Florida Inspectors Question

Most insurance companies that I have dealt with will not provide insurance on homes with less than 150 Amp service. I will provide my clients with the 4 point as I did the inspection anyway, and this will be an insurance issue later. There are other issues that render homes un-insurable as well. How do you manage the clients expectations and explain to them that something like this is not an inspection issue, but it will most likely be an issue when trying to get insurance?

Typically, whenever I inspect a home that is old enough to require a 4 point inspection, there are generally a number of existing conditions or discrepancies that are going to preclude me being able to write a “clean” 4 point inspection that will pass muster with the insurance companies and I tell them that. It may be an electrical system that by all standards meets a safe level but has not been upgraded since the home was built. Ive found fuse panels that were pristine in condition but the client later calls and tells me the insurance company will not issue a policy. It really isn’t my problem but I do discuss it with the client and “inform” them. Now, that having been said, say you write up discrepancies that get upgraded or corrected prior to closing, that makes your previous 4 Point inspection null and void. I have heard of some inspectors who will take someone’s word that items have been corrected and issue a new 4 point without revisiting the site. Those people should have their heads examined. I guess it depends on how much you mind being available to past clients and how much service you may want to give away. It is a question I had to ask myself early on. I try to be agreeable but I am in business and have to charge for subsequent trips to the home. It basically would be the same as a Re-inspection but for a different reason; insurance. I do usually ask if they have looked into homeowners insurance for an older home. Most just look at you like a calf staring at a new gate.

I just had to buy new insurance from one of the few companies that write Florida (Royal Palm). They never asked me anything about my electrical service. (Nor did my old company Allstate)

If the house load calc comes up less that 100a why would they deny coverage? That would not be unusual if you had natural gas appliances.

I just had to do a calc on my all electric house (strip heat) with a pool and spa, it came up 146a on the optional calc and 191 on the standard calc. (remodel)

Really? I have been to one home on two different occasions. The last time the guy had done a mock instalation of a propane furnace. There were a few safety issues. When I pointed them out, and told him that I was not even going to attempt to turn it on, he told me “it’s just for show, it wouldn’t work if you tried to turn it on.” He thought I could sign it off, just because it was there. I charged him the full 4-point price for wasting my time. I also told him that the next time I go out there, I will be checking to make sure that the appropriate permits are pulled. His insurance agent won’t accept a report from anyone else on this home either. Almost the price of a regular home inspection for 3 trips to the same house. This particular instance was a 4 point only.

Thanks for the input on how to deal with clients.

John Richards

You are welcome John,
BTW, where you at in Jax. I spent about 8 years there at NAS starting in 1973. My bride is from there. Every time I go there I am amazed at how big and spread out Jax has gotten. When I got there Blanding Blvd was mostly empty fields along the sides all the way to Orange Park and Middleburg was just a wide spot in the road. Not anymore.