Insurers demand more inspections before issuing policy

TAMPA - You may have heard of wind mitigation inspections, that could win you a big discount if your house contains certain storm-resistant features.  But more and more insurers require you to pay for other inspections just to keep your policy.

Veteran home inspector Tom Tafelski says homeowners are learning new lingo, like four-point inspections and roof certifications.  

These inspections don't qualify you for a discount, but they are sometimes required for you to keep your insurance.

More insurers are asking homeowners to pay $75 to $150 for an inspection that could cost them their policy.  

If you own the home and your roof is older than 25 years old, the insurance company is likely to require you to have it inspected by a qualified person to verify condition of the roof, and to certify it has three years of life remaining.

And if it doesn't, you will have to replace the roof if you want your policy renewed.

Inez Warren paid $175 for what's called a four-point inspection.  "I hoped it would give me a substantial discount on my insurance," said Warren, but it did not.

As Tafelski points out, the four-point inspection -- like the roof certification -- is another tool insurers are using to verify the structure is sound before a policy is issued or renewed.

The four-point is based on four aspects of construction, roof covering, electrical, plumbing and your central heat and air system.

As with the roof certification, if the four-point inspection turns up problems, you may have to pay for repairs before your policy is renewed.

The wind mitigation inspection, on the other hand, can trigger discounts. To learn more, check out the mitigation calculator at http://www.floridadisaster.org/wisc/ .

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