Insurance Inspections: A Cornerstone to Accurate Property Insurance Underwriting

Insurance Inspections: A Cornerstone to Accurate Property Insurance Underwriting
A home insurance inspection can provide several benefits, both for the homeowner and the insurer that’s writing the homeowners insurance coverage for a property. When done properly, an insurance inspection will give you, the underwriter, the information needed to accurately assess risks and potential liabilities that will affect the decisions you must make regarding whether to provide coverage for a particular property. The inspection data can also help you determine an appropriate amount to charge in premium for the policy.
Other Benefits of an Insurance Inspection
Most insurance inspections occur within the first 30 days of a policy being written, well within the normal 60-day grace period an insurer has to determine if a policy it’s written should be retracted. As an insurance company underwriter, you issue a policy based on information that’s been gathered from the policy application and other data available from various sources. This information may be incomplete or, sometimes, even misrepresented.

Having a reliable and accurate insurance inspection completed is the best way to determine the existence of any hazards or risk conditions that may increase the chances of experiencing any future losses. Since your company is assuming many of the risks facing a particular property, identification of these risks and/or hazards can be used to correct these conditions, if possible, before they have a chance to negatively impact your company’s bottom line. The information can also be passed along to the property owner, benefitting you both.

Other insurance inspection benefits include:

  • Determining an Accurate Rebuild Cost – an important objective of an insurance inspection is to ensure that a property is insured for the correct amount. The correct amount of coverage should reflect the actual cost to rebuild in the event of a total loss. The most reliable way of validating rebuild cost is by way of an on-site, personal inspection.
  • Hazard Identification – an on-site inspection will reveal things that may represent a trip and fall hazard such as cracks in the front walk, a loose step on the porch or potholes in the parking lot of a commercial property. Some hazards you, as an insurer with a financial interest in loss prevention, may recommend the property owner mitigate. Others you may require be fixed if continued insurance coverage is to be expected.
  • Discounts or Credits – discounts or credits of which the property owner was previously unaware may be identified through an insurance inspection. An example of this is properties that have a central burglar and fire alarm system may also have a low temperature sensor, which may qualify for a premium discount.

What Happens During an Insurance Inspection?
During a complete, comprehensive inspection, the inspector will look at all areas of a property, both interior and exterior. This will include all rooms and all mechanisms such as the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, roof, etc. They will typically take pictures and measurements to verify dimensional information. There are, however, various inspection levels, each depending on the depth of information required for a particular property.

Unlike a real estate inspection, an insurance inspection is geared primarily toward loss prevention and a clear picture of the cost of fixing or rebuilding after any covered loss is experienced. Opportunities to increase safety and security should be identified, including fire hazards and liability risks. Insurance Risk Services has been in the business of providing reliable underwriting reports to a wide range of property insurers for nearly four decades. Contact them today to avail yourself of their uncompromising services and solutions to your specific underwriting requirements.