How To Have a Successful Property Inspection
A home inspection is a normal step in the process of getting home insurance and verifying the details of your property. We’ve put together all the info you need for a successful inspection, including a checklist of what your inspector will look for.
Home Inspection FAQ
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 15 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.
What is the Purpose of an Inspection?
Insurance carriers conduct an inspection to ensure your policy accurately reflects the property details and condition of your home (like square footage and roof style), 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 on your property.
What Happens During an Inspection?
The inspector will walk around your property and take pictures of your home’s exterior and other structures on your property. They will look for any possible issues — like moldy siding or branches that hang over your roofline — and note these accordingly.
However, on rare occasions, depending on the age, claims history, location, or other characteristics 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 In this case, they will be checking for outdated electrical wiring or plumbing, and the condition of living spaces and other areas (such as an attic or basement) to make sure everything is safe. You’ll be notified in advance if this is necessary.
How Long Does an Inspection Take?
The inspection typically takes 30-45 minutes 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 and explain how long the inspection will take.
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.
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 any broken or boarded-up windows have been repaired. Make sure all exterior doors have properly functioning locks.
- Siding & Soffit – Check your home’s siding for cracks, holes, peeling paint, rotten wood, 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. Decks should have appropriate railings that meet applicable building codes in your area.
- 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, rotten wood, and do a once-over of the roof.
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 concerns, 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. Let us know as soon as possible, so we can help you explore other options.
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 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.