If you are buying home insurance for the first time or changing insurers, there is a good chance your new home insurance company will want to inspect the property.
That’s right, someone is going to come inspect the quality and condition of your most valuable asset.
Before the anxiety starts kicking in, remember that by the end of this blog, you will know how to manage the process and how it can help you save money in the future.
First off, which homes get inspected:
An “industry standard” I have heard from other agents, is that older homes (25+) are more frequently inspected. But to be honest, it is entirely dependent on the insurance company.
The good news is that there are different forms of home inspection and some options include virtual, or drone inspections. At the end of this blog, we included a chart that outlines some of the insurers we work with, the types of homes they inspect, how they inspect, and what options are available to you.
What actually gets inspected and what are they looking for?
The inspection allows your insurance company to gather data on house related items that are sometimes not listed in your insurance application like:
It typically takes a professional to evaluate the condition and lifespan of these items, which makes it difficult to ask these questions on a typical insurance application.
What happens after the inspection?
All of this data makes the replacement cost, the main limit on your insurance policy from us, more accurate and it guarantees your home is insured properly.
The bad news is that once an inspection occurs, insurers can choose to increase (or decrease) your policy premium and they can even drop you as a customer.
I know, that part doesn’t seem fair. We don’t make the rules, we just want to give you the pieces to play the game.
How to prepare for an inspection?
First, get in the right frame of mind:
Seriously, this is how I approach it, and it helps me feel better about the experience.
Now if you are someone who wants to get ahead of the game, there are some things you can do before the inspector arrives:
Home inspections can be stressful and sometimes feel intrusive. Keep a good outlook, use our tips to get ahead of the game, and maybe, just maybe, we can make this experience less awkward, and save you from a bigger accident in the future.
Home inspections by insurance company:
Hippo: Inspect older homes or home with a value greater than $1 million
Travelers: Inspect older home; as determined by the underwriter
Nationwide: Inspect exterior on most homes; interior is only credit based or for high value homes over $750,000
Plymouth Rock: Inspect following a claim (2 day window), up to 60 days to conduct inspection for new policyholders, all new properties get exterior inspections, annual exterior with all policyholders without prior notice
The Hartford: Inspect homes over 30 years old, over 10 years old with replacement cost less than $100,000, if there was no information on the applicant’s insurance/credit score, and high value homes over $500,000