4-POINT Changes and YOU

How many people currently provide more information than Citizens is asking for on their current form?

Things like the presence of a pool or fireplace, or the distance to fire hydrants?

Or even type of construction?

Analyzing the new form - and comparing it to the NACHI form (actually the form NACHI form as modified for use by Honor Construction) - I would think that those that are using the NACHI form would not need to change anything except for maybe some picture requirements.

It appears to be offering just as much detail as the Citizens form - just not in check box format.

Will you be changing your form to remove this extra information that is not asked for on the 4-Point?

I have always just filled out whatever form they have provided. I do not elaborate on any other conditions.
The new form will eliminate that as it asks for hazards and deficiencies, which are part of my home inspection. I just added the four sections to my home inspection report and all of the pictures and defects are already there. I may not even charge extra as it is only 2 minutes, if that, of marking check boxes.
Remember this is going to require an extensive inspection.
Minimum Photo Requirement: Front elevation Rear elevation Open Main Electrical Panel and interior door HVAC heating systems equipment (with dated manufacturer’s plate) ALL hazards or deficiencies noted in this report.

As for doing these as stand alone inspections, I probably will decline because I doubt that anyone will want to pay the same price for a 4-point inspection as they would for a home inspection.

In the past, I have been using a modified NACHI version. I have always provided the pics that are now maditory. I am currently giving a slightly modified version of the Citizens form. (My company logos not Citizen).
Last week I did 5 on the modified Citizens form. I’m thinking of switching back. It is a faster form. But I don’t like some of the questions. I’m also waiting for some feedback from agents. I’ll share what they tell me.

I am sure everyone is curious to hear the feedback Jay. :smiley:

Do you use different forms then for different underwriters? What about picture requirements? Citizens requires different photos than Tower Hill and for most other underwriters the elevation shots have always sufficed…

Every insurer has slightly different requirements, you should decide if you want an all in one or insurer specific form. For people that are shopping insurance the all-in-one can be a better deal.

The issue I have with the Citizens form is “ALL hazards or deficiencies”, “full details of all updates, hazards, deficiencies, etc.” How can one be sure they found all hazards or deficiencies without a full inspection?

An inspector should then decide if these are worth “getting into” these. Insurance inspections are not as simple as they appear and are continually evolving.

That has been my point with the new form John. In order to find hazards, updates and deficiencies, that will require a full inspection of all components. Which means removing all dead front covers, checking all available receptacles, testing smoke alarms, I would assume, and that is just the electrical. Are we supposed to check shower pans for leaks? All plumbing fixtures and drains? What about the roof? You will have to crawl the entire attic to look for leaks, and while you are there, open junctions for electric, improper venting for plumbing, and defective/damaged duct work for a/c.

This is a home inspection, only, without the protection of the SoP.

This is no $50.00 half an hour inspection.

I will be sticking with my form, for now.

So will I.

Ditto

Gentlemen, and ladies,

We should be approaching this “evolution” of the 4pt. inspection with extreme caution. These things are becoming full home inspections (as many have stated) and this evolution is going down the path of standardization (by design I might add). With standardization, our services become a commodity and we will all be competing with the Meekers at the bottom of our profession. I know the young guns in our profession will say that we dinosaurs have to “evolve and adapt” as our profession evolves. I am all for “evolving and adapting”, just not in the downward direction.

I also believe that the “council” should be directing our lobbyist to fight the people who are trying to put their thumbs on our heads take control of our profession- rather than “building relationships” and bending over in the hopes that they will throw us a “bone”. I also know that it is a difficult fight and an uphill battle- But isn’t everything worth fighting for?

Respectfully to all,

Steve Taylor

We will continue to use our current form. It is accepted by all insurance companies.

On the other note, forming relationships is just as important as everything else. One problem I have noticed is that people dont want to listen to Inspectors complain. They want solutions presented in a professional manner. And those solutions need to take in consideration all aspects and not just what pisses off the inspector. How else do you get there without building relationships and listening with open minds? We need to be willing to learn from others if we want them to learn from us.

Steve,

I agree with much of what you said, but Preston is correct. Without cooperation we have a little chance of making a difference. We should start with ourselves, we cannot even get all of the inspector’s groups to sit down and talk about together. You are one of the examples there. We can bash what one group does wrong, we can complain about the situation all we want, until we stand together we have little hope. The council is standing together and working for our future, if you do not like the direction, attend the meetings, voice you opinion and convince the rest they should be going another way.
To blast what they do and imply that they are under another’s control without an option and without listening to all of the reasoning is easy and immature. Standing together and valuing all of the inspector’s opinions is hard.

Some of the “young guns” would say that the “dinosaurs” got us in this situation and now they have to dig us out… It is just a matter of how you look at.

Until we stand together, it does not matter(much) what any of us think.

Insurance inspections:

Insurance companies have the right to know what they are insuring. That right is controlled by the OIR, the rate fillings and underwriting manuals. They are not decided by agents or agencies. If you do not like what agents are asking for, do not complain to them. It is like complaining to an officer about a traffic control device, it will get you nowhere.

The agent wants to write the policy and the insurance company want to bind it, if it meets their guidelines. Underwriters are going to ask for information and someone will provide it, for a fee. This is where we come up with insurance inspections, common types include the wind mit, four point and roof cert. Sometimes there are other “visits” to the property, and someone takes pictures or reports of what they see for a fee. These will include just pictures, fences, dogs, pools, and condition of the property.

Now if someone tells an insurance company, that they have a pool(in good condition), a fence, no dog and my property is well maintained. Do you think they as a business should be allowed to verify that information since they are insuring it, especially if they explain it upfront? So what is an insurance company to do if they find adverse conditions when they arrive? Should that person pay the same as the neighbor who lives down the street, closer to the fire hydrant and takes great care of his property?
What is the agent going to do now that they have different information to write the policy? Are they going to write with a company that will assume more risk? Most agents will want to know this information upfront.

What do inspectors want to provide in insurance inspections? Do they want another “property visit” after they leave by another persons? Are they willing to answer all the questions that insurance companies are allowed to verify?

Licensed Home Inspectors need to decide if they want to do insurance inspections and which ones. They need to decide how far they want to go down the rabbit hole. The fundamental issue is insurance companies need information: what information does the OIR allow them to collect and whom will be providing it? Somebody with a digital camera or a Licensed Home Inspector?

I see a market for non-licensed inspectors, but approved by the company and trained by the company doing insurance inspections. This would be like the… current wind mitigation program.

I guess Licensed Home Inspectors better decide where they stand before we have these other markets taken over by a new group, just like wind mitigation was.

just saying…

I think John makes very valid points. I would love to see Home Inspectors be the ones performing the full inspection with all the information the insurance company requires. But if they keep complaining and bashing the insurance companies they will move in a different direction.

John and Preston,

I also agree with much of what you are both saying. However, your perception or definition of complaining would appear to be any inspector who has an opinion contrary to your position. With that said, it would be refreshing to practice what you preach and listen to other inspectors or people’s positions that are contrary to yours without labeling them as complaining. Furthermore, it would appear that the “council” has the same mindset in that anyone that voices an opinion counter to the council will be labeled as a complainer.
For the record, I agree that we (the home inspection profession) should be building relationships with other industry groups- realtors, insurance industry, oir, and even the contractors, - provided those relationships are based on mutual respect and equal standing.

And yes, I guess it really is just a matter of how you look at it. I think most of us truly want what we believe is best for the profession. It would appear that we just have different ideas of what that is. Just sayin…

and thank for the education on how the insurance industry works- I had no idea- being the dinosaur that I am.

I would have to say I agree with the right of the insurer to ascertain the condition of risks they are taking.

I am amazed at some of the comments I have seen regarding insurance inspections - Most recently on the roof inspections that have been discussed in the local press. I read a letter to the editor from one customer that was irate that the insurance company was requiring him to replace his roof and it hadn’t even failed yet!!

I would think that the comment “But my roof doesn’t leak” is the mindset of much of the public. Shocking that the insurance company would require a higher standard than that!!

There are, however, some arbitrary standards that are in place for some underwriters - Who hasn’t heard of the underwriter who wouldn’t insure a property with a roof over 10 years old, or heating systems and water heaters over 15 yrs old.

I agree, of course insurance companies should have the right to assess their risk prior to writing a policy. The insurance model is in the business of collecting premiums- not paying claims. As such, anything they can do (within reason and statutory limitation) that minimizes their risk exposure would be a prudent business decision. That is where I believe the council should be putting the effort in “building relationships”. For example, I had an underwriter deny coverage on a slate roof because the roof coverings were over 30 years old. The shingles looked as good as the day they were installed over 40 years ago. I see this situation as an opportunity for our profession to help the insurance industry to develop better underwriting guidelines that reflect real world conditions- rather than some arbitrary number (roof coverings maximum age) that some insurance industry representative developed- (you know- that would be the “building relationships” part that would be beneficial to our profession as well as the insurance industry- and the consumer.

Steve, your statements about myself and John could not be any further from the truth. It is unfortunate you see it that way. Russ spent a lot of his effort trying to bring ideas in from "the inspection industry " and mostly got blasted. Your right, a difference in opinion is not complaining but thats not what we are talking about. Others outside the industry see
What is said here and do comment on yhe complaining.

Steve, do not disagree with your opinions only your approach.

My thoughts on complaining are simple, you knock people for “building bridges” when you were not there and are not privy to the conversations first hand.

If anyone wants to educate and help the insurance industry, it is possible, but doing it on a four point is like closing the gate after the horse has left the pasture. Attending OIR meetings and working with insurance companies before the policies, and rules are written is where they need to direct energies.

My post about the “Insurance inspections:”

Is about educating those who do not know and not directed at Steve.

There is more questions in my second post then information.

It does not matter to me if Licensed Home Inspectors want to do them or not. It is a service my company provides. Where Licensed Home Inspectors as a group and “The Council” stands does make a difference to the future Licensed Home Inspectors. I also feel that if “Licensed Home Inspectors” do not provide the information the the OIR allows then someone else will.

Again do we want to go down that Rabbit Hole? We are “home” inspectors not insurance inspectors, correct? Do we help educate from the top down(attend Insurance meetings)?