Florida Residential Underwriting – Inspections
There are many types of home inspections. The most common are listed below. If the insurer requests a 4-point or specialized inspection and it is not provided, they can refuse to provide certain coverage or may refuse to insure your property at all.
Underwriting Inspection (Insurer Pays): An insurer may require a visual inspection prior to writing a policy. This inspection is done to verify the information given on the application about the home and property. They may verify the construction of the home and whether there are potential hazards on the property such as unacceptable animals, pools, trampolines, unrepaired steps, steps without handrails, etc. They also verify the maintenance of the home such as whether the property has any unrepaired damage. They look at whether the home is properly maintained, such as, overgrown grass and weeds, trees with dead limbs near home, non-operating vehicles on the property, etc.
Insurers hire their own inspectors or inspection firms to inspect the condition of a property prior to issuance or renewal of a policy. This is part of the underwriting process. These inspectors are hired and paid by the insurance company so they decide who to use and what qualifications they must meet. Florida law does not address who an insurance company can hire for their underwriting process. The Department of Financial Services would not have authority to intercede on an inspector’s behalf if they were denied employment/contracts with an insurer.
4-Point Inspection (Consumer Pays): If you are insuring an older home, the insurer may require an inspection of the following items: The roof (to determine its life expectancy), the plumbing, electrical wiring, or heating and air. The insured/proposed insured pays for this inspection.
Specialized Inspection (Consumer Pays): Sometimes, an insurer may request an inspection of only one item, such as the roof. The life expectancy of a roof is one of the most common inspections requested today. Another common inspection requested in certain areas is for sinkholes. The insured/proposed insured pays for this inspection.
Mitigation Inspection (Consumer Pays): Many policyholders may elect to have an inspection to determine what wind mitigation credits they are entitled to receive on their homeowner’s premium (windstorm portion). These inspectors complete the OIR-B1-1802 inspection form for the insured to submit to their insurance company. Florida Statute 627.711states who can complete and sign this form. The consumer pays for this type of inspection. Please see Mitigation Notices, Inspections & Forms for additional information.