Four Point InspectionThis inspection is required in the state of Florida at any point when obtaining home owners insurance on a home 30 years old or older.
Four Point Inspections
When this inspection is needed:
This inspection is required in the state of Florida at any point when obtaining home owners insurance on a home 30 years old or older. Some insurance companies require this inspection earlier than the required 30 year mark; 25 years is somewhat common, but we have had to provide this report on occasion on homes that are 20 years old and in rare cases, regardless of the home age this report can be requested from the insurance company before they provide an estimated premium for insurance coverage.
What is a Four Point Inspection?
This is a state required inspection of the ROOF, ELECTRICAL, HVAC, & PLUMBING systems of the home providing primarily two categories of information on these four systems:
- Age and remaining serviceable life of the system
- Condition of the system and any notable damage or deterioration
Purpose of the Four Point Inspection
Determine eligibility of the home for binding an insurance policy. What this means to you is that there is a risk of the home being deemed NOT ELIGIBLE! In the case of most real estate transactions, no insurance means no mortgage loan, which means no home purchase. This in turn lowers the insurance companies’ exposure to financial loss caused by insuring a property with a high chance of damage from things like roof and plumbing leaks, electrical fires, and mold problems from non-operating Air Conditioning.
Some insurance companies will even offer discounts for a newer roof, electrical panels that are less than 20 years old, and other newer components or systems.
Common Findings Obstructing Binding an Insurance Policy:
- First and foremost… Roofing material at or past end of life
- Electrical Panel manufacturers deemed fire hazards; some types to look out for are: FPE, Zinsco, Challenger, S type Fuse box
- Clothe Electrical Wiring in use
- Faulty plumbing pipe materials like Polybutylene; Galvanized older than 40 years
- Plumbing piping over 50 or 60 years old
- Water heaters over 20 years old
- Non-functioning Air Conditioning
Prepare for the Four Point Inspection
Our recommendation is to deal proactively with the possibility of insurability issues rather than becoming irritated, freezing, and refusing to dialogue with parties of the real estate transaction.
Four Point Inspections
Successfully Navigating the Four PointHere’s what you can be prepared to do if necessary (whether a buyer, seller, or home owner):
Sellers, get a “Prelisting Home Inspection”; Homeowners, get a periodic “Home Checkup Inspection
Obtain low interest financing to replace an old or damaged roof
Budget $2,000 to $4,000 to replace electrical panels
Be ok with fewer choices in insurance carriers, higher premiums, or less coverage on old homes; by the way, the risk is much greater so this outcome does make sense after all…
Except that systems have an end of life; responsible home ownership can be averaged to a few hundred dollars per month budgeted to replace plumbing pipes, roofs, etc. Whether a responsible homeowner or not, these system WILL REQUIRE REPLACEMENT at some point; and that “point” may just land on when you want to sell your home or renew your insurance policy.
Many real estate transactions involve friendly negotiations over these items. Many sellers adjust their asking price with the knowledge that upgrades are necessary, and many buyers expect these things to come up when in search of the “charming old home”.
- All this information is summarized in the advice “Be Proactive rather than Reactive”; and that is how one successfully navigates the Four Point Inspection.
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