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How to prepare for a home insurance inspection

A long list of tasks must be completed before you can buy a house, such as a inspection and an appraisement. This can help you determine if the house is worth what you’re planning to borrow and if it’s in good condition before you buy. Home insurance inspections are not the same as a home inspection. Your homeowners’ insurance provider may require a home inspection as a requirement to be covered.

Takeaways from the Key Notes

  • Home insurance inspections are different from home inspections, which check for structural problems in the house.
  • Before approving coverage, your insurance company may request a home inspection.
  • If you live in an area at risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes, a home inspection may be necessary.
  • Your insurer can accurately calculate the cost of replacing the home and its contents by utilizing the home inspection.

What is a home insurance inspection?

A home insurance inspection is different from a standard home inspection. Usually, you’re scheduling a home inspection for your own peace-of-mind. You may, for example, want to make sure the house has no structural problems, such as a damaged foundation or a cracked base. A certified home inspection can inspect the house from top to bottom and look for issues. They will then write a report. 1

Mortgage lenders don’t always require a home inspection, but an appraisal may be required to determine the value of the property. Home insurance inspections are not usually required by mortgage lenders. They’re more often requested by companies that offer homeowners insurance. You are responsible for the costs of a regular inspection, an insurance inspection or an appraisal.

The insurance company can determine the cost of replacement by inspecting the house. The insurance company uses this method to assess risk and determine if you will need to make a claim. They also calculate your premium cost. If you are buying an older house or one in a region susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes or forest fires, a home inspection is more likely.

In Florida and certain Gulf Coast states for example, homeowners may be able to undergo a wind mitigation assessment. This type of inspection focuses on the efforts made to minimize wind damage in a covered home. Homeowners who have this type of inspection done and can show they’ve minimized the risk of wind damage may be eligible for discounts from insurance companies.

When buying a house, separate pest and septic inspections might be required.

What is covered by a home insurance inspection?

Most homeowners’ insurance companies will conduct a visual inspection on the exterior of your home. It can check the condition of the roof, doors, windows and other structures. The insurance company will inspect the inside of the house if it decides a detailed inspection is needed.

Each inspection is unique, but the inspector will generally be looking at things like:

  • Condition and age of roof
  • Overhanging trees, for example, can cause damage.
  • Outside items that may be damaged such as lighting fixtures, sidewalks or other buildings on your property
  • Drainage systems for interior and exterior
  • If you have a basement, the condition of it and the foundation is important.
  • Plumbing systems
  • Age and condition of your home’s electrical system
  • Home Appliances
  • Condition of walls and flooring
  • Attic and crawl space
  • Anti-theft measures such as deadbolts or a home security systems
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Age and condition of HVAC systems
  • If you have chimneys or fireplaces, they are worth preserving.

The goal of the inspection is to determine the risk as well as the cost of replacing the house if it gets damaged. If the insurance company is only interested in the exterior, you may not have to be home. However, if an interior inspection is requested, you will need to attend. It can take up to two hours.

You can expect to spend a few hours if you or your insurance company decides to conduct a home inspection.

How to prepare for a home insurance inspection

You can prepare for an insurance inspection of your home by doing a few things. You can prepare for the home inspection by doing some prep work. This will help you to identify any problems that may come up during the inspection.

Prepare for an insurance inspection of the home’s exterior:

  • Look for loose or missing shingles on your roof.
  • Check to make sure your gutters are properly attached to the house and remove any debris.
  • Check for cracks and other signs of deterioration.
  • Check your chimney for loose or cracked bricks. If necessary, consider having it cleaned by a professional.
  • Trim dead or overhanging limbs or branches that may pose a danger to the roof or other areas of your home.
  • Look for signs of water damage, such as cracks and leaks in your siding, windows, and doors.
  • You should also be aware of any hazards on your property, like an uneven walkway that could lead to injury.

Prepare for an insurance inspection of your home from the inside out:

  • Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is working.
  • If you have a fireplace, clean it and the flue if there is one.
  • Look for signs of termite or leakage damage around the windows and doors.
  • Check the basement and attic for signs of water damage or pest infestation.
  • Cleaning and testing your HVAC system will ensure that it is working properly.
  • Leaks can be found under sinks, around showerheads, faucets and toilets.
  • Look for signs of foundation or roof problems in the form of cracks and bowing on the walls.

Your homeowners insurance company may decide to wait until you have closed on your home before scheduling an inspection.

If you’re denied home insurance, what should you do?

Your insurance company might decide to not cover you if your home inspection reveals serious problems with your property. You may have several options in this situation.

You could first make the repairs that your insurance company requires as a precondition to getting coverage. This could include replacing the roof, the hot water heater or the driveway.

If this doesn’t work out, you may want to look into coverage with a company that is specialized in high-risk property. It’s likely that you will pay a higher premium for homeowners insurance, but this may be your only option if there are structural or damage issues with the home.

Fair Access Insurance Plans is a third option. FAIR Plans are state-run insurance programs for homeowners with high risk. They can also help these homeowners find coverage. If you have exhausted all your other options, this could be a way to get coverage. Remember, though, that not all states offer a FAIR program. 4


Adsrocks’s writers are required to use primary resources to support their writing. White papers, government statistics, original reporting and interviews with experts in the industry are some of these sources. Where appropriate, we also refer to original research by other reputable publishers. Our editorial policies will tell you more about our standards for producing accurate and unbiased content.

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Schedule a Home Inspection.”
  2. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Wind Mitigation.”
  3. Hippo. ” What underwriters look at during home inspections.”
  4. Insurance Information Institute. ” Can I still get coverage if I can’t?


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