-point home inspections focus on the roof, plumbing, electrical system, and heating/cooling system (HVAC). Unlike a complete inspection, this inspection only looks at these particular systems.
In the case of the electrical system, special attention will be given to the condition of the wiring and to any issues that might be a fire hazard. The plumbing will be inspected for defects from wear and tear, and also to make sure that its materials are not inherently problematic. The HVAC will be checked for everything from remaining life expectancy to loose parts. On the roof, the inspector will note any evidence of leaks or structural damage.
Reasons You’d Need a Four Point Inspection
While you can schedule a four-point home inspection whenever you’d like, they are most often conducted at the request of your insurance company. In fact, in some states, it isn’t a request but a requirement to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. In other instances, an older home with aging components or one located in an area prone to natural disasters might prompt the insurance carrier to require an inspection.
Why Won’t Another Type of Inspection Suffice?
Your insurance company is mainly concerned with the most expensive components of your home which are likely to cause damage if they malfunction. They want to reduce the risk of insuring your home by learning about the state of these major components.
Who Will Conduct The Inspection?
A licensed and certified third-party inspector should conduct the four-point home inspection. Many states require that home inspectors be licensed by a regulatory body.
You Can Fail The Inspection
It is possible to fail a four-point home inspection. For example, once a popular material for residential plumbing, polybutylene pipes are often viewed as problematic and might be noted during the inspection of an older home. These types of pipes could be a reason for the insurance company to deny coverage.
Other items of concern include aluminum wiring. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that since 1965, approximately two million homes have been fitted with aluminum wiring components, some of which the CPSC has identified as a fire hazard. Your inspector will know how to identify both polybutylene pipes and aluminum wiring components.
The insurance company may exclude coverage for certain hazards like water damage and fires or withhold coverage until improvements have been made.