Most insurance companies require a satisfactory 4-point inspection report be submitted to them before they will insure an older home—typically more than 30 years old or so, depending on the company. The purpose of the inspection is to determine if there are any deteriorated or unsafe conditions in the home that have developed due to its age, which have the potential to cause an insurance claim in the future. The four points are the roof, plumbing, electrical, and heating/air conditioning. To learn more about 4-point inspections and what are the most common 4-point defects, we suggest that you read one of our other blogs at:
But if the inspector turns up so many defects during the 4-point inspection that the insurance company declines to insure the property until they are fixed, there is another option. It’s called a “builder’s risk” or, sometimes, a “vacant property” or “surplus lines” policy, and is often purchased by remodelers that buy uninhabitable houses in order to have insurance while they are repairing them for resale.
One company that writes this type of policy is Tapco Insurance Underwriters. You cannot buy the policy directly from the company and need to find a local independent insurance agent that represents them.
There are virtually no requirements, other than providing an address, in order to secure this type of insurance. The downside is that it’s expensive; so you only want to use it for as long as it takes to get the house improved sufficiently to pass a 4-point inspection. The minimum policy term offered is usually 6-months.
As far as we know, no company offers this type of policy for a manufactured/mobile home. Also, many policies include a clause that does not allow you to get a refund for the unused portion if you complete your repairs quickly, and want to cancel and switch to standard homeowner’s insurance before the end of the policy term.
Van Hibberts, CMI
Certified Residential Building Code Inspector ICC-5319905
IBHS Fortified Certified Inspector #FEV32561020109
ARA Certified Inspector #20302 (Applied Research Associates)
Florida-State Certified Master Inspector Lic. #HI 89
Certified Owens-Corning Roof Data Inspector
Florida-Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector
WDO Certificate #JE190791
362 Gulf Breeze Parkway, #214
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561
850.485.3209 (Cell / Text Msg)