- To avoid the potential of taking on undue risk that may represent the possibility of future claims. These risks may revolve around maintenance issues, safety (liability) issues or other conditions that, in the eyes of an underwriter, could lead to a potential loss covered by the homeowner’s policy.
- Verification that the cost of repairing or reconstructing a residential property that has been damaged or destroyed by a covered peril has been accurately calculated when writing the homeowner’s policy.
Qualifying questions are always asked on insurance applications regarding the condition of the home being insured and whether or not it is well-maintained. It would be highly unusual for an insurance applicant to admit to his insurer that his or her home was actually in poor condition and not well-maintained. This is one of the reasons that most preferred insurance companies have a home insurance inspection conducted. In most areas, insurance companies are given a free 30- or 60-day underwriting period, during which time the insurer is able to cancel the coverage if adverse conditions are discovered during the home insurance inspection.
If items are discovered during the home insurance inspection that appear to pose an unreasonable risk, as an underwriter, you can decide to provide the proposed insured with ample time to adequately correct the deficiency or deficiencies. As an alternative, you may elect to completely cancel the insurance contract.
Most insurers contract the services of independent residential insurance inspection companies to conduct their needed home inspections. For the past 35+ years, many have chosen Insurance Risk Services for this job. This company has a fine reputation for conducting accurate, reliable, cost-effective residential and commercial property inspections all across the U.S.
There are a number of different types of inspections that may be performed for a specific property. For a newer home, all that may be required is a basic exterior inspection with an exterior photo report. Newer houses have just recently been through a battery of inspections during construction to make sure they comply with local codes, so they likely don’t require a more in-depth interior inspection.
An exterior photo report will include pictures of the home from each side, to include photos of the roof, usually taken from the ground with a camera on a long pole. Photos are taken that can verify the home’s physical address and will also include any exterior buildings located on the property. Notes will be made of any obvious liability risks such as cracks in the driveway or sidewalk that could pose a slip-and-fall potential. On-site dogs (and their breeds) observed outside may be noted as well as any overgrown tree branches in close proximity to the home.
The All-Encompassing Home Insurance Inspection
A comprehensive interior/exterior home insurance inspection may be called for when dealing with older homes, very expensive or complex homes. This high-value inspection includes a full exterior inspection, with photos, measurements and observation reports, as well as a complete interior inspection. Part of this interior inspection will include the favored 4-point inspection, which covers:
- Detailed roof inspection
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
- Heating/air conditioning system (HVAC)
A complete interior/exterior home insurance inspection, professionally conducted by an industry leader such as Insurance Risk Services, provides benefits for insurers and insureds alike. It will provide you, the underwriter, with the most accurate, up-to-date information for use in your underwriting process. It will provide the homeowner with confidence that their home is safe and that hazards have been identified. Contact Insurance Risk Services for more information.