If you’re purchasing a new homeowner’s insurance policy, the insurance company will want to inspect your home. They do this to make sure you have adequate coverage in case there’s a loss. Typically, these inspections take place outside the home. Sometimes, however, they may need to enter your home. The value or age of your home, or having a wood burning device inside it, are some reasons why.
If the value of your home is the reason for entering it during the inspection, they’re looking at all the unique features of your home so they can include those when determining what the replacement value would be.
If the age of your home is the reason for the interior inspection, they want to make sure the mechanics have been updated:
- The furnace has been updated and serviced. This will ensure it heats your home in the winter and keeps pipes from freezing.
- Your electrical system is circuit breakers. This is the safest and must current electrical system.
- You don’t have old knob and tube wiring. This outdated wiring can cause fires.
They’ll also look for leaks in the basement. Water in the basement breeds mold and can compromise the foundation over time
If a wood burning device is the reason, they want to make sure it meets their standards and isn’t a fire hazard. Here are some things they’ll look for:
- Is the wood stove UL listed? UL listed means it’s been tested and deemed safe.
- Is the stove cleaned every season before it’s used? If you don’t clean your woodstove pipe, creosote will build up and can cause a chimney fire.
- Does it have the proper clearances? Wood burning devices that are too close to combustibles can cause fires.
The inspection may uncover other dangers in your home and result in recommendations to fix them to protect you and your family.
- Do your basement stairs have walls on both sides or is a handrail needed to prevent falls?
- Do you have a second-story patio door but haven’t built a deck yet? If not properly secured, a person could fall out the door and be severely injured.
- Is your home missing gutters? Gutters deflect rain from your foundation and prevent water from accumulating in your basement.
And if they come inside, the inspector may also take some photos for the insurance carrier to keep in your file. These may help settle a claim if you have a loss. Photos are typically taken of the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and basement area, and include the mechanics of the home, as well.
So the next time your insurance carrier wants to inspect your home, don’t be worried. They’re doing it to protect you.
This blog was written by Sue Gerlach, senior Personal Lines underwriter.