A Brief Overview Of The 4 Point Inspection

The 4 point inspection is a different type of inspection. It focuses on a few key areas of the home that are known to cause issues. The primary purpose is to help insurance companies decide whether or not a home is safe to insure. It won’t tell you everything you need to make a purchasing decision — for that you need a full home inspection — but it does provide you with some very valuable information. At this point, you may be wondering what the “4 points” are and why they’re so important. So, let’s try to shed some light on this.
If the roof is in trouble then the whole house is in trouble. Both the age and the condition of the roof are taken into account. Some things to look out for are leaks, sagging spots, signs of water damage, and damaged or missing shingles. Some insurance companies also take into account the shape of the roof. If you have a flat roof then you may not be able to get homeowners insurance. On the other hand, if you have a hip roof then you may qualify for certain discounts.

For the electrical section, you’ll look at what type of wiring is used and the type of electrical panels. Some older panels from brands like Federal Pacific and Zinsco are known to cause issues. You’ll also need to make a note of any modifications made to the electrical system. Amateur repairs are fairly common in older homes and they can cause major issues.

Given how many insurance claims are related to water damage, it makes sense that plumbing would be a major concern. During the inspection, you’ll look at the condition of the pipes, whether there are signs of leaks, and what type of piping is used. Acceptable materials include:

  • PVC
  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • Certain types of PEX
  • Cast Iron

Polybutylene and lead piping are looked upon unfavorably. If your home contains either of these, you will probably be required to replace them before getting your insurance policy.

The plumbing section also covers your hot water heater. Mostly it just needs to be in good working condition with at least five years of life left. Anything less and it’ll need to be replaced.

Your HVAC is typically the final portion of the inspection. It’s also the least likely to pose a threat. You’re really just looking to make sure that the HVAC is sufficient for the size of the home and that it’s in good working condition.

These four areas were chosen because they are often the source of expensive insurance claims. For the most part, the 4 point isn’t pass/fail. Insurance companies will take everything in the report into consideration and use it all to make a decision regarding your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most homes will be fine, but if serious issues are present then you will probably be denied by most insurers. You can keep trying with other insurers — they all have different standards — but is it really worth it?

A 4 point inspection isn’t about lining the pockets of insurance companies, it’s about your own safety and satisfaction. Would you really want to buy a home knowing that your electrical wiring is likely to malfunction or that there’s a leak in the roof? Probably not. So, don’t be afraid of the 4 point inspection. It’s just another way to ensure that you are making a smart home buying decision. Looking for someone to perform your 4 point inspection? Contact us at Super Inspection Pros. today.

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