Why do the insurance company’s inspect your homes
Are you in the process of buying a new house?
Did you just switch your home insurance to a different company?
If either of these answers is yes, you may notice or see that your new insurance company wants to inspect your home.
This might be an exterior inspection where they take pictures around the outside of the home or an interior inspection where they note things about your electrical, plumbing, and heating units.
But why is this?
Depending on the age of your home and maybe the online photos of your property, the insurance company may require an inspection. They are going to look to make sure that the property is maintained and that there are no major liability hazards or maintenance concerns.
Some of the most frequent concerns we get from the insurance companies after the inspection has been completed are:
- Missing handrails on steps – Liability Hazard
- Missing steps off sliding glass or exterior doors- Liability hazard
- Excess debris in the yard- Fire and property concern
- Deteriorated Roof- coverage concern
- Boarded windows or missing siding- coverage concern
- Rundown detached structures- Property/Coverage concern
- Do you have a swimming pool, trampoline, dogs, or woodstove that they didn’t know about
Why is the inspection is done after the policy is issued?
As mentioned, the insurance company’s might require the inspection after you issue a new policy, not before.
Why is that?
It is just not feasible to send inspectors out to look at houses while in the quoting stage. Independent insurance agents like us will quote 15+ insurance companies on every homeowner’s policy.
The cost associated with each inspection would drive rates up for everyone.
What if the insurance company finds issues with my house
In the state of New York, the insurance company has up to 60 days from when the policy first gets issued to cancel that policy.
They can use any reason during that 60 days to cancel your insurance if any red flags concern the insurance company about you or your property.
Most of the time an insurance company will ask questions or give recommendations on what to fix or change to make it satisfactory.
They can also change your homeowner’s insurance rates if they find things they didn’t know about during the inspection. Maybe they found a swimming pool or a woodstove both of which could have a separate charge or rating factor.
The last thing the insurance company is looking for is to make sure you are still at replacement cost. If your policy was written and covered based on 2000 square feet but when they inspect they realize the 4 season sunroom that was added on wasn’t part of that initial square footage, then they will increase your coverage limit to better protect you.
What to do next
Having the insurance company come take pictures or inspect your house is a good thing. They are looking for hazards that could cause a claim or even a lawsuit. The purpose is to protect you better and save you hassle & money in the long run.
When shopping for your home insurance make sure you use an independent insurance agent who can give you choices, they will ask you the appropriate questions to avoid issues at the inspection.
If you don’t have a relationship with an independent agent or want a review of your insurance then click the button below to schedule a review with one of our trusted insurance advisors.