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How to Prepare for a Florida Insurance 4-Point Inspection

If you're in the process of obtaining new homeowners insurance on your house, your current insurance company (or your prospective one) may ask for you to have a Florida 4-Point Inspection completed on your home. Most people haven't heard of this type of inspection until insurance requests it.

A 4-Point inspection is an inspection often required by insurance carriers that focuses on four points in the home that the insurance company deems important- the roof, plumbing, electrical, and your HVAC (heating/air). The insurance company offering you coverage wants to be sure your home is free of most hazards or major defects in these major components prior to implementing coverage.

The 4 Point Inspection process is fairly straight forward. Unlike the home inspection you (hopefully) scheduled when you purchased your home, 4 Point Inspections, in the eyes of your insurance company, are essentially pass or fail. If certain items on the Citizens 4 Point Inspection Form (click to view the picture to the left) are observed in your home, then insurance may deny coverage until they are remediated.

Here are four things you should evaluate prior to scheduling your 4-Point Inspection:

  1. Perform A Self-Initiated Inspection

  2. Ensure Adequate Access to Inspected Areas

  3. Gather Documentation

  4. Try to Be Home for the Inspection

  1. Perform A Self-Initiated Inspection

While some things that are deal-breakers are beyond what the average homeowner is able to check for safely (such as breaker double taps, single-strand branch aluminum wiring), there are several line items on the form the average homeowner CAN check for. This is why we recommend doing a self-initiated inspection first.

Before scheduling your 4-Point inspection, do a self-initiated inspection in the areas the inspector will be checking. Asking the following questions can help you identify potential problems that are usually easy to fix:

  • Have any sinks, drains, or plumbing in the home been leaking (no matter how small of a leak)?

  • Does the roof have any debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.) built up anywhere?

  • Are there any signs of leaks from the roof (ceiling stains, water dripping during storms, etc)?

  • Are there any apparent electrical issues in the home you've noticed, such as breakers constantly tripping for no reason, outlets that are unsafe or not functioning properly, or something else?

  • Have you noticed water collecting at the base of your indoor HVAC unit or the surrounding areas? Is there water damage or signs of possible mold?

  • Are there any leaks around the hot water tank?

  • Does your hot water tank have a TPR (Temperature/pressure relief valve) installed?

While most of the bullet points above require a qualified person to repair, knowing the answers to these questions will help give you direction as to what you need to fix or remediate prior to scheduling your inspection. If your answer was "yes" to any of the questions above, the inspector you hire will likely mark the checkbox for that category as "unsatisfactory" and you'll likely have to repair any issues and schedule a reinspection before your insurance company will cover your home.

2. Ensure adequate access to areas that will be inspected

The inspector you hire to complete the 4 Point inspection needs to check

many different areas of the home. Ensuring they have access to all areas they are required to report on saves time and saves you money. If an item can't be inspected you'll might be charged a reinspection fee for them to come out and finish. The areas that should be accessible and fully viewable are:

  • Hot Water Tank

  • HVAC Equipment (indoor and outdoor)

  • Electrical panels

  • Exposed plumbing (under sinks, clothes washer hookups, bathrooms, etc.)

  • Attic Access

The two most problematic areas that homeowners overlook while preparing for an inspection are exposed plumbing under the sinks and keeping a clean and clear space around equipment such as the electrical panels, HVAC equipment, and hot water tank in your home.

Clutter under the sink makes it difficult to properly inspect

When the inspector checks the home plumbing system, the biggest part is checking for signs of previous or active leaks. These are commonly observed underneath the sink where the water supply lines and drain lines are located. In fact, the inspector will test each sink and plumbing fixture in the home to ensure its in good working order- this should include your clothes washer and your dishwasher. If the inspector can't see the plumbing under the sink, he or she won't be able to properly look for leaks.

Homeowners often store things in front of electrical panels, especially when they're in the garage or in a closet. Taking a few minutes to ensure the inspector has several feet of clearance in the front and to the sides of the panel will ensure they can safely open the panel to do an inspection of the homes wiring. 3. Gather documentation

If you've had any work done on the house such as re-piping, re-wiring, or re-roofing, providing the inspector with documentation can go a long way in helping your application for new insurance. Many home repairs (such as a new roof) should be done under a roofing permit issued by your local building department. This ensures that the products installed are appropriate for use in Florida under the Florida Building Code, and that they were inspected to ensure proper installation methods. If you've had any major work completed in the home such as upgrading the kind of pipes in the home or if you've had the home rewired to upgrade from old, unsafe aluminum wiring, providing paperwork of the licensed electrician who completed the work along with details of the services they completed will help answer any questions your insurance company may have. You can submit this directly to the insurance company or you can provide a copy with the inspector to include in the report.

4. Try to be home for the inspection

While not required, being home for the inspection can help speed up the inspection process and it can ensure that accurate information is going into the report. The inspector you hire may have questions regarding prior leaks in the home and their remediations, or they may ask information about the roofing material. Additionally, they may request your help in locating items that need inspected. Being home can go a long way in making sure the inspection goes smooth, and if the inspector needs additional information before completing the report they can leave you with a list of things that need addressed.

A 4-Point Inspection shouldn't be stressful- it is to document the state of various components in your home. To help ensure a smooth inspection, following the above tips can help you better prepare your home to pass the inspection.

If you need to schedule a 4-Point Inspection, give Sighthound Home Inspections, LLC a call today at 850-296-8329 or visit!



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