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When you buy an older home, a 4 point inspection may be required to get insurance on the property. If you already own an older home, you may hear about a 4 point for the first time when you receive a cancellation notice on your insurance. Insurance companies appear to be using the information on the survey to mitigate losses by not writing policies on homes with outdated major systems.
After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, insurers were looking for a way to reduce their losses. 4 point insurance surveys have increased in popularity as a direct result of the losses incurred in the 2004, 2005 hurricane seasons. Since then, 4 point insurance surveys may be required in homes 25 years or older depending on the guidelines set by individual insurance companies.

A 4 point insurance inspection consists of the following:
• Roof
• Electrical
• Plumbing

Homeowners or buyers should contact their insurance agents to find out if this inspection is required. The agent will need the address of the home and the year it was built. If the 4 point is not required, ask if discounts are available by having the inspection done anyway.

Can a house fail? This is not a pass or fail situation. A 4 point inspection was designed to give the insurance company information needed for risk assessment. In many cases the insurance company will allow the owner time to make any necessary repairs or upgrades. Keep in mind that the upgrades the insurance companies are looking for will make the home safer for you and your family.

For buyers who have already paid for a home inspection, is this additional?
Yes, a pre-purchase inspection and a 4 point insurance survey are not the same. The pre-purchase inspection is a comprehensive inspection that buyers have done to learn the true condition of the home. A 4 point survey does not give the buyer the same information, it is done so the buyer can obtain insurance on the property. Discounts are available when multiple services are ordered at the time of the inspection.