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  • Writer's pictureJoe Hollingsworth

"Is an Annual House Inspection Necessary for Maintaining Home Insurance Coverage?"

Storm damage inspection
Inspecting for storm damage.

Why an Annual House Inspection Matters for Home Insurance Coverage

1. Understanding the Basics

Homeownership comes with many responsibilities, one of which is ensuring the safety and longevity of your property. An annual house inspection is a crucial part of this process, and it plays a significant role in maintaining your home insurance coverage.

It is important to note that this is related to regular inspections of your home. If you are aware of a recent storm or other significant event, then you might need a more immediate inspection to verify if your home sustained damage or not. If you think that your home sustained major damage, then a Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster can assist with inspecting your home to verify damage and coverage under your policy.

2. What Is a Home Insurance Inspection?

  • Purpose: An inspection helps insurers assess the risks associated with your property.

    • Risk Assessment Insurance companies need to assess the risks associated with insuring your property. An annual house inspection helps them evaluate these risks by examining the condition of your home’s structure, interior, and exterior structures on your property. This inspection verifies that the information on your policy application is correct and that your property is well-maintained and in good shape.

  • Cost Estimation: It allows them to calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your house if it were damaged or destroyed.

  • Spotting Issues: Inspectors look for potential problems like fire hazards, weak structures, or safety concerns.

  • Coverage Decision: Based on the inspection results, the insurance company can decide whether to insure your home and how much your premium should be.

  • Safety Issues and Discounts A home insurance inspection can identify potential safety issues, find discounts, and ensure that you take out the correct amount of insurance. Inspectors will check ways to increase safety, how your home is constructed, its size, and specialty materials, and the utility systems.

3. When Might You Need an Inspection?

Your insurer might require an inspection if:

  • You have a high-value or older home.

  • Your home is in an area prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, or other hazards.

  • The company needs more information to set the replacement cost value of your house.

  • Suppose your policy has a time limit on filing claims. (It is usually required to file a claim promptly once damage is discovered.) Your policy might not cover a loss if you report it a year after the date of loss.

4. What Happens During an Inspection?

  • Exterior Inspection: The inspector checks your roof, windows, doors, and siding, and looks for hazards like overhanging trees or walkway cracks.

  • Interior Inspection: If needed, they’ll examine your walls, ceilings, floors, and safety features.

  • This would be a limited visual inspection for insurance purposes.

5. Why Does It Matter?

  • Premium Impact: Depending on the results, you might pay more or less for insurance.

  • Risk Avoidance: Inspections help insurance companies avoid risky properties. Knowing of a problem will allow you to fix any issues with your home before a major problem occurs.

  • Maintenance Reminder: Regular inspections encourage homeowners to keep their homes in good shape.

While it might not be a requirement from your insurance company to have coverage, they might request an inspection for underwriting or other reasons.

An annual house inspection is more than just a routine check. It’s a vital part of maintaining your home insurance coverage, ensuring the safety of your home, and potentially saving you money in the long run. So, don’t overlook this important task – your home and your peace of mind are worth it.

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