Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 01:36 pm

Quick Answer

  •  A 4 Point Inspection is a type of home inspection that focuses on four major areas of a home: the roof, electrical system, plumbing system, and HVAC system.
  • A staggering 98% of insurance companies require a 4 point home inspection before providing coverage for older homes (typically those over 30 years old).

A 4 point home inspection is a specialized type of inspection that focuses on four major systems of your home: the electrical system, the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, the plumbing system, and the roof.

This type of inspection is typically required by insurance companies when insuring an older home or when there is a change in homeowners insurance policy.

During a 4 point home inspection, a certified inspector thoroughly examines these four key systems to identify any potential issues or hazards.

This inspection assesses the overall condition, age, and functionality of each system, providing valuable information to both the homeowner and the insurance company.

A 4 point home inspection helps to ensure the safety of a home by examining the four main areas of the home that are most likely to experience problems. 

The inspection includes a visual assessment of components such as the main electrical panel, wiring, distribution lines, plumbing supply lines, water heater, air conditioning units, ductwork, and the condition of the roof.

The inspector will also check for any signs of water damage, mold, or pests.

The inspection won’t cover things like the driveway, landscaping, decks, and gutters. 

This type of home inspection will give the lender a good idea of any liability they make take on, especially if your getting a loan on the property.

What does it include

 By examining these fundamental components, a 4 point home inspection can uncover potential issues and guide homeowners, insurance agencies, and buyers in making informed decisions.

Electrical System:

A certified inspector carefully evaluates the electrical system of the property.

This evaluation includes checking the electrical panels, outlets, and wiring for any visible signs of wear, damage, or outdated components.

The inspector will also ensure that all electrical systems are functioning properly and meet safety standards.

This assessment helps identify potential fire hazards, outdated electrical systems, or the need for any necessary repairs or upgrades.

Plumbing System:

The plumbing system is another critical aspect examined during a 4 point home inspection. The certified inspector will assess the condition of the pipes, supply lines, and drainage systems.

They will also look for signs of leaks, corrosion, or any plumbing issues that could lead to water damage or compromised functionality.

This inspection is particularly important for older homes or those with polybutylene plumbing, a type of plumbing that has been associated with potential failures and water damage.

HVAC System:

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an integral part of any home. During a 4 point inspection, the HVAC system is evaluated to ensure it is in good working condition.

The certified inspector checks the heating and cooling units, air ducts, filters, and thermostats. They assess their overall functionality, energy efficiency, and potential need for maintenance or repairs.

Identifying any issues or inefficiencies in the HVAC system can save homeowners money on energy bills and help avoid costly repairs or replacements down the line.

Roof:

The condition of the roof is a crucial factor in the overall integrity of a property.

A 4 point home inspection includes an assessment of the roof to identify any visible damage, leaks, or signs of deterioration.

The inspector will inspect the shingles, flashing, gutters, and any other components of the roof to ensure they are in good condition and able to protect the home from water damage. This evaluation helps homeowners, insurance underwriters,

Who could use a 4-point check

Any homeowner with an older house may require an inspection of four points prior to obtaining insurance coverage for their home

In a four-point inspection a home inspector will assess how current the four main systems within your house, specifically the following:

  • Electricity wiring, panels and wiring.
  • Heating as well as ventilation as well as cooling (HVAC).
  • Plumbing.
  • Roof
 

If a house does not pass all or a portion of the inspection, the inspector will review the things that must be repaired or replaced in order to remedy the issues. It is possible that the fixes are required for insurance purposes.

It is important to note that a four-point inspection is not able to substitute for a complete house inspection.

 If your insurance company for your home requires an inspection, make certain to inquire which type of inspection you require..

Who typically performs the inspection

When it comes to conducting a 4-point home inspection, it is essential to rely on the expertise of a qualified and experienced home inspector.

This type of inspection requires in-depth knowledge of the major systems in a home and the ability to assess their condition accurately. Here are the professionals who typically perform this:

Licensed Home Inspectors: Licensed home inspectors are professionals who are trained to evaluate the different components of a house.

They have the necessary expertise to thoroughly inspect the four major systems, including the electrical system, plumbing system, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, and the roof.

Licensed home inspectors adhere to industry standards and guidelines to ensure a comprehensive examination of these systems.

Home Insurance Inspectors: Some insurance companies or insurance providers require a 4-point home inspection as part of the insurance application process, especially for older homes.

Insurance inspectors specialize in assessing the condition of a house’s major systems to determine its insurability and potential risk factors. 

Real Estate Inspectors: Real estate inspectors, also known as buyer’s inspectors, perform detailed inspections of properties that are being bought or sold. 

While a standard home inspection covers a broader range of components, real estate inspectors may also conduct a 4-point inspection to give potential buyers a comprehensive understanding of the major systems’ current condition.

Insurance Underwriters: Insurance underwriters are professionals who assess risks and make decisions regarding insurance coverage.

They often rely on information provided by home inspectors to evaluate the insurability of a property.

In some cases, insurance underwriters may conduct inspections themselves or review reports from licensed home inspectors to determine a property’s eligibility for coverage.

What happens after

Evaluation and Documentation: Each system is carefully examined, and any issues, deficiencies, or potential risks are identified.

The inspector will create a comprehensive report detailing their observations, including specific photographs, notes, and recommendations regarding the condition of each system.

Reviewing the Inspection Report: Once the inspector has compiled the inspection report, it is typically shared with the homeowner or buyer.

This report becomes a valuable resource for decision-making regarding the property.

In many cases, a 4-point home inspection may unveil issues or areas that require attention. These findings might include faulty wiring, plumbing leaks, HVAC inefficiencies, or a deteriorating roof.

Address these concerns promptly to maintain the safety, functionality, and overall condition of the property.

Communicating with Insurance Providers: Insurance companies may require this  inspection as part of the underwriting process, especially for older homes or properties with outdated systems.

After receiving the inspection report, homeowners can communicate with their insurance providers to discuss the findings and ensure that their coverage adequately addresses any identified issues.

This proactive approach can help avoid potential coverage gaps or disputes in the event of future claims related to the four major systems.

Are they required

If you have an older property that is on the market due to the death of an older person,  and you’re due to renew in you homeowner’s insurance coverage in Texas, or you are buying an older house, it is likely that you will be required to provide a four-point survey to be part of the underwriting procedure

This is the most frequent practice in Florida as well as other states along the coast.

There’s a general outline of what’s covered by the four-point inspection. However every insurance company has its own set of guidelines concerning who is eligible for an inspection.

 It is the International Association of Certified Home Inspections (NACHI) has a four-point inspection that is universally available on a form, but the use of this form isn’t required under the law.

Home Inspection vs. 4 Point Inspection

Four-point inspections are designed specifically to be used for homeowners insurance and should not get confused with brand new home inspection (also called a buyers ‘ inspection or real estate inspection home inspection, or full inspection, depending on the area you reside in). 

This distinction is crucial since the home inspection is needed to finish closing on a property and satisfy the eligibility requirements for mortgage.  

A four-point inspection can take between 1 and 2 hours to finish. and is purely visually. 

However, if you purchase an older house, you may be required to undergo two inspections.

Remember four-point inspections are more frequent within coastal areas such as Houston and Galveston, and are prone to more severe weather conditions that lead to a catastrophic loss of life (loss of life and entire towns destroyed and power grids that have been destroyed roadways, airports, etc.).

A full inspection will cover additional areas including:

  1. Windows, Doors, and Framing
  2. Insulation
  3. Appliances
  4. Floors
  5. Ceilings
  6. Stairs
 
Realize that if you want other portions of the home inspected, including the drywall, garage, bathrooms, and living room inspected, a 4 point inspection may NOT be the way to go!

How much does it cost

According to Get Jerry,  the average cost is between $50-$150, making it extremely affordable. Costs vary depending on the location and inspection firm.

It is estimated that a properly conducted and thorough 4 point home inspection can potentially save homeowners up to $5,000 in repair costs that would have otherwise gone unnoticed or worsened over time..

It’s important to note that a 4 point inspection typically focuses on the key systems of your home rather than providing a comprehensive examination of the entire property.

This focused approach allows certified inspectors to thoroughly evaluate the electrical system, plumbing, HVAC, and the roof. 

What are the benefits

  • 1. Increased safety: A 4 point home inspection examines the four main areas of the home that are most likely to experience problems, helping to identify any existing or potential safety hazards.
  • 2. Lower insurance premiums: A 4 point home inspection can help to lower insurance premiums because insurance companies are more willing to provide coverage if they know that the home has been inspected and its major systems are in good condition.
  • 3. Increased home value: A 4 point home inspection can help to increase the value of a home by ensuring that it is in good condition and identifying any necessary repairs or improvements.
  • 4. Peace of mind: A 4 point home inspection provides homeowners with peace of mind that their home is safe and sound, which can help to reduce stress and worry.

Getting a home Inspection for your homeowners insurance

You may not know that some homeowners insurance companies require one of these home inspections before they will issue a policy. 

Sometimes when renewing your policy, you will be asked that a 4 point inspection be performed.  This can save you money on costs and catch problems before they become a much bigger issue!

Some sellers get an inspection before they sell the home they are in because they know they will have many repairs to make.