What is a 4 Point Inspection?

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 6th 2022
A 4-point inspection often comes up when attempting to purchase a home for the first time, but not everyone knows what this check is or why you might need one. It’s a critical action you need to take advantage of if you’re looking to give the insurance company the best possible image of the liability they’ve taken on.

If you’re looking to learn more about the importance of a 4-point inspection, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about a 4-point check, what it looks like, how you can prepare for one, and so much more. A 4-point inspection is a necessary part of purchasing a home.

hash-markWhat is a 4-Point Inspection?

A 4-point inspection is a type of examination that happens when you purchase a home. It’s an examination of the condition, whether it’s a new location or one used before. A 4-point inspection looks at four aspects: HVAC, plumbing, roofing, and electrical.

If you need to renew or become eligible for an insurance plan, you might be asked by a homeowner’s insurance company to get the check. This way, they can plan for the liability and determine how much they will need to charge for your plan. 

If you have an old house, you might have issues appearing soon. If the owners continually ask for coverage, it might cost them more than they’re making, which is not practical for a business. A 4-point inspection helps them to charge you accordingly.

There are some benefits to an insurance company for getting a 4-point inspection. However, there are also some you can have as a buyer. Some of the benefits for homeowners that come with a 4-point check include:

  • Safety against future damage: You can fix issues early if they’re found with an inspection, rather than waiting until they get out of control.
  • Quick and affordable: An inspection takes no more than a few hours and won’t cost you too much.
  • Security: You can feel safe knowing your home is secure, especially if you’re thinking about selling shortly.

A 4-point inspection is a way to stay proactive against potential dangers.

If you’re buying a house, a 4-point inspection can also help you decide if the home is worth it. If repairs and insurance will cost you lots of money, investing in the home might not make sense. If there are troubles before you move in, there will be even more in the future.

hash-markWhat Does a 4-Point Inspection Look Like?

A 4-point inspection looks at plumbing, electrical, roofing, and HVAC. These are critical parts of a home that can cost lots of money to deal with if something goes wrong. So when you get a 4-point inspection on your home, a licensed inspector will look at all four of these items to ensure they are in proper working condition.

During a 4-point inspection, a professional will look at the following systems in the home:

  • Plumbing: This includes the pipes that bring things from the walls.
  • Electrical: This includes wires and other power-related systems that could cause fires.
  • Roofing: This includes the shingles, tiles, and other materials that make up the surface of your roof.
  • HVAC: This includes the air conditioning and heating systems inside your home.

All of these are vital to your house and have the potential to cost a significant amount in repairs. 

When you request a 4-point inspection, a professional will look at all four of these components in your home. They will carefully examine each of these and determine any faults within the system. From here, your home will either pass the check or fail it entirely. There are ways you can prepare for a 4-point inspection.

hash-markHow to Prepare for a 4-Point Inspection?

If you’re looking to renew your insurance policy, you want to pass your 4-point inspection to prove the home is in good standing. You’ll need to look around your home ahead of time to see that everything is in working order before the professional comes in to examine your living space.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a 4-point inspection:

  • Check for the HVAC unit: Ensure your HVAC is in working order without fireplaces or oil furnaces operating as central systems.
  • Look for leaks: Anything leaking should be taken care of ahead of time. Severe plumbing troubles are an automatic no from an insurance company.
  • Examine the roof: Get someone to check out your roof before you have a professional come in. They can look for any damage or missing pieces and repair them ahead of time.
  • Search wiring: Search for any exposed wiring and apparent fire hazards that could pose a danger if left untouched.

If you see anything that can be taken care of ahead of time, fix it to improve your chances of passing a 4-point inspection.

Once you’ve dealt with the obvious safety issues, you can invite the professional inside your home to perform the check. With any luck, you will pass and regain your insurance policy.

hash-markReasons You Can Fail a 4-Point Inspection

Not everyone passes a 4-point inspection. There are several reasons why a licensed inspector might choose to fail your home rather than clear it with flying colors. Let’s talk about a few of the traits that might lead to immediate disqualification for your potential dream home.

A few of the most prominent reasons you might fail a 4-point inspection include:

  • Old roofs: A roof older than a certain age might be a reason for immediate disqualification. Old roofs can lead to leaks and other damage in the future.
  • No central air: A lack of central air that covers the entire home is another reason your 4-point inspection might fail.
  • Outdated electrical panels: Outdated Electrical panels can prove to be dangerous and cause trouble as time goes on in your new home.
  • Faulty wiring: Faulty wiring can cause damage and even dangers like fires if left unmanaged for too long.
  • Missing roof pieces: Missing roof pieces can lead to leaks and other breakages over time.
  • Old plumbing system: Old plumbing systems can cause leaks and be impossible to repair if anything gets plugged inside.
  • Electrical system brand and condition: Some brands, and the condition they’re in, can determine how an insurance company feels about your inspection. They know which ones are reliable and which ones aren’t.
  • Leaks in plumbing: If there’s an existing leak in the plumbing, a 4-point inspection could fail right away.

These can all cause a 4-point inspection to fail, which can be a pain if you want to sell or determine if the home is best for you to buy. Nobody wants a place that will cost them more to repair sooner rather than later, and higher insurance premiums can push the home out of many budgets.

If your house fails a 4-point inspection, there are a few things you need to do. Discuss this failure with your real estate agent and get them on board with the situation. From here, you can get the seller to make money off the price or repair the home before you move in. However, it’s not required. They don’t have to fix the home or lessen the price. 

If the seller doesn’t want to take the funds off your cost or make repairs, you can always try another insurance carrier. However, this can be risky. A 4-point inspection that fails with one company has a high chance of falling short with another. At this point, it might be best to find a new home that fits your needs and is more affordable for your lifestyle.

hash-mark4-Point Inspection Cost

Everything has a cost, and a 4-point inspection is no different. It’s less intricate than a full-house inspection, so you don’t need to pay quite as much. However, there is still a price tag you can anticipate. Therefore, it’s best to set aside funds if you think a 4-point inspection is on the horizon for your life.

On the low end, you can expect to pay about $50. For some, you can hand over upwards of about $150. They’re some of the least expensive inspections you can find out there, and they usually take no more than a few hours to complete. It’s easy to get the answer you want within a few hours.

Although it can seem like a pain to fork over this extra cash for a 4-point inspection, it’s worth it if you want to move forward with your purchase or renew your policy on your insurance. If you fail, you can take the time to deal with repairs to ensure you won’t deal with anything more complicated than that in the future. 

A 4-point inspection is a valuable service that can serve you well, no matter what you’re looking for in a home. It’s a proactive measure that benefits both you and the providers looking to help you renew your policy. It can help you determine if a home is actually worth your time or if you should look somewhere else.