Do you know what a home insurance inspector is looking for when they come to your home?

Insurance companies, generally, do an exterior inspection and/or an interior inspection of homes they insure within 15 days after the effective date of a new policy. Most homes only receive an exterior inspection. An Interior inspection is most often required when a home is 35-40+ years old or is valued over $750,000.  Exterior home inspections help protect insurance companies from having to pay for preexisting conditions not disclosed by the insured and identifies potential hazards and risk exposures the insurance company wants to be corrected . Interior inspections help identify the hazards and risk exposures present on the inside of older homes, verifies updates, and documents the quality of workmanship and material grades in “High Value” homes to help establish replacement cost.

An insurance inspection is also a useful tool to responsible homeowners.  It may identify specific areas of vulnerability that need to be corrected to prevent further decay, disrepair, and adverse conditions that may devalue your property.  Insurance companies always provide reports of the noted defects and give the insured sufficient time for remediation.

Here are some of the most common areas home insurance inspectors look when they come to your home:

Property Inspection Hazard Guide

Exterior Hazards 

Roof Hazards

  1. Major Hazards:
  • (3) or more layers present.  (2) or more layers present if the bottom layer is brittle and deteriorated.
  • Clumps of moss on the roof surface. Results in curling or lifting of shingles and negatively impact roof integrity and/or the ability to repair the roof.
  • Granule loss resulting in the exposed backing of shingle.
  • Lack of proper ventilation, resulting in buckling or decking.
  • Metal roofs with creases, allowing for pooling of water.
  • Missing shingles.
  • The presence of tar patches on non-flat roofs.
  • Sagging of flat roof. A significant amount of damaged / missing flashing.
  • Significant impact marks.
  • Significantly curled or split shingles. Excessive splitting of shingles down to nails (shingles in danger of detaching due to splitting).

     2. Minor Hazards

  • A couple of roof shingles throughout the roof are missing/broken/torn.
  • The presence of moss that is not causing other structural damage to the roof surface.
  • Sligh granule loss, impact marks.
  • Slightly curled or split shingles.

Liability Hazards

  • Aggressive dogs.
  • Business involving hazardous materials.
  • Swimming Pools:
    • (Inground): Yard or pool is not fully enclosed. Fence inadequate to prevent unwarranted entry. Pool entry gate does not have lock or latch. Drained pools not securely covered. Pool damaged (ex: damaged surrounding walkway or damaged fence)
    • (Above Ground): Pool entry not secured by a gate with lock/latch or if pool unfenced, does not have retractable ladder present. Pool damaged.
  • Trampoline without surrounding net or fenced yard.
  • Undisclosed business on premises.
  • Undisclosed horses or exotic animals.
  • An uneven walkway that is severe enough to create a trip hazard.

Interior Hazards

  1. Electrical System: 
  • Any disposable fuse electric service panel still in use or aluminum wiring in use.
  • Knob and tube wiring still in active use or unable to determine if active. Uncovered (open) junction boxes, and/or bare wire splices.
  • Loose, unsupported, damaged or improperly installed wiring.
  • Electrical panel not properly mounted.
  • Rust or corrosion on the electrical panel or other electrical components.
  • Exterior electric panel is not “weather tight”.

General Interior Conditions: 

  • Excessive clutter resulting in blocked access through the home
  • fire hazard
  • mold
  • framing damage
  • foundation damage

Heating System: 

  • No central heating system.
  • Dented, leaking or rusted fuel storage tank.
  • Improper installation of a permanent space heater or central heating unit electrical controls.
  • Missing burner panel cover, central heating unit not properly mounted.
  • Oil line buried or encased in concrete.
  • AC drain pan clogged/leaking in the attic.
  • Underground fuel storage tank (if not excluded in applicable states)

Plumbing System: 

The system is in poor condition if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Galvanized steel/iron water supply lines in use.
  • Polybutylene water supply lines in use.
  • Evidence of water leak or damage.
  • Visual evidence of mold.
  • Fixtures or faucets damaged, leaking or missing.
  • Pipes not adequately supported.
  • Water heater damage.
  • Laundry washer hoses in poor condition.

Secondary Heating System:

  •  No UL label present.
  • The unit has not been professionally installed/inspected.
  • The unit used as primary heat source.

I hope the information I have provided is useful in helping you evaluate potential hazards and risk exposures in your home.  Plan your next project soon to help maintain or increase the value of one of your strongest assets! Feel free to contact me for additional information a guidance at or (848)303-5973.