State Farm Four Point Poll

I am getting more & more requests for this form and have not completed any due to the extra work & liability attached.

In lieu of this form I have offered to supply the Citizens Four Point with all of the additional photos State Farm requires. In any case how is our profession addressing this issue, because to me it appears this form far exceeds the Standards of Practice for our profession.

Comments welcome…

What is it on the form that is specifically outside the SOP for our profession? What SOP are you referring to for a four point inspection? Not understanding what you getting at except for added liability, which I believe is still under what is assumed doing a full home inspection.

I use the Citizens form with added pictures.
As for liability, these inspections, technically, are out of the scope of a home inspection…at least for now.

A recent court case determined that the 1802 is a “code verification” form and I suspect, the same may hold true for the 4-point inspections.

I am seriously considering adding a pre-inspection agreement for both.

The State Farm Four Pt is a little excessive.
Why would they need to know how many tons the a/c unit is? are they not going to insure if it is undersized?

“Is the property owner/resident aware of the main shut-off valve location?” How in the heck are we suppose to know if they are aware of this if they are not present… What happens if we say “No” on the form? Jeez - They just want the inspector to make the Homeowner aware of the location ------ Not our job

General condition of the following (including supply lines,
filters, drainage pipes, etc.):
Satisfactory Unsatisfactory N/A
Dishwasher   
Refrigerator   
Washing Machine   
Water Heater   
Showers/Tubs   
Toilets   
Sinks   
Sump pump   
All other visible   
Main shut-off valve  

Hmm— Am I going to pull out there Sub Zero fridge across the wood floor to check the water line — Nope ---- But I have to mark that its “Satisfactory”

Is the attic ventilation adequate? — which of the 4 Points is this? Roof?

Is a space heater of any type being used on
the premises?
 Yes
 No

OK – so the home is vacant when I inspect – no space heaters present
The space heaters are in the closet somewhere. Guess I need to search the whole friggin house, and come back after the new owners move in to check again. This is a stupid question to ask. Either the home has a furnace or main heating system or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then they should assume that portable heat is going to be used. If we say no space heater and the house burns down due to one, what happens then??

Condition of a/c drain pan — Are inspectors really going to crawl all the way through the attic to document this on a four point.?

Condition of soffits? — Really?

They should call their report a 10 point. I do them, but am not a fan of them. I don’t think it exceeds the SOP of a full residential inspection, but it exceeds the scope of work of a 4 Point Inspection as we know them. You can almost feel the increased liability as the report ask us to sign off on the condition of items as opposed to just reporting their condition.

If you sign any form that qualifies you to do so under statute 468, you better be applying your state SoP’s. That means SS 468.8321 and SS 445.201 apply to ALL inspections you perform as a “home inspector”. As for being “outside the scope of” a home inspection, this appears no place in the statute of your/our licensing and or the SoP’s…it’s made up. Specifically, your FS SoP’s reference this under 61-30.801(2) as your standards shall not be construed as “limiting the scope of the home inspection process”. The intent of your licensing was to “preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public”, this same sentence exists in the Florida Building Code under 101.3 Intent of the Admin section. You have no limits and are required to constantly educate yourself(SS 468.8316) every 2 years per renewal cycle. If the intent of your licensing matches the intent of the Building code…

Was using the Citizens form with the required photos accepted?

Good idea pre-inspection agreement, it might limit liability should a lawsuit arise.

Yes,it was Joe.

I do a lot of inspections for State Farm agents. I have used my Four Pt with added photo’s and comments. This has worked about 80% of the time. The problem is that individual underwriters can accept it if they want to - the 20% that got kicked back made it not worth trying.

You are going out into left field.:cool:

From the citizens 4-point form:
• A general, residential, or building contractor
• A professional engineer
• A building code inspector
• A registered architect
• A home inspector
• A building code official who is authorized by the state of Florida to verify building code compliance

Those are the individuals who may perform the 4-point inspection. It does not say any one of those individuals must have a home inspectors license. Therefore, as others who do not require a home inspectors license, can do these inspections, they are not home inspections because if they were, then they would have to have a home inspectors license.

The same goes for the 1802.

That means, that technically, these are not considered “home inspections” and as such, there are no SoPs. It is simply a matter of filling out the form. Nothing more…for now.:wink:

Not necessarily…and you pointed this out in another post relating to the recent court case where a home inspector was held liable for qualifying a structure as “2001 building code complaint”. He was held liable through his WM AND the home inspection. You can’t separate statute from licensing, neither you or I have the authority to do so. I would be very careful about giving people your “opinion” on licensing versus what the statutes actually say. The other “qualified persons” are already bound to their licensing requirements through FSS 455/489, these statutes require them to perform all duties regulated by their licensing to the Florida Building Code. It would be redundant to also require that on the form. This is happening now, I’m currently helping another inspector as an expert witness against a licensed CGC who perfomred a 4-point inspection on a roofing system that was painted over. He will be held to the statute of his licensing requirements, as pointed out above. Isn’t it a bit telling that everyone qualified to sign that form is regulated by the Florida Building Code but HI’s? Maybe it’s trying to tell us something…? As for home inspectors filling out any form, if you are doing so through holding yourself out to hire as an HI…you have standards. Non-negotiable.

I started doing 4 points when my State farm agent sent me a 1 page example simular to the one I use when not upselling the citizens one.

I have not seen the new one but hear it is crazy. Maybe I saw it when it first came out as I remember saying I would never get a job for one because I would price to high.

I have NEVER been asked to do one yet?

Unless the clients just give them whatever 4 point they buy, mine or citizens and they have been accepted? I do not know for sure.

Agreed Eric, there is no SOP for four points or wind mits. There is a “Standard of Care” though, usually just outlined in the form the carrier accepts. State Farm reports are over the top and I charge accordingly. I tried to submit a CIT 4pt form with extra pics to State Farm once and got rejected…had to do it on their form to get accepted. As far as liability goes, I consider the Tower Hill form more obtrusive with one question they have about mold presence. I don’t ever use their form just because of that question.

here is the Form

If you sign that form under the section titled “home inspector”…you have standards. Unless there’s another Hi license I don’t know about, you have standards and state statutes that regulate whatever you do with that license. That’s why you have the license. Consider this, put your license on inactive status and fill out a 1802 or 4-point…if the standards of that licensing, including continuing education credits that require WM traning, don’t apply, why do you need it? You QUALIFY with that license…and it is regulated with the state. This should be a no-brainer.

All of my insurance inspections are completed under my contractor’s license, but for HI’s, there is still no tie to the SOP for home inspections when you are completing an insurance inspection or any other ancillary inspection.

Simple math…if you sign that form where it says “home inspector”…that licsense has standards, just like a division 1 contractor. It’s fact vs. opinion…We are currently looking for clarification from the OIR as the recent court case caused a lot of concern, they have been very quiet on the issue. Can’t imagine why…:wink:

I didn’t like the way State Farm’s 4-Point form was, as Dennis summed it up for us. Too many things on that form that really was going out into left field. I use my own 4 point form that is a copy of the tower hill 4 point form. Short, Sweet and to the point:D

Phrases and wording not listed in the State SoP’s or FSS of our licensing:

  1. visual inspection
  2. outside/within the scope of a home inspection
  3. complete home inspection
  4. limited home inspection

But, the FSS 468.83`1 does list who is “exempt” from these standards, as follows:

468.831 Exemptions.—The following persons are not required to comply with any provision of this part:
(1) An authorized government employee of the United States, this state, or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision who is conducting home inspection services within the scope of that employment, as long as the employee does not hold out for hire to the general public or otherwise engage in home inspection services.
(2) A person acting within his or her authorized scope of practice as licensed under federal, state, or local codes or statutes, except when such person holds himself or herself out for hire to the public as a “certified home inspector,” “registered home inspector,” “licensed home inspector,” “home inspector,” “professional home inspector,” or any combination thereof stating or implying licensure under this part.
(3) An officer appointed by the court.
(4) A person performing safety inspections of utility equipment in or on a home or building or other duties conducted by or for a utility under chapter 366 or rules adopted by the Public Service Commission.
(5) A certified energy auditor performing an energy audit of any home or building or other duties conducted by or for a utility under chapter 366 or rules adopted by the Public Service Commission.
Anyone see 4-point or Wind Mitigation listed as exempt? And, if you read what it says, division 1 contractors are regulated under 489…like I said earlier. Fact vs Opinion. Read number 2, do you fall under that category?

When State Farm wants a Four Point I always ask the agent if it’s for State Farm or Citizens. Anything for State Farm has to be on their form other wise it can go on a citizens form.

This is an area that will be tested in a court of law one day. There are many arguments, but, the prevailing theory, is that a home inspection is used for the purchase of a home. A 4-point is used to determine if insurance can be obtained.

It would be a stretch to prosecute someone for a faulty four-point.

The wind mit was easy and a slam dunk for the simple reason of the wording used on the form. Specifically:Was the structure built in compliance with the Florida Building Code (FBC 2001 or later) OR for homes located in
the HVHZ (Miami-Dade or Broward counties), South Florida Building Code (SFBC-94)?
It doesn’t ask about roof covering, shutters, etc. It asks about the structure.
I have stated here and elsewhere, that the question should simply be, Permit application date:XX/XX/XXXX.
If the insurances companies wish to operate out of the scope of their licenses, fine. Don’t drag me down with your sinking ship!

I would submit, that a four point inspections intent is far different than a home inspection. Furthermore, if a home inspection was performed on a property along with a four-point, then the reports should be identical as far as defects go.

In your case above, a painted roof violates the manufactures specification. It is why they make different colored shingles. I fail those roofs regularly and on the four-point, life expectancy = 0 years.

To the last paragraph, where is the SoP for wind mits?

I have stated publicly on many occasions, that the insurance inspections are nothing more than a way to generate income for the insurance companies. They serve no other intended purpose. In some instances, maybe changes are made to the home which will allow it to survive a storm better that it previously could. That is assuming, such a storm occurs.

Your insurance premium is based on the replacement value of the home. If the damage isn’t severe enough to warrant replacement, then the insurance company still comes out ahead.That also includes the minimal chance of failure of certain components in a home, which probably amounts to 5% of total losses.

Finally, I have tried to convince people that a standard 4-point inspection and a one-page wm inspection should be implemented. People here on this message board especially, mocked me. Enjoy what you now have.

These are the same individuals who said that changes would go through as it pertains to the SoP. Guess what? Thanks to a few others and myself, home inspectors were spared the raping of the SoP. You are welcome…