Congratulations! You’ve found your dream house and are ready for inspection day. If you’re going to get homeowner’s insurance, either because it is required or because you think it’s a good idea to protect your investment, there are a few different inspections that your insurance company may require before they will quote you or write a policy on the property.
Open a dialogue with your insurance agent or realtor before inspection day and find out which, if any, insurance inspections they will ask for on the property you are having inspected. You can save some money and time by having all of your inspections done at the same time. Plus. your insurance agent will be able to provide a far more accurate quote. Also, having all required inspections in hand increases the odds for a smooth closing.
The most common required inspections are Wind Mitigation Verification and Four Point inspection (see below). Your inspector is fully trained and qualified to conduct both these inspections.
Tips from Your Inspector Guy
- If you are thinking about making changes to your home that will improve the homes posture on the wind mitigation, consult with your insurance agent first to see how much of an additional discount you can get for the proposed changes. You can use this info to calculate return on investment and decide if it is worth it to you.
- A general rule of thumb, and this greatly varies by insurance company, is that a house 30 years or older will require a four point inspection.
- Ask your insurance agent to show you the wind mitigation discount calculation. It can be a complex calculation and it’s easy to make costly mistakes.
- Ask your agent to follow their underwriter’s discount policies to the letter. The underwriting may change your premium or even cancel your policy if their review of the wind mitigation reveals a discrepancy. Keep in mind this review may take up to a year – don’t be unpleasantly surprised!
- If your home was built to the 2001 FBC (permit application date on of after March 1, 2002) most insurance companies offer a standard discount package for 2001 FBC homes. Compare your premium calculated with a wind mitigation report to the standard package. Insist on the lower of the two premiums.
- The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) website is very informative and can answer many of your insurance questions.
Wind Mitigation Verification
A wind mitigation is not actually an inspection, but rather a verification of the installed protective features of the home. There is no pass or fail, only documentation of the home as it exists on the day of the inspection. The form is used to calculate discounts that apply toward the destructive wind rider (hurricane rider) of your homeowner’s insurance policy. All insurance companies have different discount policies, discuss this with your insurance agent. More information can be found at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) website. This is a very helpful and informative site, it’s worth taking a look.
The form consists of seven different and independent sections. Your inspector will mark the form according to the type of feature present (or not present). Your insurance company will offer discount percentages based on the classification within each section. We, your inspector, do not know anything about discount amounts or how the discounts are calculated. Ask your insurance agent about that part, they have all of the answers.
The seven sections of the wind mitigation are based on the Florida Building Code (FBC), but are insurance requirements, not FBC requirements. Sometimes they are not the same. The seven sections:
- Was the house built to the 2001 FBC?
- Was the roof covering type and installation compliant with the 2001 FBC?
- What is the type of roof deck attachment system?
- What is the type of the roof to wall attachment system?
- What is the roof shape?
- Does the roof have secondary water resistance?
- What kind of opening protection does the house have?
To see a sample of a wind mitigation verification, scroll through document at the right.
Four Point Inspection
A four point inspection is an insurability inspection. Generally this type of inspection is required on homes that are around 30 years or older, but this varies by insurance company. So ask your insurance agent if they are going to require a four point inspection on the property you are looking to purchase.
What does the four point inspection cover? A very general function check of the below plus photo documentation.
To see a sample four point inspection form, scroll through the document at the right.
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