Define 4-Point Inspections

Many of us hear the Floridanian inspectors talk about 4-point inspections BUT don’t really know what they are.

To me the most important points on a house would be:

  1. Roof; 2) Foundation; 3) HVAC (heat & a/c); 4) Main Electric (entry and main panel); and 5) Main Water (entry & water heater);

Maybe 6) Attic Cavity / Framing

So What Does a 4-point include…

Roof, Electric, Plumbing, AC and Heating

Now that it is defined, how far are any of the Florida inspectors going in reporting on electrical issues and what type of inspections are you conducting. Are you removing the panel boxes. I recently just lost in insurance agent (and i dont do many of these anyway) because the SEC cable was too small, but what he really did not like was the fact that i put down that one of the exterior GFCI outlets was faulty. Are you guys reporting this or are you just noting the presence or absence of GFCI protection, or not even doing that as, in most cases, it was not code at the time the home was built.


We have a free fillable PDF of the InterNACHI 4-Point inspection report.

Everyone is welcome to Join Great Lakes InterNACHI free:
Some of the free stuff we have for members:

4-Point Inspection Report
WindSurance Lt Wind Mitigation Report
Legacy III Home Inspection Report
WDI/WDO Inspection Report
Buyer/Seller/Agent Pre-Inspection Checklist
Inspection Workflow Checklist
Inspection Agreement
Residential Electrical Service Size Calculator
Electrical Conduit Fill Calculator
Digital Photo Calulator


You cannot go by the NACHI form. There are numerous forms out there, and no two are alike. This form will give you an idea of what a 4point it, but like I said, no two are alike. That is why i asked the questions I did above.

I have seen everything from an ASHI, FABI, NACHI form to all the ones that each inspector makes up himself. Some are one page, some are two pages. All the insurers down here have different requirements, but none of them, including the Florida OIR, has a standard form or protocol to use when filling one out. Its actually quite a mess.

As Bill said, it is to see if the roof, plumbing electric, and HVAC have been updated, at least, that is what it started out as. I still have some of the older 4-points I did that were just a letter stating what had been updated and when.

Now, the 4-points are mini inspections and the insurance companies are using that information to either raise your rates or cancel the policy altogether.

It is one thing to recommend that the FPE panel be replaced. It is quite another to force you to change something that was code compliant when it was installed, may not show any signs of damage, and then, threaten to cancel your mortgage mandated insurance, while simultaneously enforcing a building code that doesn’t exist.

I am not saying that the FPE panels shouldn’t be replaced, but again, it is one thing if I say it. It is quite another where an entity can dictate something that in some instances, can cost you your home.

Here is my definition. I do ad one or two pages of pictures of what I see.

Works every time without fail.

wsiegel writes:

Yes, but InterNACHI’s 4-Point form is pre-approved by all the insurance companies operating in Florida.

Yes, but I would have to agree with Mr. Meeker that the NACHI form is a bit much.
If the insurance company wants to know about these things, then perhaps they should just pay for a complete home inspection…oh wait…they are doing just that.
This just happened to my brother and his home was built in 2001.


Actually they were only approved by Citizens and the other insurance companies accepted them. Now they are moot, as all licensed home inspectors can fill them out. The main reason for the approval of the forms was to substantiate the the inspector belonged to an association and, in the case of NACHI, had completed the electrical course. ASHI and FABI also had forms approved. They removed the requirement for the association affiliation when licensing went into effect.


So do you note when a panel is an FPE or Zinsco. What about GFCI protection. And then again, what about a GFCI that does not trip. Do you mention that or just whether or not they are present.

Thanks now I will just sit here quietly :slight_smile:

wsiegel, technically you might be correct in that the requirement to use InterNACHI’s approved 4-Point form has been removed with the adoption of home inspector licensing, but not in reality completely… as I’ve been successful in getting more and more agents of those insurance companies to draw their wind mit inspectors from our list of members who have completed our Wind Mitigation Inspection course. Insurance companies are creatures of habit and love “approved lists”, so when they then need a 4-Point inspector they look to that InterNACHI inspector again.

There’s more than one way to corner a market.

Four Point Inspection
Limited Visual Inspection -typically required in Florida for homes that are 25 years old or older.

During the inspection, four points of the home are looked at to see if there are any visable risks. The purpose is to find out how risky it is to insure the property.

  1. Roof - How long will it last? Does it have any existing problems? What is it?
  2. HVAC - Does it look like it will catch on fire or leak water? Will it hurt anyone? How long will it last?
  3. Plumbing - Is it made of Polybutelyene? Is it leaking? Does the water heater have a properly installed TPR valve? How long will it last?
  4. Electrical - Is there enough power? Is the panel a known risk? Are there double taps? Aluminum branch circuits? Unsafe wiring? GFCI? AFCI? Will it catch on fire? Will it electricute someone? How long will it last?

That is basically a four point.

You have to agree that if the insurance co. is taking all the risk, then it’s there peragitive to find out all they can about a house before they take that risk. Reguardless if it met code or not, FPE panels are known fire hazard and the insurance co. has a right to to ask the homeowner to have it change or get canncelled. But on the other hand the owner does not have to stay with the insurance co. and find another co. to go with and maybe not have the same issues.

And on the third hand, the homeowners insurance is based on the rebuild cost of the home, which of course has been inflated for years now, but that is another mess altogether, so it really doesn’t matter what happens as the premium is based on the worse case scenario anyway.

Interesting how if an inspector misses something it is the cost of doing business. Apparently, in the insurance, mortgage and finance world, the cost of doing business is footed by the homeowners!


You, and no one else has answered my question on the electrical issue.

What do you consider enough power? Is it 60 amps, which Citizens has said it will accept in some cases, or is it 100. 125. 150, or 200 amps?

What do you consider unsafe wiring? Is exposed wiring, open splices, open junction boxes, open grounds, reverse polarity, faulty GFCI receptacles, lack of GFCI protection. When do you report on the absence of AFCI and do you test them. How do you determine if something will catch fire or electrocute someone.

I am curious to know how my fellow inspectors are reporting on these issues.

I answer the questions on the form Bill.
Since I rarely do four points without doing the home inspection, what ever was wrong on the home inspection, if it is part of an answer to a question on the form, then, yes, it goes on there.

Here are the questions:

How is that Bill?:mrgreen:

if a home is as built and not obviously overloaded then I say it is sufficient and note the total amps.

If an underwriter feels different to what is enough then the call is his.

Seems simple enough to me.

Let them decide what is enough. I report the facts.

My point behind this was (and I also only usually do them with home inspections) that an insurance agent called me to to a stand alone. He got really pissed when I mentioned that the SEC cables were too small (they were #1 aluminum on a 150 amp box) and he especially took offense when I mentioned in the report that the rear GFCI outlet failed to trip. Said he would never call again (not that I really care) because no other inspector ever mentions those things.

He actually told me that inspectors cannot be held liable for anything on those reports and now his client could not get insurance because of that report. OH well, maybe they should fix what is wrong.