4-Point Inspection: Everything You Need to Know

If you own or are purchasing an older home, you will need to conduct a 4-point inspection before you can be issued with a homeowner’s policy. The 4-point inspection yields some important answers for homes that are older than 25 years that an insurer needs before they can insure them.

What is a 4-point inspection?

A 4-point inspection is a basic, unbiased, limited-in scope home inspection. This inspection is not as comprehensive both in detail and scope as a Buyer’s Pre-Purchase Home Inspection or Standard/ Generalist Residential Home Inspection. It is a requirement by insurance companies to determine eligibility and insurability. It covers four major areas;

• Plumbing
• HVAC
• Electrical
• Roof Inspection

The inspection certifies the integrity of these four major parts of a home, including the age, condition, type and an assessment of the remaining useful life of each system.

Why is the 4-point inspection carried out?

Insurance companies designed this inspection to get a better understanding of the property they are insuring. This information is especially important when ensuring an older home. It lets the insurers know if;

• The roof of the home can be wind-damaged soon after the policy is issued
• The house is predisposed to flooding
• The roofing system has a useful life expectancy of at least 2 to 5 years
• There are any major issues with the electrical system
• The plumbing system – water heater, supply, drain, and fixtures are in good working condition
• The house has any Polybutylene piping issues
• The HVAC system is in good condition

Who can use the 4-point Inspection?

This inspection is for homeowners:
• Looking for home insurance for the first time
• Looking to renew an existing home owner’s insurance policy

What does the 4-point inspection cover?

Roof Inspection

The inspection documents the roof’s age, its remaining useful life, any damaged or mission flashing, damaged or sagging decking, leaks, truss/rafter systems or any other maintenance and age issues that need to be amended.

Electrical System Inspection

This inspection documents the condition and size of the core service, the main and sub breaker panels, the existence of GFCI channels in the kitchen and bathrooms, the type of wiring that exists, and whether there are any hazardous electrical settings that require immediate attention.

HVAC System

The HVAC inspection documents the type of furnace system (s) available, its age and overall condition. Both the indoor and outdoor units should have the serial number and manufacturer’s label to help determine when they were manufactured.

Plumbing System

This inspection documents the main supply plumbing materials, including water pressure, the heater fuel type, condition, and age. A visual inspection is also conducted to check for any signs of excessive corrosion, active leaks, or any other major or potential problems. This inspection is especially important as water leaks are the biggest source of home insurance claims. Hence, before a house is insured, the insurance company needs to make sure that the plumbing system is well maintained with repairs and/or updates done by a licensed plumber.

The 4-point Insurance should only be performed by a qualified, certified and licensed home inspector.