Tarrant County homeowners looking for new home insurance begin their shopping process without much thought to what happens if they change companies besides saving money or properly covering themselves. And really, why would they. As they navigate the process of securing coverage, getting payment made, informing mortgage companies, and other pieces of the puzzle they may not even realize that their home will be inspected by the company that is placing insurance on their home. What is the home inspection for and should I care?
Any time that a home insurance company writes a policy for a Burleson homeowner, they want to make sure that the risk that they are taking on is appropriate for their company's ideas. Each company has a different target market, so it's important to them to make sure that your home is inside that target. Along with that, each company has different risk factors for various home types, ages, and systems. A metal roof has a very different factor than a three tab composition shingle due to the likelihood of a hail claim of each. Since that's the case, the company wants to make sure that your home is appropriately rated. It's also a good idea on their part to make sure that your home does have a roof and stuff.
So What Happens During The Inspection?
Fortunately for you, the homeowner, the inspection process is largely painless. Most insurance companies in Texas use a third party service to go from house to house performing inspections at each location. The inspector will primarily be conducting an exterior inspection with some exceptions. The inspector will be walking the exterior of your home/property and taking pictures of certain items. They will peek over your fence and looking for any or some of the following...
- Confirming the existence or non-existence of a pool or trampoline.
- Looking for puppy dogs. Certain breeds may pose a problem.
- Looking at the general condition of your roof.
- Looking for vegetation growing on the outside of your home like ivy.
- Looking for tree limbs hanging over the roof or touching it.
- Confirming that your windows are in good shape.
- Do you have rotted wood siding or soffit?
- Open exposed foundations on older homes.
- Confirming proper electrical connections to your home.
- Elevated porches, balconies, decks or staircases that do not have proper railings.
After The Inspection
Once the inspector has completed their process, the company produces a formal document of any findings. These will include pictures of potential problems that the company will want addressed. If your home is found to be deficient in any areas that are covered by your policy, you will receive a formal notice from the insurance company. Not all deficiencies are equal though. Some items that are uncovered will simply need to be addressed like overhanging branches. However, some items, like a balcony without proper railing can trigger a cancellation of your policy. It's important to understand the time frame involved if this is the case. You will either need to find alternative coverage or be able to prove correction of the problem within what is typically 30 to 60 days.
For most Ft Worth homeowners the inspection process isn't a big deal. However, any time you change companies you open yourself back up to underwriting of your home along with all of it's inhabitants. Knowing the parameters of the various companies is key and why it's important to work with a local independent insurance agent like Insurance For Texans. If you need to review your coverage, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with us today!