The Importance of Inspections for Homeowner’s Insurance

In the process of purchasing a home and obtaining insurance, you’ll likely be asked to have an inspection done. A standard insurance writing procedure, an inspection helps establish COPE – an acronym for Construction, Occupancy, Protection and Exposure – which helps determine your rate.
If you’re still wondering why you need to get a home inspection, consider the following reasons.
The Property’s Condition Meets the Value
Could the home you’re about to purchase be too good to be true? Or, could the former owner or agent be overcharging you? An inspection prior to your purchase may assist with identifying:

  • Serious structural problems. Buyers have been known to move in, only to discover a leaky roof or dysfunctional plumbing. At this point, you must pay out-of-pocket to fix the issues.
  • Pests, including rodents and termites. An inspector not only looks at the main foundation of the house, but further checks the roof, roof space and under-floor area for possible signs of an infestation.

Major Behavioral Risks
Could you be the reason for high homeowner’s rates? An inspection assists with finding risks such as:

  • Atypical heating or electrical fixtures, both of which increase your chances of a fire.
  • The presence of flammable liquids and how they’re stored.
  • Areas with sharp tools and dangerous equipment, including a woodworking shop.
  • Cooking equipment stored outside of the kitchen.

Accident and Death Risks
If someone enters your home, could they easily suffer a serious trip injury or drown in your pool? You might not think so, but an inspection looks for a combination of the following hazards:

  • Uneven or broken sidewalks or driveways.
  • Improper fencing, especially around a pool.
  • Trees that grow too close to the house.
  • Close overhead wires.
  • Pervasive maintenance and upkeep issues.
  • Explosion hazards, including incorrectly stored and disposed cooking oils and grease.

Does Your Property Meet Building Codes?
Especially if you’re about to purchase commercial property, you want to know if the building meets existing codes and what modifications (if any) are needed. An inspection checks for:

  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.
  • Up-to-date and properly tested detectors and sprinklers.
  • Fire extinguishers, including the right type, placement and amount.
  • Exits and exit signs, including placement and operation.

Do You Have the Right Policy?
Some property owners simply don’t know, and others attempt to get around the system. In one common scenario, someone purchasing a multi-family building with plans to rent out to tenants intentionally purchases a personal homeowner’s policy for the lower rates. An inspection determines who’s living in your building, how many occupants you expect to have, and can assist with identifying the right policy and rate.
In another typical scenario, many homeowners start off with one type of policy, only to find their needs change with time. As such, in addition to your upfront inspection, schedule this process whenever you make upgrades and other major modifications. For instance, adding an in-ground pool or a trampoline changes your risk exposure, and should thus be reflected in your premiums.
Are you about to purchase a new home or make updates to your current property? Work with Ion Insurance to tailor your policy to your current lifestyle. To begin, give us a call at 203.439.2815.