How To Have a Successful Property Inspection
We know the idea of an inspection sounds scary, especially when it could lead to a change in your policy — but Matic has your back. We’ve put together a Home Inspection FAQ so you can prepare.
Home Inspection FAQ
What is the Purpose of an Inspection?
Your insurance carrier conducts an inspection to ensure your policy accurately reflects the current value and condition of your home, which both account for the Replacement Cost — the amount it would cost to rebuild your home in the event that it were destroyed.
An inspection is also used to assess any risks to you and your family.
What Happens During an Inspection?
The inspector performs a walk-through assessment of your property. Typically, inspections are just exterior. They will look for any possible issues — like moldy siding or branches that hang over your roofline — and note these accordingly.
However, depending on the age of your home, the inspector may want to conduct an interior inspection. In this case, they will be checking for outdated electrical wiring or plumbing, and the condition of living spaces and other areas (such as an attic or basement) to make sure everything is safe.
How Long Does an Inspection Take?
The inspection can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours to complete, depending on the age, location, and value of your home.
If the carrier requires an interior inspection, the inspector will reach out to you to schedule a time.
Who Does the Property Inspection?
Most insurance carriers use an independent inspection company, but some require the policyholder to do a self-inspection. If a self-inspection is required, your carrier will let you know ahead of time, including instructions and deadline for submission.
When Does an Inspection Usually Happen?
Unfortunately, we don’t have control over when, how, or if you’ll be contacted, but we can tell you that most inspections happen 30 to 90 days after the policy start date. That said, it’s a good idea to prep your property as soon as you can — just in case.
Your Inspection Prep List
Get ahead of the inspector by checking for any issues yourself. Put yourself in the inspector’s shoes and walk around your property, looking for these common trouble spots:
- Roof – Check for any tree limbs that hang over the roofline. If you can, trim these back. Also, look out for any loose, damaged, or curling roof shingles.
- Gutters – Ensure your gutters are securely attached and not blocked by debris. Tip: Grab your umbrella and do a visual check while it’s raining to spot any leaks.
- Windows & Doors – Double-check that frames are intact and sealed. Window screens should also be secured to their track. Make sure all exterior doors have properly functioning locks.
- Siding & Soffit – Check your home’s siding for cracks, holes, peeling paint, and mold. Do the same to your soffit — the exposed siding underneath your roof’s overhang.
- Patios, Porches & Decking – Look for signs of damage or decay on your patio, porch, and deck (including underneath). You’ll also want to make sure all stairs have handrails.
- Foundation – Your foundation is important because it holds your house together. Do a thorough walk-around, to ensure there aren’t cracks or uneven foundation.
- Detached Garage or Shed – Inspect these structures in the same way you would the exterior of the home. Look for mold, peeling paint, cracks, and do a once-over of the roof.
- Living Areas – In general, you should make sure that the house is tidy. Take the time to look at your living environment and think about hazards that could result in damage or pose a safety concern.
- Mechanicals – When it comes to heating units, water tanks, and plumbing, make sure all are in working order. Remove any obstructions to your heating unit to make sure it is adequately ventilated, and accessible for inspection.
- Attic Space – Check to make sure there’s adequate insulation and ventilation. Also look for dampness, decay, and damage. Don’t forget the attic space above your garage.
- Basement or Crawl Space – There’s a lot going on under a house, like electrical, plumbing, and more. That’s why it’s important to inspect the area for moisture, decay — and any pesky pests.
No home is perfect, so don’t worry if you find some issues. Just try to fix them as soon as possible.
What Happens After the Inspector Visits?
They will send a report to your insurance carrier. If the inspection shows any issues that might jeopardize your coverage, your carrier will explain how to fix these, and give you a due date for the repairs.
If you’re unable to get these issues fixed by the due date, your carrier could send you a policy cancellation notice. But things happen. Let’s say your contractor tells you mid-repair that it is going to take longer than expected.
Here’s what you can do: Request an extension from your carrier, asking for more time to complete the repair. Be sure to include the work order as proof that you are in the process of fixing the issue.
Remember, We’re Here for You
If you have any questions or would like additional guidance before your inspection, please reach out to us. We’re absolutely happy to help make sure your inspection goes as smoothly as possible.
If after the inspection, you end up facing a policy cancellation and have tried filing for an extension with no success, please reach out to us ASAP. We’ll do our best to work with the carrier on your behalf to keep your policy in place.
If you’re a current Matic customer and have questions, please fill out the form below and our customer service team will get back to you.