There is a general belief that insurance companies carry out home inspections initially to determine the coverage. But, this is not always the case. Home insurance companies may get your house inspected for several reasons. One of the most important ones is to determine the condition of your home.
How much you pay for your home insurance premium depends on several factors. Insurance companies set high premiums to cover houses with potential risks. In some cases, home inspectors hired by insurance companies decide the risk factors associated with a home. However, not all Alberta home insurance requires mandatory inspection.
- 1 How often does a house need to be checked for insurance purposes in Canada?
- 2 Why do some insurance companies check your home?
- 3 Checklist for home insurance inspections
- 4 Benefits of home inspection
- 5 Tips to prepare for a home inspection
- 6 Can you get home insurance without a home inspection?
- 7 Endnote
How often does a house need to be checked for insurance purposes in Canada?
While there are no official rules in Canada that mandate a home inspection before obtaining home insurance, it largely depends on insurance company policies. Some insurers make inspection visits mandatory in their contracts.
Furthermore, a home inspection might be the only choice to obtain homeowners coverage if:
- You are buying an older home.
- You have not got your home inspected for more than 20 years.
Depending on the condition of your home, there are three possible outcomes:
You get approved for homeowners insurance
If the house is fit for comprehensive coverage or the repairs have addressed the concerns and risks, it passes the inspection. You get the option to choose an insurance plan that suits your needs.
You become eligible for homeowners insurance with conditions
Although your house passes all standard checks, some issues need to be resolved to make it insurance worthy. In this condition, you need to fix the stipulated problems to become eligible for homeowners insurance. For instance, everything might be up to insurance standards except the wiring. Replace this to pass the inspection.
The insurance is denied
If inspectors find too many high-risk factors in your house that cannot be addressed easily, you will most likely not get insurance coverage.
Whether a home inspection for insurance is mandatory or not, it is a good practice to do your checks to ascertain the health of your house. Even minor damage to the house can turn into a big problem if ignored. If your insurance company finds out major risks associated with the house, you will likely pay more premium for homeowner’s insurance.
Why do some insurance companies check your home?
Although not mandatory by law, some insurance companies make home inspections a prerequisite. The sole purpose is to set your monthly premiums in accordance with your house’s state.
- A home check helps them determine any risk associated with the house that may pose a danger to occupants or the house itself. If you get it repaired, this not only helps in eliminating risk factors but lowers the premiums.
- Similarly, the checks also set a replacement value and determine the age of your house. After the checks, they offer a personalized coverage plan as per your needs.
- In case of a major renovation, companies need to ascertain the need for additional coverage.
- Some insurers have a rule to periodically check the property to update the insurance plan according to the condition of your home.
Therefore, consult a professional insurance broker or a home inspector in Alberta to get your house inspected at the earliest.
Checklist for home insurance inspections
Generally, home insurance companies conduct visual inspections of a house’s exterior to determine the structural strength. If they are not satisfied, they conduct a more thorough inspection of both the exterior and interior of your house.
Although the checklist for home inspection varies from insurer to insurer, some of the common aspects that most companies cover are:
- Gutters and drainage system
- Electric wirings
- HVAC system’s age and condition
- Home appliance
- Roof, floors, and foundation
- Safety devices such as Anti-theft and fire alarms.
Benefits of home inspection
Apart from saving money on insurance, a home inspection ensures the safety of the members living in the building. Home inspections can identify potential life-threatening risks associated with a house. Furthermore, some features like a fire alarm or anti-theft system also make you eligible for great discounts. Moreover, peace of mind entails knowing that your house is adequately protected from uncertainties.
Tips to prepare for a home inspection
Being prepared for a home inspection gives you an upper hand. Here’s how you can prepare :
- Ensure everything is well arranged and in working condition. For instance, run a check on all appliances, drainage systems, and gutters.
- Repair any cracks or damages to the roof and water logging problems in the foundation.
- Keep all warranty documents and servicing history of electric appliances and security systems handy to produce in front of home inspectors.
- Check the plumbing system for leakages.
- Refinish the surfaces with mold, rot, or mildew
Can you get home insurance without a home inspection?
Yes, except in some cases, most insurance companies offer homeowner’s insurance without a home inspection. Similarly, there are no federal rules that mandate home inspections before purchasing a property. However, it is in your best interest to get your home inspected to lower the monthly premiums and identify safety risks.
On the other hand, some insurance companies’ rules may make a home inspection mandatory for home insurance. For instance, your house is likely to be inspected, if:
- Your house is old
- Electric wirings are old
- You have oil tanks or wood stoves
- Your house has not been inspected for more than 20 years.
If your house doesn’t fall in any of the above categories, you are likely to get a homeowner’s insurance without a home inspection.
You now know how often your house needs to be checked for insurance purposes. While some homeowners consider this process as a waste of money, it is a quality investment that reaps benefits in the long run. Moreover, it is beneficial for both homeowner and insurance provider. Furthermore, it is a powerful tool for identifying gray areas in your house that are dangerous for the house’s structure and residents.