In the past, an onsite home inspection by your homeowners insurance company was typically required in only a few instances, like if you had an older home or one that was considered high value. Today’s home insurance climate is very different. In fact, over the past few years, the team at Fred C. Church has seen in-person house inspections become much more common, especially for homes that have been recently renovated, homes that have not been inspected within the past 10 years, and homeowners who have switched insurance companies.

Why Are Homeowners Insurance Companies Requiring More Home Inspections?

All home insurance companies operate differently, and the reasons they may want to personally inspect a home will vary. In general, though, there are two main goals of these inspections:

  1. Get a clear understanding of the condition of your home. Homes everywhere have felt the brunt of more frequent and fiercer weather systems, so your insurance company wants to thoroughly assess the impact of these storms on your house and help you identify and address property and liability risks before any damages or accidents occur.
  2. Evaluate whether your home insurance policy includes the right amount of replacement cost coverage. Because home values have skyrocketed, it’s essential that you and your home insurance company have an up-to-date and accurate valuation of your property, which will enable your carrier to determine if you have the right amount of coverage to help protect your home against a variety of potential threats.

Most inspections will focus on assessing the exterior elements of your home, including your roof and gutters; walkways, steps, and railings; other structures on your property, like a shed or gazebo; and landscaping. For an exterior home inspection, you may not be given the specific day and time it will occur, and you usually won’t need to be at home when it’s conducted.

While inspections of your home’s interior are more rare, they may still happen. If this type of inspection is required by your insurance company, some of the additional areas of your home that may be assessed are the:

  • Basement and attic
  • Doors and windows
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems
  • Safety features, such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and antitheft devices

Your insurance company will contact you if an interior inspection is required and set up an appointment for a day and time when you can be home.

After the inspection is complete, your insurance company will give you a window of time to address the inspector’s concerns. Depending on the issues identified and who your carrier is, you may have until your next renewal date to get things resolved or you may have as little as 30 days. Either way, if you do not meet the deadline set by your insurance company, you are likely facing nonrenewal.

Hopefully, though, everything at your home will look great to the home insurance inspector, in which case you may be off your insurance company’s radar for a certain number of years.

Fred C. Church Supports Homeowners Through the Home Inspection Process

We understand this may all seem inconvenient, aggravating, and even a little stressful, particularly if you end up with a list of items that are in need of repair or replacement. However, this list contains important safety information for you to have. It typically provides you with insight into issues regarding your house that, if not addressed, could lead to even more substantial property damage or an injury to you, your family, or anyone visiting your home.

In addition, having your house assessed and valued in person by an insurance inspector may help you determine whether you have the right amount of replacement cost coverage in your homeowners policy to provide you with the critical financial support you may need if a disaster ever strikes.

As your local insurance professional, Fred C. Church will help you navigate the entire inspection process. If your home insurance company wants to inspect your house, we typically receive a notification before you do. So, when we get alerted to an impending inspection, we will let you know about it right away. While there generally isn’t a lot of time between when you get notified and when the inspection happens, we want you to have as much warning as possible so you can prepare your home and ask us any questions you may have. Also, we will provide support post-inspection by carefully reviewing the inspection report and meeting with you to go over the findings if necessary.

Have more questions about insurance company home inspections? We’ve got the answers, so please give us a call.