Insurance Inspection Questions Consumers May Have
What is a 4-Point inspection?
Many insurance companies in Florida are now requiring these reports on older homes to either obtain a homeowner’s policy or to renew their existing policy. The inspection must be completed by a qualified inspector (usually a licensed home inspector or a certified building contractor) and is a limited visual survey of the following:
- Electrical system
- Heating and Air Conditioning system
The purpose of the inspection is to identify the components, the general condition and age of each component, any updates or any problems visible at the time of the inspection.
A report will be prepared and sent to the homeowner to keep for their records and to their insurance agent. For those who are buying a home, we do not recommend that this 4-Point inspection be used in place of a pre-purchase comprehensive home inspection due to its limited scope.
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
According to Florida Statute 626.0629 insurers must provide insurance rates that are not excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. They must offer policyholder discounts and credits for fixtures or construction techniques that enhance damage resistance or provide damage protection, including:
- Roof strength, including roof shape and covering.
- Roof-to-wall connections that are installed with hurricane clips/straps, including nails, clips, or single and double wraps.
- Wall-to-floor-to foundation strength.
- Window, door and skylight protections, such as hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows and garage doors.
Insurers are required to inform their applicants or policyholders of the availability and range of premium discounts for wind mitigation upon policy issuance and renewal.
In order to qualify for a wind mitigation discount, policyholders must have a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form (OIR-B1-1802), completed and certified by an engineer, architect, licensed building contractor or licensed home inspector. The form will be submitted along with photos of the home and the items receiving credits to the insurance agent and a copy returned to the homeowner to keep for their records. This report is accepted for up to five years as long as no changes to the home have been made since the inspection was performed. If the State of Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation revises the form, insurance carriers may require a new wind mitigation inspection be completed even if the original inspection was done less than five years ago.
What are Citizens specialized reports?
The Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt government corporation whose public purpose is to provide insurance protection to Florida property owners throughout the state. The corporation’s goal is to more efficiently and effectively provide insurance to, and serve the needs of, home-owners in high-risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the open, private insurance market.
If your homeowner’s policy is with Citizen’s and the house has a shingle roof more than 25 years of age or the house is 50 years or older, you will be required to have a specialized inspection of the roof (form Cit RCF-1 11 08) completed by one of the following: a state licensed roofing or building contractor, a licensed home inspector, a licensed building inspector, a registered architect, an engineer in the State of Florida or a building code official who is authorized by the State or its county’s municipalities. The purpose of this report is to prove if the roof has been replaced or that the remaining useful life is at least three years.
If the house has reached 50 years of age, Citizens will request an inspection of the electrical system only (form Cit-25) to be completed by a state licensed electrician. This report tells of any upgrades or updates to the electrical service, the amperage, if there are any code violations, insufficient load requirements, any knob and tube wiring present, improper grounding or exposed or unsafe wiring. The electrician must report what condition he feels the service is in and describe any deficiencies that need correcting. He may also be required to re-inspect at a later date any previously reported deficiencies and report if they were correctly repaired.