Flood insurance rates? Older home coverage? Rentals? As a service to our local real estate agents we are happy to quote your listed or contracted properties. Just email us the address and we will return a quote to you that day. Feel free to pick our brains for questionable properties. We represent many A rated carriers. Citizens is not the only option.
When buying a home, do I need a 4 Point Inspection? Do I need a Wind Mitigation Inspection? Do I need an Elevation Certificate? My house is new (or recently built) why do I need an inspection?
These are questions we hear every day in our office.
The truth is homeowners insurance underwriting differs from company to company. In order to find you the best rate, we need certain information: age of roof, age of HVAC, water heater, prior claims, will the home be primary, secondary, or rental, etc. While most questions can be answered by information from the buyer or homeowner and others can be researched on property appraiser websites, some require a qualified inspection. Although one insurance company may not require an inspection, often we are able to place coverage, at a much lower rate, with a company that does. This is why in addition to the pre-purchase inspection we also recommend a 4-point inspection for any home over 20 years old and a wind mitigation inspection for all homes, even new construction. We do see clients with brand new construction, where a wind mitigation inspection saved them on insurance premiums, even though the home was built to the latest codes.
What are these inspections?
- The 4-point inspection
A 4-point is typically required on homes older than 20 years. The insurance company specifically wants information on 4 areas: including the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), electrical panel and wiring, water heaters including plumbing connections , and the roof.
- A Uniform Wind Mitigation Verification Inspection (commonly referred to as a WIND MIT)
This inspection provides significant discounts to a homeowner if the home qualifies. Discounts are given for new roofs, secondary water barriers and hurricane panels/impact glass. The inspection also pays close attention to the roof/deck attachment, bracing, doors and windows, and other structural features. A home with superior construction will also receive discounts.
The state has recently changed the reporting rules making it harder to qualify for such discounts. A more detailed report is now required as proof, including photos, to qualify for discounts
Any inspection prior to 2012 generally no longer qualifies.
- Flood Zone determinations and elevation certificates.
High risk flood zones can be easily determined in our office with the property address. Once we determine the home is in a high risk flood zone we then utilize a FEMA elevation certificate to rate the home for a flood insurance premium. FEMA has recently changed the rules on primary and secondary homes for rating purposes. As a result, secondary homes may have a higher flood premium.
I hope that this explanation has been useful in understanding many of the reasons behind why a certain inspection may be requested or required, even though it may appear to be an obvious answer. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Our agents are always happy to discuss any particular circumstances with you.
- Lehn & Vogt
Your Home Insurance Experts